Panthers drop a close one to Newberry


The Batesburg-Leesville Panthers fell to 1-2 on the season Friday night with a 21-20 loss to the Newberry Bulldogs (1-1).  The Panthers will host Mid-Carolina next Friday at Panther Stadium.

B-L jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter behind scoring runs from Marvin Gantt and Tre Robinson.  Both drives were set up by Newberry fumbles. The first point-after attempt failed when the holder couldn’t handle the snap. Then the Panthers attempted a two-point conversion, which failed on the second score as B-L led 12-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Newberry would answer right back with a three-play scoring drive and a 37-yard scoring pass to make it 12-7.  Two plays later, B-L fumbled and Newberry took over and scored on a two-play drive on a 21-yard scoring run to lead 14-12 early in the second quarter. That would be the score at the half.

In the third quarter, the teams traded possessions before B-L missed a 24-yard field goal late in the quarter.  Newberry would come back with an 80-yard scoring drive with a 5-yard run for the score.  The extra point made it 21-12 with :30 to play in the third quarter.

B-L would answer with a 57-yard scoring drive on the ensuing possession with Amah-Dre Leaphart scoring from two yards out.  Robinson then passed to Gantt for the two-point conversion to make it 21-20 with 8:56 to play.

The B-L defense would force a fumble on the next possession at the Newberry 34, but the drive stalled and B-L turned the ball over on downs at the Newberry 20 with 5:11 to play.  Newberry then methodically moved the ball 40 yards on 11 plays and managed to convert a fourth-down play with 35 seconds remaining to play to seal the victory.

Unofficially, Newberry finished with 272 yards of offense, 216 through the air.  B-L’s offense was led by 143 yards rushing from Gantt on 32 carries, while Robinson passed for 141 yards.  B-L had 317 yards of total offense.

Story by Jay Hendrix / Posted September 7, 2019