By Stan Beall
The Star Herald
FRENCH CAMP —
The French Camp Academy Panthers hosted the Cougars from Coldwater last Friday night and came away with a 42-6 first round playoff win.
The Panthers are now 9-2 overall and will travel to Greenville Friday night to take on the St. Joseph Fighting Irish in the second round of the State 1A Playoffs.
The Panthers got on the board quickly when Jesse Hosket found Ben Hosket in the right seam for a 40-yard scoring strike, Sam Gould kick, to pull quickly ahead of the Cougars 7-0 with about 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Hagan Box intercepted a Cougar pass deep in Panther territory and returned it back across midfield with a little over nine minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Shortly after the interception, Box found the end zone after a 16-yard run, Gould kick, to pull ahead of the Cougars 14-0 with a little over eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Neither team would score in the remaining minutes of the first quarter and the Panthers lead 14-0 to start the second quarter.
With 7:02 remaining in the half, Jaylon Clemons found the end zone on a nine-yard run, Gould kick, to increase the Panther lead to 21-0 and this would be the score leading into halftime.
The Cougars were to receive the second half kickoff, but fumbled it away, and the Panthers recovered the football near midfield.
With a little over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Daniel Hughes ran one in from 11 yards out, Gould kick, to pad the Panther lead to 28-0.
Both teams would remain scoreless in the remainder of the third quarter and the Panthers began the fourth quarter with a 28-0 lead.
With 9:51 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Jesse Hosket found Ben Hosket once again from seven yards out, Gould kick, to now lead the Cougars 35-0.
This was the second touchdown from the brotherly duo in the contest.
The Cougars would find the end zone with about four minutes remaining in the contest, conversion unsuccessful, to make the score 35-6, but the Panthers would answer that score just three minutes later.
With 1:31 remaining in the contest, Daniel Hughes would score his second touchdown of the night on a 13 yard run, Gould kick, to push the final score to 42-6.
Offensively the Panthers were led by Jesse Hosket who was 7-10 passing with two touchdowns and an interception and he also had 25 yards rushing on nine carries.
Jaylon Clemons had 114 yards rushing on just 13 carries with one touchdown while Daniel Hughes had six touches for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
Hagan Box would rush the football one time for 16 yards and a touchdown and had two catches for 36 yards.
Ben Hosket had four receptions for 49 yards and two touchdowns and Lovondra Carter had one catch for 21 yards.
Defensively the Panthers were led by Ben Hosket who had 13 tackles, Jevante McAdory and Cortez Johnson with eight stops each and Dylan Dickey with seven.
“I thought we looked really sharp, the first half we played really well and scored on our first three possessions,” said FCA head coach Nathan Wright. “Defensively we held, but they were a better football team than I expected them to be. They did a good job on their pass protections and their quarterback was an exceptional athlete who was really fast, we couldn’t contain him. Overall we played really well and the guys played really hard and we hit hard.”
The Panthers will travel to Greenville Friday night to take on St. Joe in the second round of the State 1A playoffs.
The Panthers were victorious over the Irish earlier in the year when they defeated them 30-0.
“They (St. Joe) have a very good football team but they didn’t play very well the first time we played them and we had a really good night,” added Wright. “They are very big up front with a big quarterback and they have some speed. Coach Baker is doing a great job with them over there. To try and beat a team twice in a year is a difficult thing to do and I know that they’ll be hungry and we will get their best game, so I hope we can give them our best game.”