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Panthers come up short, 18-14

Coming into last night’s game against Fruitdale, Butler County Magnet School knew the Pirates would be hungry for a region win, and several Panther miscues led the way to an 18-14 Fruitdale win.

“I thought we came out ready, but I also think we expected to score more than we did,” said head coach Shane Smothers.

The Pirates were without their starting quarterback, and Smothers said that might have caused his team to relax.

“They came in knowing they had to run, but when they had to throw it, they did,” he said. “Our secondary had two breakdowns and it cost us twice.”

The Panthers drew first blood when Victor Marshall broke a 43-yard run with 9:14 to play in the second quarter. LaJordan Crittenden added the two-point conversion to make the score 8-0.

Late in the quarter, the Panthers’ offense went into reverse, and after a short punt, the Pirates set up shop deep in BCMS territory and put points on the board with 42 seconds left in the half.

The Panthers made it all the way to the Fruitdale 6-yard line with a trick play, but time expired before they could score.

Fruitdale opened the second half with a 45-yard touchdown pass to take a 12-8 lead.

The Panthers’ only fumble of the night ended up being a costly one because it came with BCMS driving inside the Fruitdale 30-yard line.

Although the Pirates scored with 4:28 to play in the game, BCMS wasn’t done fighting.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Marshall raced 58 yards for a touchdown to make the score 18-14.

BCMS recovered an onside kick, but the offense sputtered and couldn’t put points on the board.

“The whole game was about missed opportunities,” Smothers said. “We didn’t play for four quarters or as hard as we could. Sometimes you need a game to tell you that you’re not as good as people have been saying.”

“It hurts losing at home against a region team,” he added.

Marshall was the highlight of the night offensively for the Panthers with 15 rushes for 219 yards.