The formula for winning football rarely includes five turnovers, and Friday night was no exception as the Stone Memorial Panthers fell to DeKalb County 33-0 in Region 3-4A play.
“You should lose when you turn the ball over five times and don’t force any turnovers,” said SMHS head coach Derik Samber.
Both offenses struggled in the first half. Stone Memorial threatened late in the second period, driving to the red zone before a Panther turnover sparked a DeKalb County scoring drive, scoring on the final play of the half to go into the locker room ahead 7-0.
“They dropped a ball within a few inches off the line in the end zone,” Samber said. “That was the turning point. Our kids didn’t come out with the kind of enthusiasm we need to come out with. They (DeKalb) built on that, and we didn’t respond the way we needed to.”
DeKalb County added two touchdowns in the third period to lead 20-0 going into the final quarter, where the tacked on two more touchdowns to win by a final score of 33-0.
Sophomore quarterback Bryant Carter finished as the team leader on the ground, finishing with 53 rushing yards. Gage Walker and Andre Flores each tallied 38 receiving
Defensively, Cedric Little posted six tackles, and Grant Finley recorded three tackles and a sack.
With the loss, SMHS falls to 1-2 on the season and 0-1 in Region 3-4A play.
The Panthers’ road gets no easier as they travel to 3-0 Christian Academy of Knoxville this Friday.
“We’re trying to remind the guys that the DeKalb County game wasn’t who we are,” added Samber.
“We’re trying to get our focus right and our heads on straight. They’ve (CAK) had some big wins and look good on film. They’re a good football team.”