Bulldogs surprise Panthers

Left: Susan Moore’s Jeffrey Threatt celebrates. Right: Cleveland’s Kyle Willis (4) takes down Andrew McEvoy (26). -www.southernexposurephotos.com

Left: Susan Moore’s Jeffrey Threatt celebrates. Right: Cleveland’s Kyle Willis (4) takes down Andrew McEvoy (26). -www.southernexposurephotos.com

The Susan Moore Bulldogs closed the 2017 high school football season in a big way – shutting down the playoff-bound Cleveland Panthers 14-7 at Michael E. Dixon Memorial Stadium last Thursday.

The game was scoreless through the first half but the Panthers suffered a huge loss when quarterback Andrew Green left the game with an arm injury.

Without Green, the Panthers really struggled on offense, generating just 68 total yards and turning the ball over four times (three interceptions, one fumble).

Susan Moore turned the ball over five times (three interceptions, two fumbles) but the Bulldogs were able to pound out 239 yards on the ground.

Bulldog quarterback Andrew McEvoy broke the scoreless tie late in the third quarter with a 20-yard touchdown run. Jesus Aguilar added the point-after and Susan Moore led 7-0 with 2:39 left in the third.

Cleveland responded immediately and it came from a familiar source as Parker Gilliland brought the ensuing kickoff back 85 yards for a score. Juan Castro’s kick tied the game 7-7 with 2:25 left in the third quarter.

McEvoy put the visitors ahead for good as he scored on a 1-yard run with 7:20 to play in the game. Aguilar nailed the kick and Susan Moore led 14-7.

The Bulldog defense took care of the rest.

Cleveland managed just 36 yards rushing on 26 carries and picked up just six first downs.

In place of Green, Elijah Longshore was harassed by the Bulldog defense and completed just 4 of 15 passing for 32 yards with three interceptions.

Matthew Walker rushed for 67 yards on 12 carries but Green and Longshore were sacked four times for 22 yards in losses.

Nathan Stephens (16 tackles) and Adriam Hernandez (15) led the Panther defense. Hernandez and Kyle Willis each had fumble recoveries while Gilliland, Green and Ethan Olberding had interceptions.

McEvoy was the only player from either team to put up much in the way of stats on offense as he finished with 133 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Angel Maldonado had 56 yards on 17 rushes and Ross Thompson had 29 yards on just six carries.

McEvoy completed 4 of 9 passing for 50 yards but was intercepted three times.

Ray J. Watson caught two passes for 39 yards while Thompson had two receptions for 11 yards.

Sophomore Gavin Harper was all over the field on defense for Susan Moore and finished with a team-high six tackles, including two sacks, and a fumble recovery.

Jeffrey Threatt had a pair of interceptions while Caleb Bailey had an interception and four tackles. Julian Calderon and Oscar Rios each had a sack.

Susan Moore ends the year at 4-6 while Cleveland dropped to 7-3. The Panthers will travel to LaFayette (8-2) for the first round of the 2A playoffs this week.