By Ed Greif
The Stone Memorial Panther football team dropped a 21-13 decision to the DeKalb County Tigers Friday night on Panther Field, as they tuned for this week's District 6AAA clash at Jet Stadium with the Jets (0-2).
The Tigers booted a first-quarter field goal for a 3-0 lead, but Brady Wattenbarger passed 50 yards to Austin Helton for the go-ahead touchdown. Patrick Robinson booted the PAT for a 7-3 lead.
DeKalb County booted another field goal to make the score 7-6 after the first quarter. The game was defensive battle for the remainder of the half, including a blocked Panther field goal attempt by the Tiger defense. Wattenbarger made a touchdown-saving tackle to end the half.
DeKalb County scored a third-quarter touchdown for a 13-7 lead and a fourth-quarter TD and two-point conversion for a 21-7 lead.
Wattenbarger passed 31 yards to Helton to slice the lead to 21-13 late in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers got the ball back late; however, turned the ball over on downs to end the game.
There were two key plays in the contest — a fumble and a late hit out of bounds which extended a Tiger drive.
Justin Johnson was the leading rusher with 80 yards on 13 carries, while Wattenbarger carried the ball five times for 20 yards, as the Panthers picked up 95 yards on 23 carries.
Wattenbarger was 13 of 23 passing with two touchdowns. The leading receivers were Bryan Frye (three for 14 yards), Justin Johnson (four for 70 yards), Chandler VanNatter (two for 19), Helton (two for 81, two TDs), Kevin Burgess (one for 20) and Nathaniel Clanton (one for 14).
Leading tacklers for the Panthers were Frye (one solo), Adam Stine (six solos, two assists), Keith Sadula (five solos, one assist), VanNatter (four solos, one assist), Helton (one solo), Seth Seiber (four solos, one assist), Anthony Conley (three solos), Blake Hicks (one solo, one assist), Clanton (one assist), Carlos Barnette (three tackles), Brandon Stedham (four tackles, one assist), Cole McDaniel (two solos, two assists), Nick Bohannon (three solos, one assist) and Dakota Karge (two solos).