Football: Panthers, Christopher Newport lock up in defensive struggle

Football: Panthers, Christopher Newport lock up in defensive struggle

LaGrange and Christopher Newport locked up in a defensive struggle Saturday at Callaway Stadium. The Captains (6-2, 3-2 USA South) came away with a hard fought 13-10 win over the Panthers (3-5, 3-3 USA South).

It was Senior Night for seven Panthers: Andre Carter, Corneilus Harper, Matt James, Tyler Johnson, Sean McNamee, Ed Russ and Marquius Young. The game also marked the head coaching debut for Matt Mumme.

The Panthers outgained the Captains 314-265 in total yards. The Panthers were hurt by 11 penalties for 182 yards.

The teams swapped field goals in the second quarter. Will Jeffcoat's 22-yard field goal tied the game 3-3 with five minutes left in the half. The Captains came back to take a 10-3 lead, scoring with 1:31 remaining before halftime.

The Captains stretched their lead to 13-3 on Mason Studer's second field goal of the game. The Panthers came right back with a scoring drive.

Graham Craig opened the drive with a 17-yard completion to Griffin Roelle. He kept the drive going with an 11-yard completion to Ervens Oge to the CNU 48 on a third and 11.

Shaqualm McCoy broke free for a 25-yard run to set up first and goal at the 10. Three plays later, McCoy scored from the 4 to make it 13-10 going to the fourth quarter.

The Panthers began to move the ball again on their first possession of the fourth quarter. Overcoming two penalties, they had first and goal at the CNU 6 after Roelle made a 12-yard catch.

Three plays later, Craig hit Lord Smith in the end zone for an apparent touchdown but a penalty wiped out the play. Another pass attempt was dropped and Jeffcoat's field goal attempt was wide of the mark.

The Panthers got the ball back one more time but gave it up on downs and the Captains were able to run out the clock to take the win.

Craig threw for 268 yards in the game. Oge had eight catches for 81 yards, while Roelle also caught eight passes for 57 yards.

Carter led the defense with 12 tackles, while Scott Chewning. Brandon Penn had an interception.

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