Panthers claim 47-27 victory over Choctaw Central WarriorsBy ALLEN ARDREY,
The Morton Panthers (5-3) triumphed over the Choctaw Central Warriors (0-8) last Friday night. Although the Warriors had home field advantage, the Panthers clawed out a 47-27 victory.
Coach Ty Weems said that the Panthers have found their identity as “a team that runs the ball” and does so quite well. Out of 147 plays, only one of those was a passing attempt. The majority of the offensive plays made by the Panthers were running plays.
They ran the ball for a total of 453 yards against the Warriors. Morton’s quarterback ran the ball 22 times for 238 yards and four touchdowns, and a running back and tailback ran the ball for a combined total of 27 times for roughly 200 yards. The Panthers controlled the offensive line of scrimmage, opening lanes for long rushing gains. The receivers still ran their routes, yet received merely one pass the entire game.
As Coach Weems described them, the Panthers who play the receiver positions were “selfless” in that play after play they ran their routes and instead of receiving the ball, as is their stereotypical role, blocked for the players rushing the ball. Truly a grand team effort was made overall by the Panthers.
In the first half, the Warriors somewhat surprised the Panther defense. Typically, the Warriors primarily pass the ball offensively, but not so during the first couple quarters. The Panther defense expected the quarterback to pass the ball, which set them up to fail against running plays. At the end of the first half, the Panthers lead by a one score margin, 27-20.
Halftime was a critical juncture for the Panthers. Coach Weems said that it was helpful to have the downtime opportunity during half-time to talk through the strategy of the game and how things had been going against the Warriors.
With a new game plan in mind, the Panthers started the third quarter with a kickoff return for a touchdown, and they did not let off the gas until the game was over and the victory secured.
Simply comparing the records of the Panthers and the Warriors would give an instant idea of which would win. Many coaches have said that any team can beat any team on any given night — the amount of effort given determines the final outcome. The Panthers came out, did their thing, pulled off a big win against the Warriors, and earned it with great effort.
Friday, the Morton Panthers have a home game in which they will challenge the Southeast Lauderdale Tigers. The records of both teams are flipped — Morton is 5-3, and Southeast Lauderdale is 3-5. These two teams are closely ranked in both the 3A division and the state of Mississippi. The Tigers are ranked 13 in the 3A division and 116 in the state, and the Panthers are ranked 16 in the 3A division and 124 in the state.
Coach Weems intimated that Southeast Lauderdale knocked Morton out of the playoffs last year, so tensions will be high during this personal rematch of sorts for the Panthers.