CHULA – The Tiftarea Academy Panthers couldn’t catch a break against the Heritage High School Hawks Friday night at the Panther Pit. The final score was 29-6, Hawks victory.
The Panthers’ offense scored a single touchdown while the Panthers’ defense were overwhelmed all night by the successful Hawks’ offense.
Tiftarea struggled with numerous penalties all night, however, the Hawks struggled to play without penalty as well. Personal fouls plagued the Panthers and sportsmanship fouls and illegal celebrations hindered the Hawks from dominating the entire game.
After punting the ball from the failed first series drive, starting quarterback Logan Crosson had a second chance to score in the first quarter when Jackson Hoover sacked the Hawks quarterback so hard, he fumbled. Jaden Jones recovered the fumble.
Crosson found Will Ross in the end zone and completed a touchdown pass. This was the only time the Panthers scored during the game. The Panthers decided to go for a two-point conversion and the Hawks shut the Panthers down.
The Hawks offense returned to the field ready to do the same as the Panthers. After driving the ball down the field the Hawks received a touchdown and used a fake field goal play to gain a two-point conversion. The Hawks took the lead 8-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The Hawks scored one touchdown in the second quarter and kicked a field goal. The halftime score was 15-6 and the Panthers were hoping to make big changes in the second half to flip the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, the second half did not go as well as the Panthers hoped. More flags were called on both sides and the Hawks continued climbing the scoreboard and diminishing the last bit of hope the Panthers had.
Crosson tried many times to make big passing plays that could have turned the tide around. Unfortunately for Crosson, despite how well the quarterback threw the ball, his receivers couldn’t get the ball to stay in their hands.
Adam McKinney is normally a huge offensive powerhouse and leader on the field, but he could not find his rhythm against the strong Hawks defense. The Hawks shut down the possibility of the Panthers running the ball all night.
The next Tiftarea Panthers game will be on Oct. 25, against the Brookwood High School Warriors at the Tiftarea stadium in Chula at 7:30 p.m.