ASHBURN -- There was a touchdown on the game's first play and a touchdown on the game's last play. In between, the Americus High Panthers dominated the Turner County Rebels in Friday night football, winning by a score of 52-6.
Americus jumped out on the first play of the game. Panther quarterback Cedric Johnson hit tight end Shimon Perry over the middle and Perry raced down the right sideline 66 yards for a touchdown. The point after failed and Americus was up 6-0 just 15 seconds into the game.
The Panthers then drove 65 yards on six plays for their next score, which came on a Rashawn Robinson nine-yard run. Caleb Day's point after was blocked by Turner's James Pitts, but Americus was up 12-0 with 7:04 left in the first quarter.
"We put everyone back in pass coverage and they still catch the ball. We put some guys up front and they still run the ball on us. You have to hand it to Americus, they are a great team," said Turner County coach Lee Hamner.
Later in the quarter, Americus' Steven Gary intercepted a Russell Coker pass and returned it to the 21-yard line. On the very next play, Johnson hit Brandon Gooden on a 21-yard touchdown pass. This time the Panthers went for two and were successful when Johnson hit Webster Wright on a pass.
On Turner's first play from scrimmage following the Gooden touchdown, Maurice Holloway stripped Coker of the ball and raced 14 yards for another touchdown. That put Americus up 26-0.
Johnson then connected on three touchdown passes in the second quarter. The senior hit Robinson for an 18-yard score, Perry for a 14-yard score and Demetrie Leverett on a 27-yard touchdown.
Johnson played only a series in the second half and ended the night going 10-for-12 passing for 231 yards and five touchdowns. Perry had seven catches for 104 yards, while Gooden added 2 catches for 56 yards. Robinson had three catches for 44 yards and 10 rushes for 70 yards.
The Panthers had 362 yards in total offense and a 45-0 lead at the half. Americus did all of this without All-State receiver Jermaine Allen, who apparently was suspended as he "stayed at home for this one," according to Americus coach Erik Soliday. The Americus coach added Allen will be back next week when Americus hosts Crisp County.
Americus' Jameson Felton ran in from two yards out on the Panthers' first drive of the second half. Day's extra point made the score 52-0 with 8:10 left in the quarter.
"The game went pretty much like we expected. I was happy to get some young kids playing time in the second half," Soliday said.
Turner finally managed a drive late in the game. The Rebels took over on Americus' 44 and went down to score on the game's last play as Coker hit Montorio Norris on a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Coker ended the night going 7-for-20 for 77 yards. Chad Walker led Turner's rushers with 15 carries for 60 yards.
"I was glad we didn't give up at the end. There were some positive things tonight for us. We will just take this week off to get ready for Sumter County in two weeks," Hamner said.
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ALMA [mdash]William Dennis Cromer, age 71, of Alma passed away suddenly on Sunday, October 18, 2020 at the Bacon County Hospital. He was born in Tifton, Georgia on April 20, 1949 to James Presley Cromer and Margaret LeSeur Cromer. Besides his parents he was preceded in death by two brothers,…