Offense struggles as Panthers fall to Elbert County.

Sports, Team FYN Sports

BLAIRSVILLE, GA- The Union County Panthers (3-2,1-0) hosted The Elbert County Blue Devils (1-4,0-0) on a chilly night in the mountains.

First Quarter

The Blue Devils offense came out firing, pushing the ball all the way to the Panthers’ 35 yard line. The Panthers defense ended up forcing a punt. The Panthers offense, still trying to find an identity, started the game on the right foot. Huge rushes by Senior Running-back Jonah Daniel led the Panthers on the first drive. The Panthers had the ball on the 8 yard line and  fumbled on the 1 as Junior Quarterback Logan Helcher tried to reach for the goal line. The Panthers defense held up strong forcing the Blue Devils to punt from their own end zone.

Second Quarter

The Panthers defense again held the Blue Devils to another punt. The defense had huge tackles for loss by Senior Noah Underwood and Senior Aaron Helton. The Panthers just couldn’t get anything going offensively, failing the 4th down conversion inside the Blue Devils 20 yard line. Both teams could not get anything going offensively, credit to both defenses for not allowing any big plays after both teams’ first drive. The Panthers held the Blue Devils to another punt, which was blocked by Junior Elijah Helton and the Panthers took over from the Blue Devils 45 yard line. On the first play of the drive, the Blue Devils intercepted Quarterback Logan Helcher and returned it for a touchdown.  The next drive ended the same way. Logan Helcher’s pass was intercepted on an attempted screen pass. The Panthers defense held the Blue Devils to a field goal to make the score 10-0 late in the second quarter. The Panthers failed to score any points before halftime.

Third Quarter

To start the second half, the Panthers came out moving the ball down the field. Getting the ball down to the Blue Devils 12 yard line after the Blue Devils committed a pass interference on a deep pass intended for Kaston Hemphill. The Panthers would have to settle for a field goal which made the score 10-3. The Panthers defense forced a much needed turnover. Noah Underwood sacked the QB and picked up the fumble near midfield. On the first play of the Panthers offensive drive, Quarterback Logan Helcher evaded tackles and found Noah Underwood for a 40 yard touchdown to tie the game at 10 a piece. The Blue Devils started to move the ball well on offense, taking the ball all the way to the Panthers 35 yard line, but the Panthers defense stopped the drive there. The Blue Devils would again, intercept another pass and return it all the way to the 5 yard line and score on a 7 yard pass after a penalty, to take the lead, 17-10. The Panthers would get the ball moving well again offensively heading into the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter

On the first play of the fourth quarter, The Blue Devils would intercept another pass as Quarterback Logan Helcher would try to get rid of the ball while getting hit. The Blue Devils would return it for a touchdown to extend their lead to 24-10. The Panthers offense couldn’t get going on the next drive and failed to convert on 4th down inside their own 30 yard line after a mistimed snap. The Panthers defense didn’t allow any points on that drive and forced another punt. The Panthers were forced to punt on their next offensive drive. The Blue Devils would quickly score on their next drive on a 47 yard touchdown run, extending their lead to 31-10. The Blue Devils would hold the ball until the clock ran out to end the game.

The Panthers fall to the Blue Devils, 31-10. That gives the Panthers their first region loss of the year.

The Panthers will host Rabun Gap on Thursday, November 6 @ 6:30.

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