Panthers drops sixth straight to Auburn

This past Friday the Smiths Station High Panthers failed to get back into the win column with a home loss to region opponent the Auburn Tigers 35-14. 

“I’m proud of the effort, I’m proud of their fight and I’m proud of the way they played until the end” head coach Mike Glisson said on his team’s performance. “I think they deserved a little better than they got, but that’s football”. 

The Panthers started off the game fantastically with an opening kickoff return for a touchdown but was called back inside their own 15-yard line due to a block in the back call. Despite the setback, the Panthers found themselves dead locked in a tie of 7-7 at the end of the first quarter. 

Late in the first quarter the Panthers went 3-and-out and were forced to punt but the Tigers muffed the return and the ball was recovered by the Panthers to give the Panther offense great field position inside Auburn territory. Junior quarterback Corey Minton connected with sophomore wide receiver Ahmari Peabody for a 16-yard passing touchdown to even up the score with the Tigers. The touchdown capped off a six-play, 54-yard drive. 

The rest of the offensive drives for the first half resulted in two punts and one blocked punt for an Auburn touchdown. 

The second half for the Panthers didn’t have much success with each drive resulting in punts. Later in the fourth quarter, the Panthers punted from deep inside their own territory and the special team’s unit forced another muffed punt, senior defensive end Ryan Hunter recovered the loose ball inside Auburn territory. On the next drive the Panthers offense was taken over by junior quarter back Jacob Blackmon. Blackmon connected with sophomore wide receiver Noah Jedrzynski for a 43-yard reception to put the Panthers inside the Auburn redzone. Two plays later Blackmon helped himself with a 7-yard rushing touchdown. 

Smiths Station’s offense tallied 83 total offensive yards for the night.  

Outside of the three touchdowns in the second quarter, two on offense and one blocked punt, the Panther defense only allowed one touchdown in the first and one touchdown in the fourth quarters. 

In the third quarter, the Auburn offense started inside the Smiths Station 18-yard line. The Auburn offense put the ball on the ground and was recovered by senior Edward Payne. 

The Panthers will have a much-needed bye week this week to heal and regroup. The Panthers have two more games remaining this year, next Friday night the Panthers travel to Prattville to take on the Prattville Lions for the final region game of the 2019 season. The Lions come into the game with an overall record of 6-1, 3-1 in region play. The Lions won the 2018 edition of the matchup 23-18. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET at Stanley-Jensen Stadium.