The Ashdown Panthers were on the road for their first conference game at Haskell Harmony Grove on Friday night. The Harmony Grove Cardinals dominated the Panthers in every phase of the game with a 34 to 0 victory.
The game was simply the old saying whatever could go wrong went wrong. The Panthers dug themselves a deep hole early in the 1st quarter with 3 interceptions and some timely penalties which they could not overcome.
The Panthers played hard and competed until the final seconds went off the clock.
Offensively, Jaxon Jester and Desmond Cornelius combined for 9 catches and 81 yards. Defensively, Carter Bowman (The Farm Bureau Player of the Game) and Merrick Miller played a fantastic game from their linebacker positions.
However, Brett Bond showed the true grit of the Panther team. Bond played with a sore ankle and in the 4th quarter when the game was well out of reach, Bond sprinted 40 yards down the field to tackle the Cardinals fastest player from behind.
In talking with Head Coach Matt Richardson he was wanting a better outcome but was pleased with how the team responded. Richardson has been preaching stay positive and be accountable.
Here are two responses from the players, First, Senior Cole Smith said, “Times like this, friends are built for good times, Brothers are built for adversity.” Smith goes on to explain with a great passion and urgency, “I’m striving for great attitudes throughout the whole team this week, I am going harder than ever and I am going to push my teammates harder than ever.”
Senior Anthony Hopkins says this, “We have to rally our brothers and come together more than ever and fix our mistakes and come out hard this week.”
The Panthers return home at Dick Hays Stadium to host the Bauxite Miners this Friday at 7 p.m.
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