Football: Panthers close out 2016 season with Senior Day loss to Methodist

Photo by Corey Hammett
Photo by Corey Hammett

The LaGrange football team closed out the 2016 season with a 43-26 loss to Methodist on Senior Day at Callaway Stadium.

The Panthers (3-7, 1-6) honored 16 seniors before the game. Four of the seniors led the team in receiving, with Markeis Levatte having seven receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown. Josh Hardrick had six catches, while Patrick Goodin and Lavelle Meeks each had four. On defense, Darius Jordan was tied for third on the team with seven tackles.

"It's been a fun run with a terrific group of seniors. I really appreciate what all these guys did in helping change the program," said Coach Matt Mumme. "We were really close in a lot of ways and their commitment never wavered. I will miss these guys but I know they will be successful in whatever they choose to do."

Junior quarterback Connor Blair set several school season records and a added a new career mark. Blair threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns in the game, and four interceptions. He set a new school record with 35 touchdown passes this season, and is the new career leader with 57. Blair's 3,616 passing yards broke Graham Craig's mark of 3,576. He also set records for attempts (461) and completions (288) this year.

The Panthers opened the scoring with Blair throwing an 11-yard TD to Levatte in the first quarter. Methodist (3-5, 2-3) picked up two points when LC had a bad snap on the extra points, as Keshawn Smith returned the ball to make it 6-2.

The Monarchs scored three straight TDs to build a 23-6 lead. The Panthers got back in the game when Hardrick scored on a short 8-yard toss from Blair to cap a 91-yard drive.

The Panthers appeared to cut the lead further when Blair found Goodin all alone for a touchdown late in the half. But a penalty took the score off the board and the Panthers trailed 23-13 at the half.

Methodist added to its lead with two touchdowns in the third quarter to pad its lead to 37-13. The Panthers came back with TD catches of 26 yards by Jaylen Turner and a 2-yard reception by Meeks to make it 37-26. The Monarchs got the final TD with 2:23 left for the 43-26 final.