Panthers hang tough against Falcons
Pinewood Prep came ready to play Friday night against Ben Lippen.
The Panthers turned in their best performance of the season to take a seven-point lead into the half, but couldn’t hold off a Falcon rally and fell 21-14.
The Panthers made some nice plays in the opening quarter. Freshman Michael Wright caught an 11-yard pass from quarter back Lewis Vaughn and Dexter Coaxum caught an 18-yard pass to sustain a Pinewood drive. But a holding penalty was costly for the Panthers and the quarter ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
The Panthers were able to hold Ben Lippen until four minutes into the second quarter when the Falcons scored on a pass and added the extra point kick.
Coaxum returned the Falcons’ kick off for 55 yards all the way to the Falcons 20. The return was followed by carries from Hayden Low and Zach Latham. Then Coaxum capped the drive with a short touchdown reception. The PAT was good by senior Kevin Weber to retie the game.
With one minute remaining in the first half, Low ripped off a blistering run. The senior broke multiple tackles as he rumbled 70 yards into the end zone for a 14-7 Panther lead.
The Panthers continued to press in the third quarter, moving the sticks with runs by Low and Latham. However, Pinewood was unable to convert and just as the quarter was coming to an end Ben Lippen managed to tie the game up with a one-yard TD run.
In the fourth quarter Pinewood continued to move the ball, but to no avail. With three minutes to go, the Falcons started a drive at their own 32 and moved up the field to take the lead on a 39-yard TD pass.
Pinewood pressed and pressed in the closing minutes. During the drive Vaughn connected with Weber for a 13-yard reception and with Wright for another reception but the QB’s final attempt was intercepted to secure the win for Ben Lippen.
“The team wanted to win so bad but we were unable to make the timely plays that we needed to get us over the hump,” Pinewood coach Michael Wright said. “We had more running yardage than Ben Lippen and we controlled the clock well but every time we had to make a timely play we made a mistake. We will continue to prepare this week and work hard in practice and get ready for Friday night.”
Low carried the ball seven times for 101 yards and Coaxum had 10 carries for 60 yards.
Sophomore Andrew Latham led the Panther defense with 9 tackles.
The Panthers are now 0-6 on the season and hit the road Friday to travel to Heathwood Hall. Game time is 7:30 p.m.