Football: Panthers beat Greensboro 35-26 to pick up first USA South win

Football: Panthers beat Greensboro 35-26 to pick up first USA South win

GREENSBORO, N.C. - LaGrange picked up its first USA South win of the season with a 35-26 win over Greensboro at Jamieson Stadium on Thursday.

The two teams were playing on a short week because of the threat of Hurricane Matthew to the area. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday.

"I was proud of our team adjusting quickly to a short week. With quite a few injuries many young guys had to step up and they did," said Coach Matt Mumme. "Now our attention will turn in the short time to all our players and coaches that have family that will be affected by Hurricane Matthew. This weekend we will be preparing for the big rivalry game against Huntingdon."

Quarterback Connor Blair completed 69 percent of his passes (30-for-43) for 337 yards and four touchdowns. Marsalis Jackson was Blair's favorite target, catching seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

The first half was a wide open high-scoring affair. Josh Hardrick returned the opening kickoff 71 yards to the Greensboro 3. Alex Scott scored on the next play to give the Panthers (3-2, 1-1 USA South) a quick 7-0 lead. 

The Pride (1-4, 0-2 USA South) answered with two long drives to take a 13-7 lead. The second touchdown came early in the second quarter to finish a 96-yard drive.

LC came right back to take the lead for good. Blair hooked up with Jackson on a 51-yard strike to put the Panthers up 14-13. A short punt set the Panthers up at the Greensboro 29, and five plays later Lavell Meeks gathered in a short 6-yard pass from Blair to up the lead to 21-13.

But on the ensuing kickoff, Herbert Bridges went 77 yards to get the Pride back in the game, 21-19, with 9:26 left in the half.

The Panthers needed just nine plays to cover 68 yards to go by nine, 28-19. Blair's 5-yard pass to Jamarkis Holmes capped the drive with 6:14 remaining. The Pride came back with a late scoring drive to make it 28-26 at the half.

The Panthers closed out the scoring in the third quarter. Blair's 30-yard touchdown pass to Jackson finished an 11-play 70 yard drive to push the lead to 35-26.

The LC defense shut down the Pride in the second half, holding them to 173 yards of offense. The Panthers forced three straight punts, then stopped drives at the 20, 22, and 10-yard lines.

Quentin Dixon led the defense with a total of 13 tackles. Fabian Ryan was in on 11 tackles, including two for losses.

The Panthers stay on the road next week, when they face defending USA South champion Huntingdon.