It was a turnover-filled game at Reid Stadium on Friday night, with seven combined turnovers between the two sides. The Panthers offense was able to pick it up from last week, and help lead the Panthers to a 28-13 win over the Maroons.
The Panthers started the game by recovering a surprise onside kick and drove the ball straight down the field. Senior Bryson Parm found the endzone from 12 yards out to put the Panthers up 7-0 early.
The first turnover of the game went to Madisonville, when they fumbled it away on their first drive and was recovered by Daviess County’s Jack Ball.
Tight End Cole Burch lined up in the backfield and took the handoff for a huge 41-yard gain to give the Panthers a first down on the Maroons 28-yard line. Although the Panthers weren’t able to do anything with it, turning it over on downs with 5:40 left in the first quarter.
Decker Renfrow paid homage to his talents on the diamond, playing outfield and intercepting his state-leading seventh interception on the season late in the first quarter.
A few possessions later, Renfrow took a tunnel screen 66 yards to the house. Ball found Luke Floyd in the endzone for the two-point conversion to put the Panthers up 15-0 with 8:50 left in the second quarter.
Madisonville got on the board the next possession, when Anias Mitchell connected with Destin Cheirs who burned the Daviess County defense for a long touchdown pass to make it 15-7.
Cheirs, reminiscent of Renfrow, turned around the next possession and intercepted a pass in the endzone. They couldn’t do anything with it and entered halftime trailing the Panthers.
Daviess County came out with a purpose in the second half, running the ball down the Maroons throat and taking about eight minutes of the third quarter clock. Lake Wilson capped off the drive by doing his best Patrick Mahomes impression, scrambling finding Russ Crowe wide open in the endzone to put DC up 21-7 with 3:59 left in the third.
“We did a great job of communicating that drive,” Panthers head coach Matt Brannon said. “We were able to chip away at what they gave us.”
Madisonville’s Anias Mitchell was able to find the endzone on the following possession, this time on the ground. The Panthers blocked the extra point and kept the score 21-13.
Wilson’s 60-yard touchdown pass to Renfrow was called back due to a penalty, and the Maroons forced a fumbled the following play.
This is where it got ugly. The Maroons fumbled the ball on a key third down but got it right back due to a fumbled snap by Daviess County. The very next play, Luke Floyd intercepted the pass in the endzone. Three plays, three turnovers.
The Panthers proceeded to go on another long drive, this time led at quarterback by Jack Ball. Ball juked multiple defenders on his way to capping off the drive with a 14-yard rushing touchdown. This put the Panthers up 28-13 with 3:26 left in the game, and that would end up being the final score.
“Lake did a good job coming in and pushing the ball downfield. Jack did a great job essentially giving us another running back in the backfield on that last drive,” Brannon said. “Jack is a tough football player, one of the best football players I’ve coached in a long time. That’s a hard position to play quarterback and then be on the defensive side all night long. It’s going to be hard for teams to prepare for two quarterbacks because they are so different.”
The Daviess County offense looked like they were able to get back on track tonight, thanks to the complimentary play of Wilson and Ball. The quarterback room combined for 143 passing yards and three total touchdowns. Parm finished the game with a season-high 127 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
Led by defensive coordinator Quadarius Wallace, the Daviess County defense currently leads the entire state in interceptions by a wide margin. Their two interceptions tonight now gives them 15 on the season through five games.
Junior wide receiver and safety Luke Floyd had an impressive game all around, recording 49 receiving yards, a two-point conversion, and an interception. He was also inches from a touchdown reception early in the game when he was ruled out of bounds. Floyd stressed the importance of this win tonight for the Panthers.
“It’s a big win for us that gets our momentum back after having two loses in a row. It brings the energy up in the locker room and gets us ready to go,” Floyd said.
Coach Brannon also mentioned how big this win was for his squad entering district play next week.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean a lot in terms of standings, but we needed a boost,” said Brannon. “Madisonville was a heck of a ball club. Iron sharpens iron, and for us to play a tough team like that going into our game against Marshall County, it does wonders for us.”
The Panthers improve to 3-2 and will travel to Marshall County next Friday to begin district play.