Tuesday, August 22, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers’ defense dominates Wolves

Leader sports editor

Defense shined the brightest as Cabot played its annual preseason scrimmage game against Lake Hamilton on Monday at Panther Stadium. It was a controlled scrimmage in which the teams traded 15-play possessions with no down limitations. If a team failed to get a first down, the ball stayed where it was and the downs were reset.

Even with four 15-play drives with no down restrictions, the Panther defense kept the Wolves out of the end zone the entire game.

Lake Hamilton only got close enough for a field-goal attempt once, and missed it.

“I think we got after it pretty good,” said Cabot coach Mike Malham. “I thought we played hard. We just have a lot of inexperience out there. We’ve got to get it as we go.”

The offense also performed well. The first two plays of Cabot’s first possession picked up 34 yards to the Lake Hamilton 36. Halfback T.J. Rogers then broke free on the dive play for a 36-yard touchdown run.

During Lake Hamilton’s first possession, Cabot safety Justin Nabors read the bubble screen perfectly, stepped in front of the receiver for the interception and returnedit 40 yards for the score.

During Cabot’s second varsity possession, halfback Noah Sorrells took the option pitch from quarterback Tommy Oaks around the right corner and scampered 30 yards down the sideline for another Panther touchdown.

Later than same series, another solid drive got the ball inside the 10, where Sorrells busted free from 8 yards out for his second touchdown of the night.

Also during that possession, sophomore kicker Rhett Thurman made a 43-yard field goal. He had missed a 36-yarder wide right earlier, but the successful kick is an improvement from last season, when the Panthers failed to make a field goal all season.

Mason Martin handled the PATs, and made them all.

After the four 15-yard possessions, two each by varsity and JV, the teams traded goal-line situation possession, spotting the ball at the 10-yard line.

Oaks fumbled once but Cabot recovered. On the very next play, Oaks walked in on the keeper for the final touchdown of the night.

The Panther defense again kept the Wolves out of the end zone.

“I think we did all right considering all the new people we have out there,” Malham said. “Oaks looked comfortable. They’re putting in a new offense; the Wing-T stuff (Tommy Gilleran) was running at Fountain Lake. That may have hurt them some, the first real test of that new system. I’m sure we’ll watch the tape and find a lot of mistakes, but just first impression, I thought we did pretty good.”