Panther Pride Prevails!
By Christopher Clark and William Bottoms
The Maplewood Panthers hit the field for the season opener against the Hunters Lane Warriors in the second annual Dickerson Road Bowl. It was a one-sided battle with all the momentum going Maplewood’s way. The first score was a punt return by Daronta Nelson for a touchdown.
T.J Tucker led the defense with two interceptions. Maplewood led in first downs and offensive yards. Maplewood defense only allowed the Warriors 15 passing yards, 22 rushing yards, and only four first downs. The game ended with a final score 28-6, Panthers.
Panthers Head Coach Arcentae Broome said he was happy with the outcome of the game, but says they still have a lot of work to do.
“The sky is the limit,” said Broome. “The special teams need a lot of work. The heat was a factor. We should be used to these conditions.”
The Panthers started freshman quarterback, Raymon Mitchell who threw for only 48 yards on 17 attempts and threw two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“He made a lot of bad throws and a lot of mistakes, but he’s learning,” added Broome
Nelson led the offense in rushing with 44 yards on seven attempts, and made a few big plays. One of those plays got taken back due to a Panther penalty. Nelson said he is starting the year strong with big plays and a high intensity level because he has big goals for the team.
Panthers’ offense wasn’t alone in bringing home the win. The defense pulled up the rear with key plays. Gage Smith was all over the field and led the defense with 21 total tackles.
The Panthers didn’t just sit on their Warrior win. They hit the field on Monday, gearing up for their next battle Friday night when they’ll take on Madison Academy in Madison, Al.