The Knox Central Panthers fought a tough battle Friday night when they took on the Henry Clay Blue Devils. James H. Hampton stadium was packed with fans decked out in the color gold for childhood cancer for the Panthers’ first home game. In the end the Panthers were defeated 50 to 26, but their refusal back down led to the completion of several great plays and four Knox Central touchdowns.
Henry Clay’s #6, Joquise Buford, was the first to score in the game at the 8:49 mark in the first quarter. They kicked for the extra point and made it, making the score 7 to 0. #9 for Henry Clay, Davonte Robinson, ran the ball sixty yards and scored a touchdown with six minutes left in the first quarter. They kicked for the extra point and were successful, putting the Blue Devils up 14 to 0. Knox Central came back when the Panthers’ #1 scored a touchdown at the 1:14 mark in the first quarter. They kicked and made the extra point, making the score 14-7.
Jaxon Stewart scored another Knox Central touchdown at the 11:08 mark in the second quarter. They kicked and earned the extra point to tie up the game 14 to14. At this point, Henry Clay went on a scoring streak, scoring five touchdowns in a row. Henry Clay’s #7, Tyven McWhorter, scored a touchdown with 8:21 left in the second quarter. They successfully kicked for the PAT, which put the Blue Devils ahead 21 to 14. #2 for Henry Clay, Austin Bledsoe, scored a touchdown at the 6:40 mark in the second quarter and
they kicked to earn the extra point, making the score 28 to 14. With 2:50 left in the second quarter McWhorter scored his second touchdown of the night. They kicked for the extra point, which the put the Blue Devils up 35 to 14. There were only fifty-six seconds left in the quarter when Henry Clay’s Joquise Buford scored a second touchdown. Their kick was good, making the score 42 to 14. At the 10:40 mark in the third quarter, Henry Clay scored again and successfully kicked for the PAT to make the score 50 to 14.
The Henry Clay scoring streak seemed to light a fire inside the Panthers and they started to really compete again. Knox Central’s Donavan Arthur scored a touchdown at the 4:05 mark in the third quarter. They kicked for the extra point and made it, making the score 50-20. With 3:39 left in the game Henry Clay threw a pass and Knox Central’s Casey Patterson smacked the ball out of the air and then caught it and ran the ball in for a touchdown. The final score of game was Henry Clay: 50 Knox Central: 26.
Knox Central’s Head Coach, Scott Russell, laments the loss, “We wanted to come in and compete; we knew it was going to be tough to beat this team. They are a six “A” school, top ten in the state, they’ve got two Division 1 signees on their team so we knew we were going to have a tough time with them, but we just wanted to make sure our kids didn’t quit.” Coach Russell, while a little disappointed, can’t help but be proud of the Panthers, “We had a good game plan. We got out here and made two or three mistakes and against a good team like this you’re down three touchdowns. But our kids fought back. We were down two and then came back and tied it up and then they just got away from us on a
couple special teams. So we learned some things tonight, we’re going to have to go back and work on it a little bit, that’s why we play these good teams so we can get better for district play.”
The Panthers travel to Russell County on Friday. Kick-off is at 8.