By JIM CROSS
LR News Contributor
The Ashdown Panthers hosted the Bauxite Miners in an old-fashioned conference shootout. It was an exciting game with many ebbs and flows leaving both teams feeling like tonight was going to be a victory.
Both teams were very well-coached and played with a great passion and energy. The stands were packed with great enthusiasm at Dick Hays Stadium. Bauxite came away with a 27 to 24 victory. The Panthers led at halftime 6 to 0 on a 2 yard touchdown run by Senior Brett Bond.
Both teams came out blazing after halftime, and the second half would be an offensive explosion. Bauxite scored quickly to make the score 7 to 6, and then both teams would score three times a piece with the final separation being in the points after touchdown.
The Panthers were led by Sophomore Quarterback Alex Keilbach (The Farm Bureau Player of the Game) who threw three touchdown passes: two to Jaxon Jester and one to Desmond Cornelius. Jester had 6 catches for 110 yards while Sophomore Xavier Sanders led the team in rushing with 87 yards.
While the skilled players grab the headlines, the success starts with the great play of the offensive line led by Cole Smith, Big Joe and Alex Paredes, AJ Hopkins, Dillon Reed and Vincent Jones. On the defensive side of the ball, Carter Bowman, DJ Goffin, AJ Hopkins, Vincent Jones, Delrae Smith and Kameron Benton played well.
In visiting with players and coaches, they all remained positive. Coach Matt Richardson stated that we are close, just a few small mistakes, but was quick to point out that he loves the effort and passion of team while praising the Senior leadership and mentioning that we are starting sixteen underclassmen.
“Being a Senior leader is a big deal, and I want to leave my mark on the program while I want people to remember the good things that I brought to the team,” senior Big Joe Paredes said.
He goes on to say that it is an honor to be starting for the Panthers, and he would not want to be anyplace else than with his 43 brothers on the team.
“I have a brother relationship with every person on my team, and being a senior, that means the most to me,” senior Brett Bond said. “Regardless of any win or loss, I know they have my back and I have theirs.”
With this great senior leadership, come out to Dick Hays Stadium this Friday as the Panthers host the Malvern Leopards with kickoff at 7 p.m.
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