The Blitz, complete high school coverage
JEFFERSON — On Friday night at Panthers Stadium, two-high powered offenses met two high-powered defenses, leading to the age-old adage “something’s gotta give.”
That turned out to be Jackson County, which fell to North Oconee 35-6.
The Titans (3-1, 1-0 Region 8-AAA) were sparked by quarterback Nick Colvin, who threw for 131 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 36 yards and caught one pass for 29 yards.
Sophomore running back Zantravious Shields helped the Titan offense as well, rushing for 51 yards on seven carries and scoring two touchdowns, one on the ground and one on a 5-yard reception.
The Panthers (3-2, 0-1) were led by quarterback Kyle Daniel, who threw for 119 yards and one touchdown. Junior wide receiver Layson Giles had six catches for 77 yards.
“They do a good job defensively, but I thought it was more about us,” Jackson County coach Benji Harrison said. “Poor execution early ... against a good football team you gotta capitalize when they make mistakes.
“We weren’t able to do that. When you don’t do that and you keep giving them opportunities eventually ... they’re a good football team and they’re going to make some plays.”
Both defenses came into Friday night’s game allowing just over 16 points per game. However, the Panthers’ defense created chaos in the first quarter for the Titans’ offense.
Panthers’ junior linebacker Evan Breakspear recovered a North Oconee fumble on the game’s opening drive. However, the offense failed to convert.
On the first play of North Oconee’s second drive, senior Garrett Holt intercepted a Colvin pass. Again, the Panthers’ offense couldn’t convert the turnover into points, leading to 0-0 after the first quarter.
“I thought our defense battled early, but here’s the thing we gotta do: If one side’s not playing real well, then the other side’s just gotta step it up, and if that means for four quarters of doing, then that’s what they gotta do,” Harrison said
The missed opportunities opened the door for the North Oconee offense to walk through. Shields’ two touchdowns came in the second quarter. He also intercepted a Daniel pass.
North Oconee’s other touchdown came on a Dakota Greene 1-yard run, leading to 21-0 score at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Colvin kept the scoring barrage going, throwing a 54-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Dando on the first play of the half.
Senior running back Rob Farriba then scored on a 51-yard run on the Titans’ next possession.
The Panthers scored late in the third quarter behind the arm of Daniel, who connected on a 31-yard pass to Giles, which set-up a Daniel 2-yard touchdown toss to junior wide receiver Ben Brissey.