By Cheri Thacker
After Bartlett’s first win of the season against the Ripley Tigers last Friday, the 1-7 Panther’s hoped to up the number in the win column against Cordova Wolves last Friday night. Instead, it was the Wolf pack that experienced their first taste of victory this year 28-19.
Senior running back Josh Hall put the Panther’s on the board first with a 59-yard run with only a minute left in the first quarter. The play followed a 22-yard bounce up the middle by Braylon Porter. The point after attempt gave the Panther’s a 7-0 lead after an impressive drive that started at their own 20-yard line with a quarterback sack for a loss of yardage.
The Panther defense flexed their muscle at the end of the first quarter with two quarterback sacks of their own.
The first turnover in the game came in the second quarter when the ball slipped from Braylon Porter’s hand and the Wolves recovered the fumble at Bartlett’s 29-yard line. A handoff to the right sound saw a burst off the line by a Cordova running back for a 6-point capitalization of the turnover. The extra point tied the score at 7-7.
The Bartlett Panther’s refused to let the score go unanswered. Sophomore quarterback, Nick Bramlett hooked up with receiver Wesley Johnson for an 85-yard touchdown strike. A bad snap on the extra point attempt left the score standing 13-7, Bartlett Panthers.
The Wolves’ retaliated almost immediately with a 55-yard run down the left side all the way to the corner by Cordova’s Charles Taylor. With 4:56 remaining in the first half, Cordova increased the lead to 14-13. Cordova scored again late in the second quarter to close out the half with a 21-13 score.
The second half didn’t see any scoring action until just less than two minutes left in the third. The Panther’s defense couldn’t stop the run up the middle on a third and nine to bump Cordova’s points to 27 despite an offensive drive plagued with errors and penalties. The extra point was good and Bartlett faced a 15 point deficit. A big Cordova penalty on a Bartlett punt at the end of the third quarter gave the Panther’s the ball with a fresh set of downs to start the fourth.
On a second and six, Bramlett connected with Johnson for another Panther’s touchdown. A muffed extra point attempt would leave the score at 28-19 for the remainder of the game. The Panthers (1-8) will enjoy a bye week before they travel to the Craigmont Chiefs on October 26.