Football: Panthers celebrate Senior Day with 48-38 win over Methodist

Photo by Jacob Kryzsiak
Photo by Jacob Kryzsiak

LaGrange celebrated Senior Day with a 48-38 win over Methodist on Saturday in Callaway Stadium. Seniors Tony Alexander, Juwan Brown, Marcus Campbell, Drew Lewiski, Rob Randolph, Austin Sapp, Nick Searcy, Jonathan Slade, Shamar Slappy, and Arlie Weber were honored before the game.

In the game, the two teams combined for 1,064 yards of offense. Methodist (2-6, 2-4 USA South) had 567 yards, 311 coming in the first half, while the Panthers (3-6, 2-4 USA South) had a season-high 497 yards. Sophomore quarterback Caleb Speir threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns. The Monarchs' Vontre Howard, the leading rusher in the USA South, rambled for 224 yards and a touchdown.

The two teams combined for 42 points in the first quarter, ending with the score tied at 21. The Monarchs took the opening kickoff and scored in just five plays to lead 7-0. Speir needed only one play to answer for LC. Quarterback turned receiver Alex Scott hooked up with Speir for a 63-yard touchdown. Scott finished the game with six catches for 95 yards and the TD.

Trailing 14-7, Campbell set up the Panthers at the Methodist 42 with a 45-yard kickoff return. He finished the drive with the first of his three touchdown receptions,  a short 3-yard lob from Speir to tie the game at 14. Campbell had a game-high 122 yards receiving on seven receptions.

The Panthers got the ball back on the Methodist 4-yard line after punter Bobby Haggerty muffed the snap and was brought down by Lamech Wilder. Slade entered the game and threw his first career TD pass, a 1-yard play to Austin Sapp for a 21-14 lead. 

Campbell and Speir connected on a 30-yard TD play in the second quarter for a 28-21 lead. The Monarchs answered with a game-tying TD on their next drive to tie the game at 28-28 heading to halftime.

The Panthers took the second half kickoff and drove 52 yards in five plays to take the lead for good. Campbell's third TD grab from the 1-yard line capped the drive. After a Monarch field goal cut the lead to four, the Panthers came back with an 85-yard scoring drive to open up a 10-point lead. James Monroe scampered in from the 14 to make it 41-31 heading to the fourth quarater.

Methodist drew within three, 41-38, early in the fourth quarter. The Panthers used some trickery to set up their next touchdown. Facing fourth down at the Methodist 49, punter Tristan McCann passed to Searcy for 23 yards and a first down at the 26. Six plays later, Monroe scored from the 3-yard line for his second TD to up the lead back to 10, 48-38. The defense sealed the win when Roy Pound's interception ended the Monarchs' last threat.

The Panthers end the season next Saturday at Huntingdon in a USA South game. Kickoff is 2 p.m. EST.