Football: Big first half sends Ferrum past Panthers at Homecoming 2016

Football: Big first half sends Ferrum past Panthers at Homecoming 2016

Ferrum used a big first half and went on to a 44-20 USA South win over LaGrange at Callaway Stadium on Saturday. The loss spoiled Homecoming 2016 for the Panthers, now 3-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play.

The Panthers fell behind 34-7 at halftime, before holding their counterparts from Virginia in check in the second half. Freshman running back Brian Mann ran for 254 yards and a touchdown for Ferrum (4-3, 2-2 USA South). 

Ferrum took the opening kickoff and with the help of a 50-yard run by Mann went 76 yards in five plays to go up 7-0. The Panthers needed only 14 seconds to answer with a touchdown of their own.

On the first play after the kickoff, quarterback Connor Blair found Marcus Campbell down the middle of the field for a 56-yard touchdown to tie it 7-7.

But the Panthers' offense stalled the rest of the half. Ferrum took the lead for good on a 7-yard run by Harvey Taylor, then added three second quarter touchdowns to build the large halftime lead.

After a scoreless third quarter, Blair capped a 78-yard drive with a short 4-yard toss to Brendon Scott to make 34-14. Following a Ferrum field goal, Blair and Ervens Oge hooked up on a 59-yard pass play for the Panthers' final score.

Blair finished the game with 339 yards passing and the three TD passes. Marsalis Jackson had a game-high seven catches for 80 yards. Oge had 84 yards on three receptions and the touchdown.

Fabian Ryan led the defense with 11 tackles, including two losses. He also added a quarterback sack. 

The Panthers host Maryville next Saturday in a USA South game. Kickoff is 1 p.m.