Panthers lose a heart-breaker

By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

November 3, 2013

The LaGrange College Panthers delivered their best defensive performance of the season, but it wasn’t enough to lift the team to a victory over visiting Christopher Newport (Va.) on Saturday.

Coming into the game, the Panthers had given up at least 40 points in four straight games, but they held Christopher Newport to 13 points.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, their normally high-powered offense only managed a touchdown and a field goal in the 13-10 loss.

The Panthers (3-5 overall) fell to 3-3 in the USA South with road games remaining against Ferrum and Averett.

Trailing 13-3 at the half, the Panthers got within three on a Shaqualm McCoy 4-yard scoring run late in the third quarter.

The Panthers were unable to score again, though, and when a Graham Craig pass fell incomplete on fourth down late in the fourth quarter, Christopher Newport was able to run out the clock.

The Panthers went 60 yards in 13 plays in the second quarter, with Will Jeffcoat making a 22-yard field goal to tie it at 3-3.

The Captains then went on an eight-play, 74-yard scoring drive right before the half, with Paul Dukes’ 1-yard run making it a 10-3 game at the half.

The Captains went on another long drive in the third quarter, but they were kept out of the end zone and had to settle for a 30-yard field goal.

The Panthers then responded with their lone touchdown drive of the game.

The Panthers went 75 yards in nine plays, with Craig completing all six of his pass attempts on the drive.

McCoy had a 25-yard drive to put the ball on the 10-yard line, and two plays later, he powered his way into the end zone from four yards out.

It looked like the Panthers were at least going to tie the score in the fourth quarter.

After a Christopher Newport punt, LaGrange College drove all the way from its 39-yard line to the Captains’ 7-yard line before the drive stalled.

The Panthers had an apparent touchdown pass from Craig to Lord Smith wiped out because of a penalty.

Jeffcoat then missed a short field goal, and Christopher Newport maintained its three-point lead.

The Panthers got the ball once more, but they didn’t make it beyond their 41-yard line.

Craig completed 34-of-48 passes for 268 yards, but he failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.

Ervens Oge and Griffin Roelle each had eight catches.

Andre Carter, one of the seniors who was honored before the game, had 13 tackles, including 2.5 for loss in his final home game.