The Russellville Panthers took their first big hit of the season, ruining their undefeated record as they fell 42-21 against the Mayfield Cardinals. The Panthers would have a solid lead early in the game, but with five turnovers the Cardinals would make their comeback and keep their state ranking as the number one team in the 1A division.
The Panthers would start the game off with three minutes left in the first quarter. Senior Demarcus Hampton would rush the ball 15 yards to put the Panthers on the scoreboard. The Panthers defense would then recover a fumble made by the Cardinals and score 20 seconds later. Desmon Quarles would break through the Cardinal defense and rush 22 yards to put the Panthers up 14-0 going into the second quarter.
The Panthers would move the ball down in the Cardinals 20, but the would try to make a long pass that was intercepted by the Cardinals. Mayfield would go on to score, trailing behind the Panthers 7-14 early in the second quarter.With another turnover by the Panthers, the Cardinals would gain possession of the ball and score on a 22 yard rush. Bringing the game to a tie of 14-14 with six minutes left to go in the second quarter.
Minutes later, senior quarterback Barrett Croslin would find a gap in the Cardinal defense and rush 82 yards to score the third touchdown for the Panthers. They would then take the lead again with a score of 21-14. But the Cardinals weren’t done yet, the Panthers would suffer another turnover and the Cardinals would complete a 17 yard pass to tie the game 21-21 going into the second half of the game.
The Panthers offense was not able to make anything happen the rest of the game. Three more turnovers would result in three more touchdowns scored by the Mayfield Cardinals. The Panthers would suffer their first loss of the season as they fell 21-42 to the number one ranked Mayfield Cardinals.
Both teams ended the night with 372 offensive yards. The Panthers would have 366 yards on the ground and only six yards passing.
Senior Barrett Croslin would lead the Panthers in rushing with 22 carries for 189 yards. Senior Demarcus Hampton would followed with 16 carries for 88 yards. Desmon Quarles finished the game with 13 carries for 59 yards. Dustin Morgan had two carries for 36 yards. Ta’Corian Darden had one carry for 27 yards and Dequan Beard had four carries for 10 yards.
Croslin finished the game with only six yards passing and two interceptions. Darden caught the pass and ended the night with six yards receiving.
The Panthers will face the South Warren Spartans this Friday in their last home game of the regular season.