By Ed Greif
For the second straight year and fourth time in six years, the Stone Memorial Panthers are Kings of the Mountain, after defeating the Jets 42-21 in their annual football contest last Friday night on Panther Field.
"It was good to get a win. I thought both teams played a good clean game," said Panther Coach Mark Wattenbarger. "Both teams fought as hard as they could. They made a few more mistakes than we did."
Turnovers were key factors for both teams.
Offensively, SMHS compiled 422 total yards (337 yards rushing on 41 carries and 85 yards passing on seven of 14 tosses with one TD and two interceptions), while CCHS collected 218 total yards (119 yards rushing on 35 attempts and 99 passing on 10 of 20 passes with two PICS and one TD).
The Jets lost two fumbles.
Coach Ted McCaslin's Jets began the game at their 43-yard line after a nice kickoff return by Kenny "the Jet" Brewer. Dorian Holt, Brewer, Eric Telles, Frank Lancianese and Tyler Norris carried the ball eight times for 62 yards, capped by a 15-yard run by Norris for a 6-0 lead with a 8:02 left in the quarter. Jarrod Lee's PAT made it 7-0.
Nick Padgett returned the ensuing kick 35 yards to midfield for the Panthers. Thomas Janow would cap the five-play drive with a 27-yard run with 5:36 left in the quarter. Patrick Robinson's PAT tied the game at 7-7. Corey Myers carried the ball twice for 15 yards, while Brady Wattenbarger passed eight yards to Bryan Frye.
After holding the Jets to three plays and out, the Panthers took over at their 27 and went the distance in seven plays for a 13-7 lead on a 12-yard run by Myers, who carried the ball three times for 27 yards. Janow picked up 42 yards on two carries, while Wattenbarger had four yards on two carries. Robinson's PAT made it 14-7 with 26.3 seconds left in the stanza.
A short kickoff return by Telles and a three-yard run by Telles ended the first quarter for the Jets, who rushed for 65 yards on 11 carries in the quarter.
SMHS had 103 yards on 11 carries and was one for one passing for eight yards.
Leading the Panther defensive effort were Frye, Logan Davis, Nathaniel Clanton, Sam Caballero, Myers, Adam Stine, Nick Bohannon and Cole McDaniel. Myers and McDaniel teamed up for a tackle for minus two yards.
Leading the Jet defense were Seth Randall, Lancianese, A.J. Dick, Jordan Mackie, Cody Barnes, Zach Smith, Lee and Norris, who had a quarterback sack for minus two yards.
CCHS started the second quarter at their 24-yard line, and moved the ball on the ground behind Jordan Buckner, Holt and Brewer, but Holt fumbled after a six-yard gain to the Jet 40. Janow picked up the ball and raced the distance for the score and a 20-7 lead with 8:25 left in the half. Robinson's PAT made it 21-7.
After both defenses forced three plays and out, the Jets took over at their 45-yard line. The Jets took to the air, as Buckner completed three of five passes for 35 yards — one completion each to Dick, Ty Tabor and Holt. His sixth attempt was picked by Janow in the end zone and returned 29 yards to the Panther 29.
Wattenbarger opened the drive with an 11-yard pass to Frye, but two running plays netted nothing for the Panthers. Wattenbarger then completed two of four passes — a 25-yarder to Brandon Thomas and a five-yarder to Janow —to put the ball at the Jet 25.
Lee picked off Wattenbarger at the goal line and returned the ball to the Jet four, but Buckner would be tackled after a short gain, as the first half ended.
The Jet defense of Dick, Smith, Lee, Norris, Lancianese, Cody Barnes and Ethan Cunningham held the Panthers to six runs rushing in the second quarter and 41 yards passing on three of seven with the one interception by Lee.
SMHS defenders McDaniel, Davis, Thomas, Myers, Jonathan Goldberg, Janow and Cabellaro held the Jets to 22 yards rushing and 27 yards passing on four of seven passes with an interception.
A short kickkoff return by Seth Seiber gave the Panthers the ball at their 27; however, the Jet defense of Norris, Zakkary King, Cody Barnes and Lancianese held the Panther offense and claimed a second interception by Lee.
The Jets took over at the Panther 47 and moved the ball into Panther territory, before Norris fumbled at their 32, where Bohannon recovered for the Panthers.
After Lancianese tackled Janow for a five-yard loss, the Panthers scored four plays later on a 35-yard run by Myers for a 27-7 lead with 5:07 left in the third quarter. Robinson's PAT made it 28-7.
Janow carried the ball three times for 19 yards, and Wattenbarger passed 14 yards to Seiber.
Norris returned the ensuing kick 10 yards to the Jet 32. A third and seven pass from Buckner to Lee gave the Jets a first down at their Panther 30. Three plays later, Buckner hit Telles over the middle for a 34-yard TD strike, but a penalty on the Jets nullified the score with 3:32 left in the stanza.
Two plays later, Lee punted the ball back to the Panthers, but Roger Gentry would recover a Panther fumble at the SMHS 29.
Three plays later, Buckner found Telles for a 28-yard TD strike with 50.4 left in the third quarter to slice the lead to 28-13, but the PAT was blocked by Bohannon and Gordon VanHoy.
SMHS took over at their 35 and drove the distance in seven plays to score on a 22-yard run by Myers for a 34-13 lead. Robinson's PAT made it 35-13. Janow carried the ball three times for 26 yards.
CCHS took over at their 35 and drove the distance in seven plays to score on a two-yard run by Holt and a two-point conversion pass from Buckner to Dick with 7:43 left in the game.
The Panthers came back with a six-play, 65-yard drive, to take a 42-21 lead on a seven-yard run by Seiber and a Robinson PAT. Wattenbarger, Janow and Myers also toted the ball.
CCHS took over at their 32 after a short kickoff return by Dick, but the drive ended on Frye's interception. Buckner carried the ball three times for nine yards and completed two of four passes for 24 yards.
Janow rushed for 171 yards on 18 carries, and Myers chipped in 112 yards on 12 carries for the Panthers. Wattenbarger completed five of 12 passes for 63 yards.
Holt led the Jets with 35 yards on eight carries and caught one pass for seven yards. Dick had four receptions for 65 yards.
CCHS will host Coffee County Friday at 7 p.m., while the Panthers will host Alcoa at 6:30 p.m. Friday.