Football: Panthers close out 2013 season on the road against Averett

Football: Panthers close out 2013 season on the road against Averett

LaGrange closes out the 2013 season Saturday in Danville, Va. against Averett in a USA South matchup. 

The Panthers come into the game 4-5 overall and 4-3 in conference play. The Cougars are winless in six conference games and 1-8 overall.

This will be final game for seven Panther seniors: Andre Carter, Cornelius Harper, Matt James, Tyler Johnson, Sean McNamee, Ed Russ and Marquius Young.

Carter, the reigning USA South Defensive Player of the Year, is having another banner season at linebacker. For the third straight season, Carter has set a new school record for total tackles in a season. He has 96 in the nine games and is third in the USA South, while leading the conference with 17 tackles for loss.

The Panthers are coming off a 10-3 win last week at Ferrum. The Panther defense held an opponent without a touchdown for the first time since a 61-0 win over Blackburn during the 2008 season. The Panthers have held their opponents to 16 points the last two games.

Carter had 15 tackles against Ferrum, his third double-digit tackle total in the last four games. Freshman defensive back Brandon Penn had an interception for the second straight game. Penn has set a school record with four interceptions this season.

Freshman linebacker Jordan Chambers had eight tackles in the win. He was selected the USA South Defensive Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. Jordan is second to Carter on the team with 72 tackles.

Junior quarterback Graham Craig is finishing a record-breaking season. Craig leads the conference and NCAA Division III with 3,243 yards passing. He leads the conference and is third nationally with 29 touchdown passes.

A trio of receivers have re-written the Panthers' record books. Sophomore Marsalis Jackson, freshman Ervens Oge and junior Griffin Roelle have surpassed the previous mark for receiving yards in a season.

Jackson has 851 yards in receptions, averaging 19.9 yards per catch and has scored a team-leading 11 touchdowns. He is third in the conference in receiving yards and tied for second in touchdowns.

Roelle leads the team with a school-record 53 receptions for 575 yards and nine touchdowns. Oge has 684 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

Averett is coming off a 24-7 conference loss at Christopher Newport last week. The game was tied 7-7 after three quarters.

The Cougars are led on offense by the quarterback duo of freshman Cinco Simmons and junior Kirkland Brown. The pair has combined for 1,299 yards passing and 11 touchdowns.

Junior free safety Stefan Varner leads the defense with 57 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Donald Redding has 49 tackles.

This is the second meeting between the two teams. Averett spoiled the Panthers' Homecoming last season with a 14-7 win at Callaway Stadium. With a win, the Panthers will have their first .500 season since 2009.