Bulldogs squeak by Panthers

Cleveland’s Parker Gilliland (12) had 49 total yards agains Susan Moore. -Keith Standridge

Cleveland’s Parker Gilliland (12) had 49 total yards agains Susan Moore. -Keith Standridge

The Susan Moore Bulldogs hosted the Cleveland Panthers for a county matchup. The teams swapped scores all night. Each time Cleveland scored, Susan Moore answered. Despite five turnovers by Cleveland, a missed extra point proved to be the difference and Susan Moore escaped with a 21-20 win.

Both teams started slow leading to a scoreless first quarter. Panther quarterback Andrew Green broke the scoreless streak at the beginning of the second quarter with a five-yard rushing touchdown. Pierce Gilliland added an extra point for a 7-0 Cleveland lead. With just a few minutes before halftime, the Bulldogs responded when Andrew McEvoy scored on a 30-yard run. Jesus Aguilar’s extra point tied the game 7-7 at the half.

In the third, Daquarrius Phillips scampered 22 yards to the end zone and Hernandez’s extra point put the Panthers back in the lead 14-7. The Bulldogs answered with a 16-yard rushing touchdown by Anthony Cervantes and Aguilar added the extra point. At the end of the third quarter, the game was tied 14-14.

Cleveland recaptured the lead after Green connected on a 75-yard touchdown pass to Samuel Aycock. The extra point was no good, but Cleveland lead by six points. With 2:46 left in the game, McEvoy threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Richo Findley to tie the game at 20-20. Aguilar boomed the extra point through the uprights and Susan Moore held on to win the game 21-20.

McEvoy completed 5-of-8 for 50 yards and a touchdown. Cervantes finished the game with 118 rushing yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Tanner Sisson had one interception for 34 yards.

Aycock led the Panther offense with 143 receiving yards and one touchdown. Phillips rushed for 98 yards on 17 carries. Green was 10-of-15 for 242 yards and a touchdown, one interception, and two fumbles.

Cleveland’s record drops to 5-5. They will travel to Fyffe (10-0) for the first round of the state playoffs this Friday.

Susan Moore remains undefeated at home. Their record improves to 8-2 and will host J.B. Pennington (5- 5) Friday night for the first round of the state playoffs.