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Panthers hope to start 2-0

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

With one win under their belts, the LaGrange College Panthers will go on the road and try to take down a formidable opponent on Saturday.

That opponent will be Berry College, which is thriving under the direction of former LaGrange College assistant coach Tony Kunczewski.

While LaGrange College opened its season with a 29-14 home win over Birmingham-Southern, Berry College kicked things off with a 31-10 victory over Maryville.

The Panthers are hoping to duplicate their opening-night performance.

After Birmingham-Southern scored a touchdown in the second quarter to get within seven, LaGrange College scored 19 consecutive points to put it away.

The Panthers won the game in large part because of their ability  to dominate the game on the line of scrimmage.

“We preached it all camp long. We’ve got to start up front,” said Jamie Sellers, a sophomore defensive lineman from Callaway High. “The offensive lines and defensive lines, they set the tone for the game. As long as you win up front you’ll control the game. They preached that to us a lot. We trust each other.”

Senior running back Brendon Scott had a big day for the Panthers with 127 yards on 18 attempts with three touchdowns, and quarterback Shedrick Lindsey completed 13-of-24 passes for 209 yards.

Jalen Trice was Lindsey’s favorite target with four catches for 104 yards, including a 65-yard reception.

While Birmingham-Southern had some offensive success with 389 yards, it went nearly three full quarters without a point as LaGrange College put the game away.

“Our goal was to make our team tougher,” LaGrange College head coach Earl Chambers said, referring to the offseason conditioning program. “To some degree, I think we’re getting close to where I want to be. I couldn’t be more proud of my guys. They played four quarters, something we haven’t done in a long time.”

The challenge will be a big one on Saturday against a Berry College team that is 30-4 over the past three seasons.

Berry College has won three consecutive conference championships, and it has beaten LaGrange College four straight years.

In last week’s win over Maryville, Heath Burchfield completed 12-of-17 passes for 174 yards with three touchdowns, all to All-American wide receiver Mason Kinsey.

Berry’s defense, meanwhile, held Maryville to fewer than 200 yards.

LAGRANGE COLLEGE VS. BERRY

WHEN: Saturday, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Berry College

RECORDS: LaGrange College (1-0); Berry College (1-0)

LAST MEETING: Berry College beat LaGrange College 34-21