Union County Panthers vs East Hall Vikings
September 29, 2017
Location: Gainesville, GA
With the sun shining on the Panthers as they arrived at East Hall’s football stadium Friday night, the mood was light. Parents and students mingled with one another as East Hall’s band serenaded the stadium and their cheerleaders released balloons into the open sky.
East Hall is now ranked #3 in the AAA Region 7 standings behind GAC and Dawson County and #8 in the Georgia AAA Region. To my knowledge, East Hall does not currently have any players committed to continue their football career in college.
With the matchup beginning promptly at 7:30pm, the UC captains were announced: #8 Cole Wright, #11 RJ Banton, #50 Coleson Daniel, and #70 Jeffery Buzzard. Not sure who won the coin toss but Union County received the ball first!
Panthers, determined to get the advantage, scored first! #8 Cole Wright found #21 Sawyer Drake wide open in the endzone for a 26-yd pass! The kick by #36 Brian Smith was good for a Panthers 7-0 lead with 8:27 left in the first quarter.
The Vikings battled back; passing their way upfield to even out the score. Ut. Oh. Vikings QB threw for a 44-yd wide open touchdown! There was a sideline warning penalty on the Vikings; Union fans cheered with hopes that the touchdown would be no good but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. 7-7 with 7:17 left in the first.
East Hall scored two more again the Panthers in the first quarter. They used a combination of passing to push them upfield and get in scoring position. Vikings QB threw a 26-yd pass which pushed them to 1st and Goal, then used one of their larger players to dive overtop of the defense in order to score. The final touchdown of the first quarter was from a similar situation except the player tiptoed into the endzone. The kick, however, was no good. Vikings lead 20-7 at the end of the first quarter.
#17 Pierson Allison replaced #8 Cole Wright momentarily during the first quarter but Wright completed the game for the Panthers, even though he appeared to be limping and in pain for most of the game.
East Hall goes on to score 3 more touchdowns against the Panthers through the first half and a quarter of the way through the third quarter. Thus increasing the deficit to 42-14 Vikings.
Panthers, playing with heart, work their way to the end zone once more. #8 Cole Wright digs his way on the left hand side for another touchdown and limps his way over to the sideline as #36 Brian Smith kicks once more. 42-21 Vikings with 7:25 left in the third quarter.
With a quick blitz and run up the right hand side, the Vikings score again off a 50-yd rush and a short pass to their #1. 49-21, 5:47 remaining in the third.
Back and forth they go, the Panthers score again!
#24 Chad Buzzard on the carry pushed the Panthers all the way to the 5-yd line. One penalty later and a 20-yd pass puts the ball in the hands of #21 Sawyer Drake for another touchdown! 49-28 now with 3:34 left in the third.
As I mentioned before, the game seemed to be a game of back-and-forth. The Panthers scored and then the Vikings scored. Then repeat that once more.
East Hall scored the final touchdown of the game due to the Panthers inability to gain yardage on their last possession. The game ended on an incomplete pass around the 30-yd line. Final Score: 62 – 42 Vikings.
Now that they have seen the competition they will be facing the remaining games of the season, the Panthers must put in the extra work. The remainder of the season will not be easy. Up next, they face Dawson County at Home. Dawson is currently ranked #1 in the 7-AAA Region! The Panthers are now 4-2 overall for the season and 0-2 for Region! We need your support Panther fans!
Also, support the Panthers JV team this Thursday, October 5, 2017 as they face Chestatee on the road at 5:30PM! The JV Panthers are 2-1 currently!
RUSHING – 279 yards PASSING – 282 yards
RUSHING — Panthers: #24 C. Buzzard 24-152; #8 C. Wright 16-119 (1 TD); #15 C. Dockery 4-15 Total: 279 Rushing Yards
PASSING — Panthers: #8 C. Wright 18-32; 282; #17 P. Allison 0-1 Total: 112 Passing Yards
RECEIVING — Panthers: #21 S. Drake 6-115 (2 TDs); #24 C. Buzzard 3-63 (2 TDs); #2 C. Schafer 2-52; #22 A. Pattee 3-17; #84 K. Morlock 1-15 (1 TD); #20 C. Rich 2-12; #15 C. Dockrey 1-8
TACKLES — Panthers: #2 C. Schafer 7; #11 R. Banton 6; #14 R. Barrett 6; #17 P. Allison 5; #32 J. Colwell 5; #53 M. Beise 3; #12 S. Dobbins 3; #30 H. Kelley 2