By John Blackledge / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
The 2013 campaign opened up for two former Region 5-4A foes Friday night at Panther Field between the Laurel Golden Tornadoes and Quitman Panthers. In a close fought battle, the Golden Tornadoes came back to win 25-21 with minutes to play in the contest.
With 4:32 left in the game Keon Howard connected with Taurus Barnes. Saul Lopez booted the PAT to make it 25-21. DeQuan Stanley hit Cordariyon McDyess for a forty yard touchdown reception. Dalton Smith made the PAT to make it 21-18.
Howard tossed the pigskin to a wide open Octavius Cooley from twelve yards out. The extra point attempt was no good to make it 18-13.
Panther head coach Steve Bynum was disappointed in the opening home loss, but he feels his team will come back ready next week, as they battle the Meridian Wildcats. “We have a tough three game slate to start the season,” Bynum said. “Its like David and Goliath to open up the season, but we just have to take it in strides.”
Laurel opened up the scoring frenzy with 11:05 left in the first quarter when Howard found Cooley from twenty two yards out. The Pat was no good to make it 6-0. De’Quan Stanley hit pay-dirt with 6:45 left in the opening quarter from one yard. Smith added the PAT to make it 7-6.
With 5:50 left in the second half, Howard found Cooley for a sixty one yard touchdown grab to give Laurel a 12-7 advantage. As time expired in the game, Stanley connected with JaQuan Godette for a fifty six yard touchdown catch. Smith’s PAT was no good to make the halftime score 13-12.
Bynum feels his team will make the adjustment for the Wildcats next week. “We just had too many mistakes, and we turned the ball over too much,” Bynum said. “We will have to cut those things out for next weeks’ game.”
The Panthers host the Wildcats next week at Panther Field with a 7 PM kickoff.