Panthers lose heartbreaker

The Cleveland Panthers traveled to Rainbow City Friday night to face the Westbrook Christian Warriors. Both teams came into the game with a 4-1 record in region play with both offensive units putting up impressive numbers all season long.

But it was the defenses that took center stage this week. Neither team was able to get the ball over the goal line through four quarters. The only points of the game came on a 25-yard field goal off the foot of Layten Crawford with 10:36 left in the game. That’s all the Warriors’ offense needed. The defense continued to shut the Panthers’ offense down taking the win 3-0.

The Panthers ended the game with 200 yards, 98 of those yards coming from Logan Washburn and the Panthers’ passing attack. Cleveland finished with 102 yards on the ground with Daquarrius Phillips leading the way with 76 yards on 12 carries. Washburn added 22 yards. Jacob Johnson led the receiving corps with 48 yards on two receptions. Pierce Gilliland had 37 yards on four catches while Phillips added 13 on his lone reception.

On defense, the Panthers didn’t give up much through the air or on the ground holding Westbrook Christian under 200 yards for the game. They only allow 98 passing yards while holding them to 76 rushing yards. Karter Adams led the defense with 15 tackles. Kyle Willis was stellar as well with 14 tackles. Adding 10 tackles each were Sterling Hill and Jesus Elizzararaz. Gilliland was the recipient of the game’s only turnover when he picked off Patriot QB William Noles.

The loss drops the Panthers to 6-2 on the season, 4-2 in region play. This Friday they host the Sand Rock Wildcats who come into Cleveland with an overall record of 3-5 and a region record of 2-4.