The Valdosta Daily Times
After a win on the road against Mitchell County last week, the Panthers of Clinch County High School returned home to Donald Tison Field.
The Panthers were in search of their first home win of the season, but ultimately fell to the Chargers of Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy by a score of 30-0.
Clinch County came into the game already missing numerous starters, and fought its way through a night of more of the same. Many players went down throughout the contest, though none were severely injured.
“We had a ton of guys hurt,” Clinch County Head Coach Jim Dickerson said. “We were left a great deal of young guys.”
Missing players did not damper the Panthers’ spirits however. Early in the first quarter, the Clinch County fans erupted following a sack by senior linebacker DeAndre Mingo that resulted in a ten-yard loss.
Shortly after, however, the visiting Chargers, boasting a number of Division I prospects, began to light up the scoreboard early.
After a 45-yard punt return by Eagle’s Landing senior Brad Moore, the Chargers capitalized with a seven-yard touchdown run on a keeper by senior quarterback Dalton Etheridge. Shortly after, the Chargers forced a Panthers fumble which was recovered by senior defensive lineman Andrew Williams.
Etheridge wasted no time adding to the lead. After a 55-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Davis Carrandi, the Chargers took a 16-0 lead into the half and never looked back. They finished the game with 246 yards of total offense and only one turnover on a lost fumble.
“I give them credit,” coach Dickerson said. “They came to play.”
The second half included more of the same from the Chargers, including another touchdown on a 29-yard from Etheridge to Carradine.
The Panthers struggled to move the ball, only posting 36 yards of total offense in the first half, but the deficit did not damage their spirit. They ended the game with 91 total offensive yards and two lost fumbles.
“A lot of people talk about ‘moral victories,’ but I’m not getting into that,” coach Dickerson said. “Our boys are young, and for us to get to where we want to be, we have to go up against teams like (Eagle’s Landing). I’m proud of the effort that my guys put forth.”
Senior quarterback James Core finished with 21 rushing attempts for 64 yards. He also completed three of seven passes for a total of 10 yards and one interception.
“When you’re playing a team with so many quality players, you have to plan accordingly,” coach Dickerson said. “We wanted to try to keep the pace of the game fast to tire (Eagle’s Landing) out.”
Etheridge connected on six of nine passing attempts totaling 121 yards while throwing for two touchdowns for the Chargers. Senior running back Lane Timpson added 57 yards on 13 rushing attempts.
Friday’s loss leaves the Panthers winless at home early in the 2013 season. Their next competition will take place on September 13 on the road against Seminole County before they return home to face Telfair County on September 27.