The Stone Memorial Panthers left Lafayette empty-handed Friday night as they were defeated by Region 3-4A foe Macon County 16-6.
“I’m really proud of the way our kids fought,” said SMHS coach Derik Samber. “We asked them for effort, attitude and focus, and we had that a great amount of time.”
The loss drops Stone Memorial to 1-6 overall this season and 0-3 in Region 3-4A play.
“The defense came to play tonight,” added Samber. “We’ve been banged up at times and seen some good football teams, and Macon County is a good football team.
“Offensively, we made a few plays in the first half and just never got in a rhythm in the second half. We’re a rhythmic offense and didn’t have that.”
After a Stone Memorial punt to open the game, Macon County found the end zone on their first possession via a 25-yard touchdown run to cap off a 74-yard drive. Following the extra point, Macon County led Stone Memorial 7-0 with 7:08 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Stone Memorial sophomore quarterback Bryant Carter found receiver Quincy Hunter on a 46-yard pass completion down the middle of the field.
The drive would come up empty, however, as Macon County picked off a pass in the end zone.
The Tigers added to their lead via a field goal with 9:52 until halftime, making the score 10-0.
That score would stand for almost nine minutes until Stone Memorial’s Brian Hoover recovered a Macon County fumble, setting the Panthers up at the Macon County 41-yard line with 1:17 until halftime.
Carter went to work, connecting with Hunter again to set Stone Memorial up in the red zone again. This time resulted in six, however, as Carter found Zach Street on a checkdown that resulted in a 16-yard touchdown pass. After a failed two-point conversion, Stone Memorial trailed 10-6 at halftime.
The Panther defense stepped up in the third quarter, forcing two Macon County fumbles recovered by Blake Hall and Gavin Scarbrough. However, the Panthers were unable to turn the extra possessions into points.
With 48 seconds left in the third period, Macon County dialed up the perfect trick play, running a halfback pass to the right side that resulted in a 28-yard touchdown and a 16-6 lead for Macon County.
Neither team would get on the scoreboard in the fourth period, preserving Macon County’s 16-6 region win.
Stone Memorial struggled finishing drives as the Panthers reached the red zone four times and scored only once.
The Panthers will take this week off before hosting Cumberland County Oct. 11.