Football: Panthers stun Huntingdon with fourth quarter comeback

Football: Panthers stun Huntingdon with fourth quarter comeback

LaGrange stunned Huntingdon with a fourth quarter rally for a 44-40 win at Callaway Stadium on Saturday night. The Panthers evened their overall record at 3-3 and improved to 3-1 in the conference.

The Panthers trailed by as many as 20 points in the third quarter and by 16 early in the fourth quarter before Shaqualm McCoy's 5-yard run with 57 seconds left completed the comeback.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak to Huntingdon (4-2, 2-1 USA South). It also avenged a 62-17 loss to the Hawks last season.

Quarterback Graham Craig tied his own record set in the first game of the season with five touchdown passes. Craig had 420 yards passing in the game, 304 coming in the second half.

Craig has broken Drew Carter's single season school record of 2,282 yards in 2008 in just six games. The junior now has thrown for 2,368 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Marsalis Jackson broke the school game record for receiving yards set just last week by Ervens Oge. Jackson had five catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns, breaking Oge's mark of 141 yards.

Griffin Roelle tied the school's record for receptions in a game with 10. He had 93 yards receiving and his team-leading ninth touchdown.

The two teams combined for 1,213 yards in the game. Huntingdon had 680;  409 in the first half when the Hawks led 27-10. The Panthers had 367 of their 533 yards in the second half.

Huntingdon took the second half kickoff and moved the ball to the Panthers' 20. The Panthers stopped the drive with back-to-back sacks by Connor McNamee and Jordan Chambers to get the ball back.

The Panthers proceeded to drive 69 yards in 11 plays to make it 27-17. Craig's 26-yard completion to Roelle got the Panthers down to the Hawks' 2-yard line. On fourth down a the 1, Craig found Jackson in the end zone for the touchdown.

The Hawks answered with a David Ballard 26-yard field goal and a 52-yard touchdown pass from Ryne Taylor to Taylor Belsterling to go up 37-17 with 43 second left in the third quarter.

It took only 17 seconds for the Panthers to get the touchdown back. Craig hit Jackson in full stride on the first play after the kickoff for a 66-yard score to close out the quarter.

Ballard hit his second field goal of the game less than three minutes into the fourth quarter to make it 40-24.

The Panthers came back with a quick 8-play 76 yard drive to cut the deficit to eight points. Marquius Young took a short catch and turned it into a 47-yard gain to the Hawks' 25.

Craig kept the drive going with a 15-yard completion to Roelle on a fourth-and-6 from the 21. On the next play Craig and Oge hooked up for the touchdown, then again on the 2-point convversion to make it 40-32.

Another lightning drive got the Panthers within two. Craig finished a 5-play 62-yard drive with his fifth touchdown pass of the night, a 12-yard strike to Roelle in the end zone and the Panthers trailed 40-38 with 5:13 left after the 2-point conversion failed.

Huntingdon took three minutes off the clock on their ensuing drive. Justin McIntyre sacked Taylor Hughes to force the Hawks to punt the ball away.

The Panthers got the ball back with 2:05 remaining and needed only 68 seconds to get the go-ahead score.

The drive started at the Panthers' 37-yard line. Craig and Jackson hooked up on a 44-yard pass play to the Hawks'10. Jackson fumbled at the end of the play but Stephen Stinchcomb recovered for the Panthers to keep their hopes alive.

A personal foul against the Hawks moved the ball to the 5. Two plays later, Shaqualm McCoy went over from the 2 with 57 seconds left for a 44-40 lead. McCoy rushed for a team-high 87 yards and also caught a 19-yard touchdown pass in the game.

The Hawks got the ball back with no timeouts. Backed up at their own 5, the Hawks got a 34-yard completion to Belsterling from Taylor out to the 39. The game ended as Chambers sacked Taylor for a 17-yard loss on the final play.

Chambers finished the game with 12 tackles, including two of the Panthers' five sacks. Andre Carter had a game-high 13 tackles. Klay Cranford had an interception.

The Panthers play at Methodist in a USA South game next Saturday.