Beginning with today’s game against Millsaps, the Panthers will play four consecutive games – with a week off thrown into the mix – in the friendly confines of Callaway Stadium.
The Panthers are hoping to begin that stretch with a win today over a familiar foe.
The teams played first in 2008 in the opening round of the NCAA Division III playoffs, with Millsaps winning 51-26.
They played again in 2010, with LaGrange College getting the upperhand with a 27-21 victory in overtime.
Last year, the teams played for the third time in four seasons, and Millsaps won 24-7.
The Panthers will try to even the all-time series today, and get their first win of this season in the process.
Last week, LaGrange College opened its season with a 41-14 loss to 24th-ranked Birmingham Southern.
Millsaps began its season with a 23-17 victory over Mississippi College, snapping a three-game losing streak in the series.
Millsaps rolled up 268 yards on the ground, with Mike Barthelemy accounting for 150 of those yards.
The Panthers, meanwhile, were unable to keep pace with a strong Birmingham Southern team, and they didn’t help themselves with two turnovers that were turned into touchdowns.
“The scoreboard stinks. It stinks,” LaGrange College head coach Todd Mooney said. “But these guys came out of this thing really focused and with an understanding of we know this wasn’t us. I don’t want to take anything away from Birmingham Southern. They’re a good football team. They deserve their ranking. But we know we can play better.”
Mooney said good teams take advantage of the opponent’s mistakes, and that’s what Birmingham Southern did.
“To their credit, they turned those (turnovers) into the most points they could,” Mooney said.
The Panthers found themselves in a 20-0 hole at the half, and after a lightning delay that extended the halftime break, they put their first points on the board when Kent Gibson caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Ed Russ in the third quarter.
Birmingham Southern scored the next three touchdowns, though, to build a 41-7 lead.
Michael Jones scored on a 7-yard run to give the Panthers another touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Russ finished with 157 yards through the air, and he also led the team with 70 rushing yards.
Gibson chipped in with 55 rushing yards, and R.J. Miles had five catches for 43 yards.
John John Hill and Cody Darracott each had three receptions.
Defensively, junior linebacker Andre Carter had a big game with 11 tackles, including 1.5 for loss.
Defensive back Anthony Cochran chipped in with eight tackles.
As for this week’s opponent, Millsaps is coming to LaGrange off of a big win.
In a game that was delayed a few days because of Hurricane Isaac, Mike Barthelemy ran for 150 of his team’s 268 rushing yards in a 23-17 victory.
“Millsaps had lost the previous two, so they snapped a good streak,” Mooney said. “They played a good football game. They took care of the football, and they showed the team speed they have. They did a nice job.”
Mooney said his team is looking forward to today’s challenge.
“I know they’re excited about it,” Mooney said. “They felt like they didn’t show what they can do. They’re excited about that challenge.”