August 23, 2014 11:42:08 PM
After not making the playoffs last season, the West Lowndes High School football team opened the 2014 season on a mission to make sure the same thing doesn't happen this year.
West Lowndes took a first step toward accomplishing that goal Friday night, using strong and performances from running back Jevontrae Williams, linebacker Tyshon Rogers, and wing back Rontavious Clark in a 46-12 home victory against Montgomery County.
Williams, Rogers, and Clark combined for three touchdowns, and all three played on both sides of the ball all night. Clark even saw action in special teams.
In the second quarter, Clark fielded a punt, cut to the left side of the field, juked right passed one defender, and ran down the sideline all the way to the end zone, only to have it called back due to a clipping penalty. When asked about it, Clark laughed it off and said it wasn't a big deal that it called back, as long as his team still won.
"It would have been nice," Clark said. "I thought I scored at first, so I started celebrating, but we still managed to score later on during that possession, so that's all that matters."
Clark scored the first touchdown on a 22-yard pass from Daniel Davis. He finished with 43 rushing yards on seven attempts.
Williams also had a huge game on the ground. His 33-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter sealed the deal for the Panthers. Williams ran through and around the Hornets all game, racking up 90 yards rushing to go with a touchdown and three two-point conversions.
Although he had a lot of success running the ball, Williams said he still sees room for improvement.
"The ground attack was on point all game, but I think we need to work on our blocking schemes a little bit more," Williams said. "The offensive line did well, but we still have to get that down packed, and work on our stamina."
Montgomery County coach Josh Glasner said his team couldn't stop the outside running of Clark and Williams.
"We couldn't set the edge," Glasner said. "We made our own mistakes, but they (Williams and Clark) really hurt us the most."
Rogers, the third piece of the big three, did his damage on defense. Of the three interceptions the Panthers forced, Rogers had two, including one for a touchdown. If it wasn't for stepping out of bounds while trying to juke a defender and tip toe the sidelines, he could have taken another one for a score.
"I was just out there grinding helping my team out and trying to get the offense the ball a lot," Rogers said.
The Panthers went for a two-point conversion each time they scored and were successful on four. All four scores came from Williams and Clark. The big three accounted for 34 of the team's 46 points.
While the Panthers will lean heavily on Williams, Clark, and Rogers, West Lowndes coach Anthony King everyone will need to stay healthy for the Panthers to have success.
"These guys have worked hard so far this year," King said. "We try to condition our guys to play six quarters instead of four. We have players playing both ways and don't want fatigue to be a factor. At the end of the game, we want to be the team that's physically in better shape."
If Friday night was any indication, Williams, Clark, and Rogers could help the Panthers have a lot to look forward to. But Rogers still feels the Panthers will be the underdogs entering every game.
"We are making it our mission to turn up, put a lot of points up on the scoreboard, and give the offense a chance to score," Rogers said. "I know we have what it takes to get that done."
1. MSU's Stricklin says cost of attendance right way to go COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Columbus Christian boys beat rival Hebron Christian HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Georgia's Frazier knocks out MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
5. New Hope boys, West Point girls earn wins HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS