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Jackson County ties Prince Avenue, 12-12

Missed kicks lead to tie despite strong effort by Panthers' defense

POSTED: September 24, 2008 5:01 a.m.

BOGART -- There was no clear winner in Friday's game between Jackson County and Prince Avenue.

The game ended in a 12-12 tie and left Panthers coach Billy Kirk shaking his head after his team missed an extra point late in the fourth quarter that cost them a victory.

"We haven't reached a point where we can play a complete game right now," Kirk said. "It's not a loss but we come out and don't play well and continue to shoot ourselves in the foot, here's the end result."

The Panthers surprised the Wolverines by opening the game with an onside kick and recovering it at the 46-yard line.

That was one of the few bright spots for the Panthers though, as the drive ended when Alex Crawford was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-4.

"They're a very good football team and they hit us in the mouth," Kirk said. "We've got to get tougher to get ready for the region."

The Panthers defense played tough in the first half. Prince Avenue drove down to the Panthers 5-yard line twice in the first half and came up empty on both occasions.

Facing fourth-and-9 at the 44-yard line, the Wolverines sent out their punt team. Tailback Stephen Appleby then took a direct snap 39 yards for a first-and-goal at the 5.

The Jackson County defense rose to the challenge, stopping the Wolverines in the backfield on three straight running plays.

On fourth down, defensive back Darien Rollins broke up a pass in the end zone.

On Prince Avenue's next drive, three Panther defenders tipped Taylor Clark's pass, forcing another fourth-and-goal.

The Panthers received a huge play from their special teams by blocking Noah Lee's field goal attempt as the game remained scoreless through the first half.

After a scoreless first half, both teams were able to score twice in the second half.

Roderick Burkes scored from 10 yards out, capping a six-play drive with 3:59 remaining in the third quarter.

Prince Avenue answered moments later with a touchdown on a halfback pass from Anthony Ball to Stephen Appleby. It was Ball's only pass of the game, though he gave the Panthers fits all night by rushing for 123 yards on 22 attempts.

"A lot of people are used to me running up and down the field for touchdowns," Ball said. "They played good defense tonight. On that pass, I don't even know what was going on. I thought I overthrew him but it fell right into his hands. I told Taylor (Clark) I'm taking his job."

The Wolverines took the lead with 9:27 remaining in the fourth quarter when William McNeely took off for a 35-yard run.

The Wolverines lead was only 12-6 though, after the
Panthers blocked a second extra point attempt.

The final score of the game came when Crawford hooked up with Casey Mills for a 65-yard touchdown pass, but a missed extra point ended the Panthers chances of coming away with the win.

"I though both teams played hard and tried to get it done," Wolverines coach Mark Farriba said. "I think both of us feel like we ran out of time. We felt like we were able to compete with them and we certainly were not hoping to end in a tie."



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