Suspense-free day for Panthers

Published 8:55 pm Monday, October 23, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – They put on a show for the home fans.

The LaGrange College Panthers overwhelmed Greensboro 59-10 on Saturday afternoon to make sure it was a winning homecoming, much to the delight of the fans who filled up the home side of Callaway Stadium.

The Panthers (4-4 overall) improved to 3-2 in the USA South, and before closing the season with games against Maryville and Huntingdon.

LaGrange College took care of business early on Saturday.

Leading 10-0 after the first quarter, LaGrange College exploded for five touchdowns in the second quarter to seize a 45-10 lead.

Head coach Steve Pardue substituted liberally in the second half, and the Panthers added a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to cap the scoring.

“We still made a couple of penalties, but other than that I was happy with it,” Pardue said. “We scored two defensive touchdowns, and returned a kick for a touchdown. Our special teams has really improved. That was good. We ended up getting three kickers in the game. And we’ve got some young running backs that I really like, and I though they ran really good.”

The Panthers didn’t have a passing touchdown for the first time this season, but they had no trouble finding the end zone.

The Panthers had five rushing touchdowns.

Nicholas Searcy and Brandon Snowball had two touchdowns apiece, and Brendon Scott had one.

The Panthers also scored on interception returns by Parker Lancaster and Peyton Haynes, and David Apiag returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Quarterback Connor Blair was efficient, completing 13-of-16 passes for 123 yards.

Alex Scott came off the bench and completed all four of his passes for 25 yards, and he also ran for 63 yards on six attempts.

Brendon Scott led the ground game with 74 yards on eight attempts, and Searcy had 42 yards on five carries.

Ten different players caught passes, including Austin Sapp, who had four receptions for 29 yards.

The Panthers led 10-0 after the opening quarter following a 5-yard touchdown run by Searcy and a 27-yard field goal by Zachary Kudwa.

The Panthers blew it open in the second quarter with five touchdowns, only two of them on offense.

Haynes started the second-quarter scoring parade by returning an interception 25 yards for a touchdown.

Searcy later had a 25-yard touchdown run to cap an 89-yard drive, and it was Brendon Scott scoring on a 17-yard run to give the Panthers a 31-0 lead.

Greensboro scored its only first-half points on a 27-yard field goal by Jonathon Pfeiff,.

On the ensuing kickoff, Apiag’s 88-yard touchdown return put LaGrange College on top 38-3.

Moments later, Lancaster picked off a pass and scored on a 9-yard return to cap the first-half scoring for the Panthers.

The Panthers notched both of their second-half touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and it was Snowball doing the honors with scoring runs of six and 11 yards.

After the week off, LaGrange College will visit Maryville (Tenn.) on Nov. 4 before finishing the season on Nov. 11 against Huntingdon at home.

“We’ll take a week off, and we’ll go to work and try to get some guys back and play those last two games,” Pardue said.