Magnolia came from behind twice in the first half to take the lead on the Crossett Eagles, and didn’t let up in the fourth quarter of the season opener.
The Eagles were able to close the gap and were only down by two points, but ultimately weren’t able to hold back the Panthers, giving Magnolia a nine-point win.
The Crossett Eagles took on the Magnolia Panthers in the opening game of their regular season. Magnolia ultimately won the game 28-19. (VAL GAUGHT/News Observer)
“We executed a lot of things and improved on a lot of things,” Crossett Quarterback Joseph Monroe said. “We have just got to keep pushing and not give up.”
The Eagles started the game off with a fumble, but they quickly recovered it, saving their first possession from being a turnover. Monroe saved the Eagles again by converting a third down. Amuru Gibbs and Marquan Bornslater carried the Eagles down the field one play at a time, until finally Bornslater was able to run the ball 16 yards into the end zone on a counterplay that stunned the Panther defense.
The Eagles attempted a two-point conversion, but failed, kicking the ball to the Panthers with only a 6-0 lead.
Eagle penalties gave the Panther offense a head start on the field. The Panthers made it to the end zone with a 32-yard run, but a penalty of their own brought the touchdown back.
It took the Panthers a few short runs to get back to the end zone. Once they finally made it back to first and goal, Magnolia’s Octavious Smith ran the ball in for six points.
The Panthers opted to kick for the extra point. Panther kicker Morgan Rogers successfully got the ball between the posts, giving Magnolia a 7 to 6 lead.
The Eagles answered with a 58-yard run by Ja’Vonn Watson, getting the Eagles only a few yards from the goal. Gibbs ran the ball in the end zone, taking back the Eagle lead 12 to 7.
The Eagle defense forced the Panthers to a quick four and out, and the Eagle offense returned to the field.
A pass interference call against Magnolia gave the Eagles a first down that kept them going. The Panthers shut Bornslater down three times, bringing the Eagles to a fourth and one situation. Gibbs ran the ball seven yards, picking up a Crossett first down.
The Eagles kept running the ball, but eventually found themselves in another fourth down situation; this time however, a quarterback sack prevented them from converting it.
The Panther offense took over the ball on their own 32-yard line.
It took multiple runs for the Panthers to get the ball into the end zone, but Kadyn Roach ran in it in on first and goal.
Rogers kicked a second extra point for the Panthers, taking them into the locker room with a 14 to 12 half-time lead on the Eagles.
The Panthers came back from the half and never let up.