The Valdosta Daily Times
The game between the Telfair County Trojans and Clinch County Panthers on Friday night was a tale of two halves for CCHS.
The Panthers defeated the Trojans 27-7 to improve to 2-3 on the season while the Trojans fell to 3-2.
Both teams had trouble getting any momentum the first half of the game.
The teams went into the locker room at half time combing for only 129 yards and six points that the Panthers scored with 25 seconds left in the half.
During the touchdown drive, junior Panther quarterback Octavis Johnson went 3-3 throwing the ball for 36 yards and capped off the drive with a two-yard run for the score to give his team the momentum for the start of the second half.
“Football is a game of momentum and we had momentum going into half time,” Clinch County Head Coach Jim Dickerson said. “That was huge getting the points on the board. We just started to snowball from there and brought the confidence out in the second half.”
Senior James Core ran the ball well for the Panthers in the second half where he tallied 74 of his 78 yards, and both of his touchdowns in the game.
“We knew coming into this game we needed somebody to make a play,” Coach Dickerson said. “(Johnson) and James Core obviously made some plays.”
Johnson and Core combined for 218 of the teams 267 yards.
With only four yards on the ground in the first half, Core was not happy with his, nor his team's performance.
“It was really frustrating (not being able to move the ball I the first half) when you worked so hard trying to get to your goal and you can’t get there,” Core said.
With an off week last week, it gave Johnson more time to rest his sprained knee that he suffered in the first game of the season.
“My teammates just talked to me and told me to stay strong and be positive, don’t fear anything and just come out and play hard” Johnson said. “That's what I did and we got the win tonight.”
The Panthers struggled with penalties the first half as they committed five fouls for 40 yards including a personal foul that proved to kill a potential scoring drive.
“We are immature as a football team because we are so young,” Coach Dickerson said. “I think we were a bundle of nerves, and it showed in the first half.”
Core was an example of the nerves, but quickly shook them and helped lead his team to a victory.
“I just had to get it in my head that I can’t be stopped,” Core said. “We just had to make they play; We got to make the big play we were looking for every time we touched the ball.”
The Panthers held the Trojans to only 174 yards of total offense including a mere 59 in the first half.
Note: Telfair County senior Rodney Woods was carted off of the field and taken to Clinch Memorial Hospital via ambulance after suffering a suspected concussion.