By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
While the French Camp Academy offense may still be trying to find it’s groove, the Panthers defense is making things happen.
FCA took advantage of eight East Oktibbeha turnovers on Friday night to take a 43-0 Region 3-1A win. The victory pushed the Panthers to 3-1 overall and 3-1 in region play. FCA plays host to Starkville Academy on this Friday at 7 p.m., before returning to region play on Oct. 18 when the Panthers hit the road to face league-leading Pelahatchie.
“We forced a lot of turnovers on defense and made some big plays,” said FCA head coach Nathan Wright. “Offensively we are just not as sharp as we would like to be.”
Wright said he expected the 3-4 Volunteers of SA to present a challenge for his Panthers. “They are probably a lot more disciplined than we are,” Wright said. “Maybe that’s something we can learn from by watching them on film.”
The Volunteers have wins over East Rankin, Hillcrest Christian and Winston Academy, while losing to Lamar School, Washington School, Magnolia Heights and Madison-Ridgeland Academy.
One of the things that concerned Wright most going into last Friday night’s win over East Oktibbeha was James Williams, the Titans’ standout running back. Williams had a big game for EOHS, rushing for 129 yards on 29 carries and leading the team with 11 tackles.
FCA scored one touchdown in the first quarter and three more in the second to build a 30-0 halftime lead.
Senior quarterback Jesse Hosket hit on 8-of-17 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Panthers offensively. One of those TD passes came in the first quarter when he connected with Hunter McKnight from 24 yards out to put the winners up 7-0.
The second quarter saw Hosket score on a 5-yard run, McKnight return a fumble 70 yards for a score, Hagan Box score on a 12-yard run and Sam Gould boot two extra points and a 28-yard field goal to put the winners up 30-0.
Michael Erving broke loose for a 59-yard touchdown run for the Panthers in the third quarter, while Cole Henson hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Hosket.
Erving led FCA in rushing with 84 yards on four carries and also caught two passes for 19 yards. Henson had three catches for 33 yards, McKnight two for 57 and Box one for 15.
Defensively, Cortez Johnson recorded 11 tackles for FCA, including five for losses. Box, Hosket, Nyang Wek and Douglas Hughes each had eight tackles for the winners, while David Pendleton and Daniel Hughes had six each and Jeremy Lowery recorded five. Corrie Witt, Luke McKnight and Hunter McKnight each picked off a pass for French Camp, while Erving, Jevante McAdory, Hoskett, Pendleton and Hunter McKnight each recovered a fumble. Daniel Hughes and Cole Henson had a sack each, while Douglas Hughes caused two fumbles.