Quitman takes advantage of Northeast's miscues
By By Will Bardwell/staff writer
October 4, 2003
Two plays midway through the third quarter swung momentum permanently for Quitman on Friday night as the Panthers downed Northeast Lauderdale 21-0 in a key division contest.
After a scoreless first half, the Trojans turned the ball over on downs at the Quitman 30-yard line after a six-minute drive to open the third quarter.
On the next play, Quitman running back Randy Carter took the hand off and ran 70 yards for the game's first score, making the score 7-0.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans fumbled on the first play of their possession. The Panthers' J.C. Bland recovered, and less than two minutes later, senior running back Mike McLendon scored from six yards out.
Northeast Lauderdale head coach Steve Nelson said the quick scoring burst was too much to overcome.
The 0-0 halftime score followed a bizarre series of plays which saw each offense come away empty. With two minutes remaining in the second quarter, Quitman's 35-yard field goal attempt came up short. The Trojans' Maurice Carlisle caught the short kick and ran the ball to near midfield.
After the play, Northeast Lauderdale was penalized for a forward lateral, although no lateral took place at all. As a result, the Trojans started at their own 4-yard line.
Northeast Lauderdale's last offensive gasp of the half came with just over 30 seconds remaining, when quarterback Maurice Langston ran down the left sideline to the Trojans' 45-yard line, but the play was negated by a block in the back foul.
Despite the slow start, Quitman head coach James Holloman said he was not concerned about his offense after the first half.
The Trojans opened the second half with the ball and drove for six minutes before failing on fourth down at the Panthers 30-yard line.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Trojans failed to convert on fourth down and seven from their own 35-yard line.
After the turnover on downs, McLendon scored his second rushing touchdown, running through several tackles to give the Panthers a 21-0 lead.
Nelson said he was pleased with his defense's performance, despite giving up three touchdowns.
The Northeast Lauderdale defense was led by linebacker Cody Warner, who finished with five solo tackles and 14 assists.
Still, it was the Quitman defense that effectively ended the game. The Panthers snuffed out any threat of a Trojans comeback with eight minutes remaining when Cedric Locke took an interception near the 50-yard line.