Ground game powers Panthers
Published 8:31 pm Monday, October 21, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The LaGrange College Panthers ran over, around, and through the Greensboro (N.C.) Pride on Saturday afternoon on the way to a 40-23 homecoming victory at Callaway Stadium.
In sloppy conditions, with the players dealing with heavy rains and wind, LaGrange College looked to the ground to find success, and that formula paid massive dividends.
The Panthers ran for 488 yards, with freshman Terron Dixon and senior Brendon Scott combining for the bulk of those yards.
Dixon had a memorable day, running for 284 yards on 17 carries with four touchdowns, and Scott had 141 yards on 15 attempts with a touchdown.
Quarterback Cam Perkins got into the act as well with 61 yards on five attempts with a touchdown.
The Panthers only completed two passes, but they didn’t need to do anything in the air the way they were chewing up yards on the ground.
LaGrange College (3-3 overall) improved to 1-2 in the USA South, while Greensboro (1-5 overall) fell to 0-3 in conference play.
“Our goal coming into this game was to try and run it,” LaGrange College head coach Earl Chambers said. “We knew the conditions were going to be sloppy. I’m very proud of our guys. We fought hard and it’s going to help us.”
LaGrange College trailed 17-6 after the first quarter, but it scored 20 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 26-17 lead at the half.
The Panthers, with their unstoppable ground game leading the way, scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 17-point lead.
“It got sloppy early on,” Chambers said. “I was hoping we could play a little better but they played better than I’ve seen them play all year. I thought they put up a good fight in the first quarter as we made some mistakes and put the ball on the ground more than I wanted to see.”
Terron Dixon was the breakout player of the day, setting a program record for rushing yards in a game while coming within one yard of tying the USA South single-game rushing record.
In the second quarter alone, Dixon ran for 186 yards on six carries.
Dixon’s four touchdown runs covered 63, 35, 29 and 10 yards.
Scott, the Panthers’ leading rusher this season, had another strong game that included a 30-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Randy Fillingame and Brandon Ray each had seven tackles for the Panthers, and Aaron Belt had an interception that he returned 40 yards.
Peyton Haynes returned a fumble 20 yards.
LaGrange College visits USA South rival Maryville on Saturday.
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