DANIELSVILLE — Down 17-6 at halftime, the Jackson County Panthers needed a spark to get back in the game against the Madison County Red Raiders, so first-year head coach Brandon Worley told his players to “win each play” in the second half.
His players got the message loud and clear as the Panthers scored 22 unanswered points in the third quarter en route to a 48-23 victory Friday night.
“It feels awesome,” Worley said about getting his first win as a head coach. “I’m proud for these kids and these coaches because they have worked their tails off. They deserve it.”
It was the first time Jackson County (1-0) has ever defeated Madison County.
“It will be something to remember,” Worley added.
The Panthers’ ground game led the offensive assault in the third quarter, headed by Malik Tuck’s touchdown runs of 4 and 25 yards. He finished the game with 122 rushing yards on 16 carries. Chris Griggs rushed for 27 yards on nine carries and a touchdown. Jorge Monzon added 97 yards on five carries.
Wide receiver Chase Wester caught two passes for 58 yards and Griffin McElvery hauled in an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback from Jase Latty.
The defense did its job, recovering three Madison County fumbles, all of which turned into scores for the offense (two touchdowns, one field goal). The defense also snagged three sacks.
Kicker Easton Tuggle connected on three field goals of 31, 40 and 35 yards, respectively.
The Panthers travel to White County next Friday.