Saturday, October 30, 2010

SPORTS>>Panthers outlast Pointers, get help from turnovers

By Todd traub
Leader sports editor

Cabot won a shootout at Van Buren on Friday night and kept its 7A/6A-Central Conference championship hopes alive.

Cabot took a back-and-forth, 35-28 victory, grabbing four turnovers and turning two interceptions into points. The Panthers entered the night in a three-way tie for first with Conway and Bryant.

The Panthers finish the season at home against Russellville on Thursday.

Cabot led 28-21 at halftime and shut out Van Buren in the scoreless third quarter that featured Bryson Morris’ interception for the Panthers. Cabot then played Van Buren to a 7-7 tie in the fourth quarter to hold off the Pointers.

Jeremy Berry was Cabot’s go-to back on Friday, picking up drive-sustaining first downs to finish with 229 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.

Ian Thompson came in for Andre Ausejo, who has gotten more playing time in place of injured Spencer Smith, and carried 24 times for 104 yards and one touchdown. Mason Haley had five carries for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Quarterback Zach Craig was 3 of 5 for 84 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to Rod Quinn.

The Panthers finished with 576 total yards as the teams combined for more than 1,000.

Spoon was 18 of 33 for 306 yards and two touchdowns to go with the three interceptions and major college prospect Drew White had over 100 yards receiving.

Things looked bad for the Panthers when the Pointers’ Joseph Snapp returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. After a defensive stop, Van Buren was driving again when Zack Brown intercepted Spoon in the end zone.

Haley later tied it on a 16-yard run.

Van Buren went back in front when Spoon completed a 16-yard pass to Jacob Eason in the second quarter.

Cabot, which has had one turnover the past three games after averaging between 3-4 a game during the first part of the season, had its lone fumble of the night. But Greg Phelps intercepted Spoon and the Panthers drove for Ian Thompson’s five-yard touchdown run that made it 14-14.