Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SPORTS >> Cabot gives up big play, but moves ball at Lake Hamilton

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers visited Lake Hamilton Monday night for their annual Arkansas Activities Association’s benefit game against the Wolves. Offensively it wasn’t that bad.

Defensively, the Panthers were beat over the top four times for long touchdown passes. Outside of the four big pass plays, the Cabot defense played well. Each team’s first string ran 60 plays, and Lake Hamilton averaged very few yards per play on 56 of them. It was the other four that had head coach Mike Malham concerned.

“That did not go like we wanted it to go,” Malham said. “The big concern is giving up the big plays with that youth in the secondary. We only have one senior back there and the rest are brand new.”

The scrimmage was broken up into the 15-play series for each starting rotation. The starters played four series apiece. Cabot’s first possession was a patented Panther drive, using all 15 plays and scoring on the final play.

The Wolves scored twice in their first 15 plays. Through the rest of the starters’ 15-play series, Lake Hamilton scored two more times and Cabot failed to get in.

After the regular series, each team took two red-zone possessions. Cabot did much better near the goal line, scoring on both of its possessions while keeping the Wolves from scoring.

“I thought we got a little better as it went on,” Malham said. “That’s why we play these games, to get some experience for the young kids to feel more comfortable. Some of them get out there for the first time when it really counts and it’s like tunnel vision. The more they do it the better they’re going to get.”

Cabot proved its depth was much better than its host when the second teams took the field. The Panther backups scored on every possession but the very last, while not allowing Lake Hamilton much of anything offensively.

“Our seconds wore ‘em out,” Malham said. “We’re deeper than they are and our seconds did really well.”

Cabot will play its annual Red-White intrasquad scrimmage game this Friday night. Starters will see very limited action in that game as the team prepares to host Jacksonville in the season opener on Tuesday night at Panther Stadium.