By Daniel Brunty The Choctaw Plaindealer
With the possibility of a consolidation of schools in Choctaw County, the French Camp Panthers and Weir Lions played what might be the last game ever between the two schools.
What has been quiet a fierce rivalry over the past couple of decades may now be a thing of the past. With that being, the game this past Friday between the two teams may one day be a remembering point for longtime fans and supporters of the schools.
The Weir Lions hosted the French Camp Panthers in the second game of the high school football season. It would not turn out well for the Lions, however, as they were defeated 52-0 by their cross county rival.
The 1st quarter began with French Camp receiving the opening kickoff. The Panthers would waist no time getting on the scoreboard as running back Jalon Clemons broke a huge running play for a 52-yard touchdown on the second play of their first possession. The PAT by Sam Gould would make the score 7-0 with 11 minutes left in the quarter.
On the Lions first possession of the game, they would try to establish their running game with their running back by committee scheme, which includes Willie Miller, Darius Brown, Danny Woodard, and others. After an unsuccessful series, the Lions would be forced to punt the ball.
During the punt, French Camp’s Hunter McKnight would break through the line and block the punt, recover it and returned it for a touchdown. A successful PAT by Gould would make the score 14-0 in favor of French Camp with around seven minutes left in the quarter.
Things would not get better for the Lions when on their next possession French camp’s Daniel Hughes would force a fumble on a Weir ball carrier. The fumble was recovered by Dylan Dickey of French Camp to give them possession with around six minutes left in the quarter. The Panthers would make good on the turnover, as they drove the ball down for a field goal by Gould to increase the lead to 17-0 over the Lions.
The next Weir possession would be similar to the first, and they would be forced to punt the ball back to the Panthers with only a few minutes left in the first quarter.
French Camp would continue putting up points on the board as Clemons ran for another 52-yard touchdown to increase the Panthers lead. The PAT by Gould would make the score 24-0 going into the 2nd quarter.
Weir would try to get their offense going in the second quarter, but would fumble the ball. Hughes, who had forced a fumble earlier in the game, recovered the fumble.
On the next French Camp possession, the Panthers would go to the air as quarterback Hagan Box found Dylan Dickey for a 22-yard touchdown pass with around 10 minutes left in the quarter. The Gould PAT would make the score 31-0 French Camp.
With their running game stalled in the 1st quarter, the Lions would attempt to go to the air on their very next possession. Lions quarterback Tyler Henson would throw his first pass of the game, only to be intercepted by Lovondra Carter and returned for 28 yards for another French Camp touchdown. The PAT made the score 38-0 with eight minutes left in the quarter.
Both teams would punt on their next possessions, and that would lead into halftime with the score 38-0.
Weir would receive the opening kickoff of the second half. During Weir’s possession, the Panthers Cortez Johnson would recover another fumble by the Lions, making it the fourth of the game.
The Panthers would convert on the turnover, with Ben Hosket scoring on a 2-yard run to increase the lead over the Lions. The PAT would make the score 45-0 with eight minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Neither team would score the rest of the quarter. In the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Panthers would punt the ball to the Lions. The Lions would begin to move the ball down the field with their running backs. They would turn the ball over on downs back to the Panthers with around seven minutes left in the final quarter.
The Panthers would get their final score of the game when Box scrambled out the backfield and ran for a 50-yard touchdown. The PAT would make the final score 52-0 as the Panthers went on their first victory of the season, and the Lions’ first loss of the season.
For the Lions offense, Darius Brown had 5 carries for 20 yards, while Danny Woodard had 6 carries for 19 yards.
For the Panthers, Box was 3 of 6 in pass completions for 43 yards and one touchdown, as well as 9 carries for 59 yards and one touchdown. Clemons had 4 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Up next for the Weir Lions will be a home game against East Webster this Friday. These teams met up last season with the Wolverines edging out the Lions 15-14 in a very close game.
The French Camp Panthers will face another county rival as they travel to Ackerman to face the Indians this Friday. Last year’s game saw the Indians handle the Panthers by a score of 25-7.
Kickoff time for both these games will be at 7:30 p.m.