Panthers take one step closer to playoffs

By Austin Bishop

Choctaw Plaindealer

The French Camp Academy football team moved within two wins of a spot in the MHSAA Class 1A State Football Playoffs with a 40-12 win over visiting Durant High School Friday night.

The win pushed FCA to 3-7 overall and 3-3 in Region 3-1 play. That moved the Panthers into a three-way tie for fourth place in the region with Ethel and McAdams.

Nanih Waiya leads the way with a 6-0 mark, followed by Sebastopol at 5-1 and Noxapater at 5-2. The Panthers are set to visit Ethel this Friday, before closing out the regular season with a home game against Leake County on Nov. 4. FCA has region wins over McAdams (47-0), Montgomery County (47-0), and Durant. The League losses are to Nanih Waiya, Noxapater, and Sebastopol.

French Camp scored 19 unanswered points in the third quarter to turn a 21-6 halftime advantage into the 40-12 win over Durant on Friday.

The Panthers opened the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run by Zach Gilmer and an extra point by Bradley McGlothin, only to have Durant return the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to cut the lead to 7-6. FCA then returned the favor when Kendall Coleman took Durant’s kick back 74 yards for a score.

French Camp made it 21-6 at the half thanks to a 1-yard scoring run by Holman Edwards. McGlothin was again good on the kick.

FCA opened the third quarter scoring with a 6-yard run by Aaron Witt, followed by an 8-yard pass from Edwards to Fletcher Travis and a 6-yard run by Skylyr Effler. Durant added a fourth-quarter touchdown after the outcome of the game had already been determined.

Edwards had a huge game for French Camp, rushing for 119 yards on 12 carries and hitting on 6-of-12 passes for 120 yards.

Witt had 11 carries for 78 yards, while Coleman rushed for 44 yards on eight attempts and Gilmer had five carries for 38 yards.

Travis had three catches for 66 yards, while Coleman, Clayton Leathers and Bruce Wood had one catch each.

Andrew Miller, Jason May, Kondall Musa, and Gilmer had three stops apiece. Braxton Bright recorded an interception.