Early first quarter dooms French Camp Panthers

By Austin Bishop

The Choctaw Plaindealer


As of Monday morning, French Camp Academy head football coach Nathan Wright still wasn’t exactly sure what happened to his Panthers on Friday night.

“I was really dumfounded at how poorly we played,” Wright said of his team’s 52-21 road loss to Eupora. “We just didn’t play with a lot of heart and they did. They really got after it.

“I really don’t know what happened,” Wright said. “I thought we had a really good game against Choctaw County, especially in the second half.”

The big loss to Eupora, coupled with the 21-16 setback to CCHS in the season-opener leaves the Panthers with an 0-2 record going into Friday night’s game against a hungry Kemper County team that is 2-0 on the season.

“I know they are going to have some athletes,” Wright said of Kemper County, who owns wins over Heidelberg and Scott Central. “We are just working to get better and will be trying to get ready for Friday night. We need a good effort.”

Eupora exploded for 37 first-half points to take control of the game early and roll to the easy win.

“I would have to say that’s the best I’ve seen us play since I’ve been here,” said Eupora head coach Junior Graham. “We just had everything working. We ran the ball, we passed the ball and the guys made the blocks they needed to make.”

FCA finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter when Jesse Hosket hit Hagan Box with a 4-yard touchdown pass. The fourth quarter saw Hosket hit Hunter McKnight with a pair of scoring tosses, one from 25 yards out and the other from 26. Sam Gould kicked the extra point after McKnight’s first touchdown and Hosket ran in the two-point conversion after the second one.

Hosket hit on 20-of-31 passes on the night for 281 yard and three touchdowns, but also had three interceptions. Hosket was also the leading rusher with 19 carries for 59 yards.

Box had a whopping nine receptions for 125 yards to lead the Panthers, while McKnight had five grabs for 83 yards. Aaron Witt had three catches for 47 yards and Cole Henson had three for 26.

Box, Cortez Johnson, Daniel Hughes and Douglas Hughes each had four tackles each to lead the Panthers.