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Gridiron Panthers fall 38-33 on the road

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By Kristin Beck

Despite a late-game comeback, the football Panthers were not able to convert on a 1st and goal in the waning seconds of the game Friday, losing 38-33 to Moore High School in Louisville. Carroll County is now 1-2 in the young 2013 season, the first time this group of seniors has been below .500 in their careers.

But head coach Mike Weedman said the group has remained very positive and eager to learn and improve. “I’m just really pleased with their overall attitude,” he said.

Quarterback John Michael Adams threw a touchdown pass to Blake Newby to put Carroll up 7-0. Moore responded with two first-quarter scores, 12-7. Michael Welch answered with a 56-yard run in the second quarter, but the kick was blocked, 13-12. Moore scored just before the half on a six-yard run, putting them up 20-13 at the half.

Moore blocked a Panther punt attempt and returned it for a 47-yard score, 26-13.

On their next possession, Adams ran the option to Kyle Prosser for a nice size gain, Weedman said. Keifer McIntyre took off for a 29-yard touchdown run, and Taylor Byrd added the extra point, 26-20. Unfortunately for Carroll, Moore returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for another score. They scored again on their next possession, extending their lead to 38-20.

But the Panthers would not go away, as McIntyre scored from six yards out to close the gap, 38-26. In the fourth, Prosser had some nice runs inside the tackles to help Carroll move the ball down the field, Weedman said. Adams connected with Jacob Wise on a pass almost to the goal line, and McIntyre punched the ball in for a two-yard touchdown, 38-33. 

With about five minutes to go, Carroll forced a fumble and recovered. The Panthers moved the ball down the field and reached the 10-yard line. Three straight running plays later, and they were not able to cross the pylon. On fourth down, Adams attempted a pass to Wise in the end zone, but it was picked off by a Moore defensive back, allowing them to kneel out the rest of the clock.

“Moore was extremely fast and extremely athletic,” Weedman said, particularly senior running back Demontray Watts and both the offensive and defensive lines.

McIntyre led the team in rushing, 15 times for 120 yards and three scores. As a team, Carroll rushed 48 times for 302 yards. Adams was 5-10 for 72 yards through the air with a touchdown and an interception. Moore passed for 221 yard and rushed for 75 yards.

On defense, Dean Taylor led the team with seven tackles and an interception. Prosser had five tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble, while Isaiah Hogan had five tackles and a pass deflection. Caleb Guenthner finished with four tackles, a forced fumble and a blocked PAT.

“Very proud of the kids because they never panicked and they kept chipping away,” Weedman said. “It was a team effort to get back in the game. I think a lot of people deserve a lot of credit in the comeback effort.”

Carroll left Louisville with a few injuries to note. Newby injured his quad in the third quarter. Weedman said he needs rest and is not sure when he will return. Ryan Davidson suffered a shoulder injury, but Weedman said he expects him to return before next week’s game. Matt Bartley battled through a calf injury the majority of the second half, but will be ready for next week. “It took a lot of heart to do what Matt did,” Weedman said.

Adams was selected by the coaches as the Player of the Week.
“What people don’t understand, it’s not about throwing the ball; it’s about quarterbacking, and John Michael is an excellent quarterback,” Weedman said. The head coach said Adams makes good throws, but being able to fake players out is intangible; making defensive ends confused and run by him is intangible, and his ability to escape the rush is intangible.

“I was really impressed the way he controlled the offense the entire game,” he said.

One focus of practice this week for the Panthers will be special teams. Weedman said the team needs to improve on the details and “overall execution.”