By Allen Hamrick

Elijah Payton looking for running room. Allen Hamrick photo.

It was a tough outing for the CCHS Panthers Friday night as they took on the Tolsia Rebels in the stands packed home opener.

The new field looked good with the new lights and a fresh turf of grass, as well as other improvements. Coming off a great win last week, the Panthers had good momentum going into this game.  However, they had a tough time with the defensive line of Tolsia. Grant Krajeski had a rough night in the pocket; the front line of Tolsia came on like the flu in winter.  The Panthers were having a tough time as two of their best linemen went out with injuries.  The replacements did a good job, but the more experienced Tolsia line managed to get through and upset the Panther offense.

However, the Panthers did mount a comeback late in the game with a Krajeski and Vance connection for a TD.  This made the score 14-22.  The Panther defense got the ball back for the offense to give the Panthers one last chance to tie the game.  The Panthers pushed down the field and got within striking distance, but an interception brought the game to its knees.  Tolsia had a lot of tricks up their sleeves offensively, and the Panther defense did a good job of containing them regardless of the score.  The coaches will have to work out bugs before next week as the Roane Raiders come to town.

When two good teams like the Panthers and the Raiders meet, the winner is will be determined by who makes the least mistakes and then capitalizes on their opponent’s mistakes.  The Panthers will get it all sorted out; it is still early in the season and they have plenty of opportunities left.  Get out and enjoy the game this week and support the CCHS Panthers.

Players of the game were Grant Krajeski who went 13-21 in passing for 165 yards and two TD’s.  Owen Bass was defensive player of the game who led the team with 19 tackles.  Logan Vance had six catches for 110 yards and two TD’s.  Elijah Payton rushed for 83 yards on 16 carries and two catches for 31 yards.  The Panthers will host Roane at home next week.

In other Panther football news, this past Monday night the JV Panthers hosted JV Midland Trail.  Right away, one could see the atmosphere was full of attitude as the JV Panthers were primed and ready to get a little ground and pound action.  All I can say is that anyone who thinks they will come in and run over the home team has another think coming.  These boys have more tricks up there sleeve than a court jester.  The defense was hard hitting and unmovable, and the offense can score by run or pass – a perfect combination.  They are fired up and ready to play, and they give the fans their money’s worth.  They defeated Midland Trail 28-6 in a well played and well executed game. Go Panthers!