Panthers unable to overcome strong performance by Henderson

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Henderson Lions 41,

Bullard Panthers 14, FINAL

HHS: 14 13 7 7 - 41

BHS: 0 7 7 0 - 14

Continuing their prowl through the district schedule, the Bullard Panther varsity football team returned to the friendly confines of Panther Stadium last week, this time playing the part of host for the team’s annual Senior Night district showdown against the Henderson Lions Friday, Nov. 3.

During pre-game ceremonies, senior members of the Panther varsity football team, as well as senior cheerleaders, drill team members, and band members were introduced on the field with their respective families.

The first team to reach the end zone in the district battle was the visiting Lions, who scampered their way past the Panther defense and across the goal line a rushing touchdown. The visiting Henderson’s team was successful in completing the extra point attempt, allowing the Lions to take an early lead against the Panthers, 7-0.

Henderson’s offense continued to find success against Bullard’s defensive unit in the opening quarter of play, with the Lion quarterback finding an open receiver for a 42 yard touchdown reception. The Lions’ extra point attempt was successful, increasing Henderson’s lead over Bullard to a 14-0 advantage.

In the second quarter of play, the Lions’ offensive unit was able to make its way around the Panther defense once again, this time on a 5 yard rush into the end zone for the touchdown score. With an unsuccessful extra point attempt, Henderson led Bullard, 20-0.

The home team Panthers made their way into the end zone for the first time in the contest during the second quarter, as senior quarterback Cleet Bowman was able to find senior wide receiver Ty Crayton, who broke free from his defensive pursuers en route to scoring on a 65 yard touchdown reception. The Panthers’ senior kicker Will McCowin was able to successfully convert the team’s extra point attempt, as Bullard trimmed Henderson’s lead to a 20-7 score.

Late in the second quarter, Henderson put together a solid offensive drive and found their way into the end zone once again on a six yard touchdown pass. With the successful extra point attempt, the Lions led the Panthers, 27-7, at halftime.

After returning to the field for the second half of gridiron action, the visiting Lions were able to move the ball successfully downfield and past the Panther defensive unit for the score, this time on a 65 yard touchdown reception. Henderson’s extra point attempt was successful, as the Lions pulled ahead of the Panthers, 34-7.

Not to be outdone, the home team Bullard fought back against their opposition, taking the ball into the end zone for a 37 yard rushing touchdown by sophomore running back Latrez Young. With the score by Young and the successful extra point attempt by McCowin, the Lions’ lead over the Panthers was narrowed to a 34-14 deficit.

In the fourth quarter of play, Henderson moved the ball well against Bullard, reaching the end zone for the sixth time in the contest on a 48 yard touchdown pass. As the Lions’ kicker successfully converted the team’s extra point attempt, Henderson’s lead grew over Bullard, 41-14.

At the scoreboard’s final buzzer, the strong offensive production from Henderson was too much for the home team Bullard to overcome, as the Lions claimed the district win, defeating Bullard with a 41-14 final score.

At the quarterback position, Cleet Bowman was able to complete 14 of his 26 total passes for a total of 150 passing yards and one passing touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Tristen Shewmake also saw action under center for the Panthers, completing four of nine passes for 22 yards and throwing two interceptions.

In the rushing game, the Panthers were led by the strong legs of Young, who rushed the ball on 10 attempts for a total of 62 yards and one rushing touchdown.

Other significant contributors in the Panthers’ rushing game against the Lions included senior running back Luke Bowman, with six carries for seven yards; Crayton, with two carries for six yards; and senior running back Cade Duvak, with one carry for one yard.

Crayton was also the leader in receiving yardage for the Panthers against the Lions, collecting one pass of 65 yards and one receiving touchdown.

Other contributors in receiving for Bullard against Henderson included senior wide receiver McCowin, with four catches for 49 yards; senior wide receiver Jagger Haynie, with three catches for 21 yards; junior wide receiver Colton Bowman, with six catches for 15 yards; junior wide receiver Dustin Dover, with two catches for 11 yards; Young, with one catch for eight yards; and senior wide receiver Bailey Kurtz, with one catch for three yards.

Defensively, the Panthers were led by the strong effort made by Young, leading the team with a total of eight tackles and one assist.

Other key defensive contributors for the Panthers against the Lions included junior defensive back Damion Brown, with six tackles and seven assists; junior linebacker Reece Ricketts, with three tackles; senior linebacker Brody Mullican, with three tackles; and senior linebacker Thomas Brooks, with three tackles.

With the loss to the Henderson Lions, the Bullard Panther varsity football team currently stands with an overall record of 3-6, 2-3 in district play.

Next week: Bullard Panthers at Kilgore Bulldogs

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