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The Prairiland Patriots started the 2013 football campaign in dominating fashion as they defeated the Chisum Mustangs by a score of 41-7 at home. The Patriots won in every way possible, racking up 357 yards rushing on the night, led by Connor Skidmore‘s 194 yards.
Prairiland also played solid defense has they picked off the Chisum quarterback twice. Chace Reynolds and Dakota Taylor each had an interception while Stoney Johnson had a blocked punt for the Patriots. It was a solid win for the Patriots to open up the 2013 season.
The Chisum Lady Mustangs took first place in the Commerce Labor Day Smash Tournament.
PARIS, TEXAS — If you were to look at the box score from Friday night’s game between the North Lamar Panthers and the Commerce Tigers, you would probably assume North Lamar won the game. They dominated every statistical category possible. North Lamar had 23 first downs, opposed to 13 for Commerce. The Panthers had 421 total yards of offense to Commerce’s 335.
Even the penalties favored the North Lamar Panthers. North Lamar had nine penalties while Commerce was flagged 14 times. With numbers like these, it’s hard to imagine the Panthers lost 42-25 at R.L. Maddox Stadium.
Coming into the game, coach Tommy Felty had stressed that in order to win this ball game, they would have to “eliminate the mistakes.”
Unfortunately for the Panthers, and fortunately for the Tigers, North Lamar didn’t eliminate them. The two statistical categories that North Lamar didn’t dominate were the two that came back to hurt them – special teams and turnovers. A missed extra point on the second touchdown of the game caused the Panthers to chase points the rest of the night as they were forced to try two point conversions.
Trailing 14-7 with 11:03 in the second quarter, Senior quarterback Jacob Cowling rushed the ball into the end zone. The extra point was missed, however, leaving the score 14-13. Less than two minutes later, Cowling scampered for 71 yards and another Panther touchdown. At this point, coach Felty decided to go ahead and go for two rather than kick the extra point. The conversion was no good, leaving the Panthers with a 19-14 lead.
The Panthers also had three turnovers in the game – two fumbles and one interception. It was one of those fumbles, though, that was quite costly. In the fourth quarter, with less then five minutes to play, North Lamar trailed 28-25. The Panthers had the ball and were hoping to take the lead. They had taken the ball over at their own 22 yard line and marched 68 yards. Facing a fourth down and short from the 10 yard line, North Lamar quarterback Jacob Cowling fumbled the ball. The ball was then picked up by DeMarcus Denson of the Tigers and carried 90 yards for the touchdown.
Although North Lamar ran the ball well, they struggled with the passing game. For the most part, Cowling did his part as he put the ball in the right place for the receivers to make a play. They just didn’t make the catches. Cowling finished one for 11 in the passing game, but at least six of those passes were dropped by receivers.
Felty and the coaching staff don’t have a lot of time to worry about this loss. The Panthers have another team to start preparing for next week as they will travel to Bonham to face the Warriors.
After nearly a month of practicing and two scrimmages, the North Lamar Panthers are ready to begin the 2013 football season.
Head Coach Tommy Felty is hoping his team can build on last year’s playoff team. The 2012 squad finished second in District 13-3A, before losing their first round playoff game against Quinlan Ford.
The Panthers don’t want to finish second in the district, though. Their goal is to win it all this year, and it starts tonight. Although the first five games of the season are non-district games, they are still important. Felty told eParisExtra the goal “is to improve week after week.”
North Lamar will be opening the season at home against Commerce; the team that beat them last year on the road to open the season.
“I feel confident,” Felty said. “The big thing we’ve tried working on all week is to eliminate mistakes. In the first game, there’s always going to be mistakes being under the lights for the first time. I feel like if we will minimize the amount of mistakes we make, we have a great chance to win this ball game.”
One thing North Lamar will have to do better is tackle. In last years’ game against Commerce, the defense had trouble wrapping up players and tackling. Commerce beat the Panthers 42 – 35 last year in a game which included more than 800 yards of total offense. Felty hopes the game is a lot more defense-oriented this year.
“I feel real confident in our defense,” he says. “Through the first two scrimmages, they played really well. We should be able to do a better job containing them this year than we did last year.”
The North Lamar plan is still the same: ball control and good defense. Felty believes if his team will do this night in and night out, his team will put themselves in a position to win every game.
See North Lamar’s first performance tonight at 7:30 p.m. Follow all the action on Twitter: @eParisExtra
By Greg Higgins, eParisExtra
Last year, the North Lamar Panthers football team was led by senior quarterback Austin Anthony. Anthony stood head and shoulders above the competition, too. At 6′-7″ tall, he was noticeable from anywhere on the football field. With Anthony graduated, it was time for Coach Felty to turn the reigns over to a new student.
This is where Jacob Cowling comes into the story. Cowling is a 5′-10″ senior for North Lamar and has taken over the starting quarterback position for Felty.
“He’s a great kid and a hard worker,” Felty told eParisExtra. “He has a good arm and he really worked hard through the spring. He worked hard during the 7 on 7. Really, he’s taken care of business; coming in to do what it took to be the starting quarterback.”
North Lamar fans probably remember Cowling in another sport this spring as well. Cowling was the starting catcher for the Panther baseball team and also spent some time on the mound pitching.
“He leads by example,” said Felty. “He’s a good kid. Not only on the field, but off the field. [He] has a lot of character.”
Cowling started playing football in the sixth grade. During his junior high years he played tight end and receiver. It wasn’t until his ninth grade year that he started playing the quarterback position. Cowling isn’t new to the varsity level either. During his junior year, he played defensive end for the Panthers.
Cowling admittedly prefers baseball to football, but is committed to both. “It’s pretty close. I like them both,” he said.
Cowling said he favors pitching over catching in baseball. “Everything goes on you. All the pressure is on you,” he explained, excited. “When you come through, there’s no other feeling like it.”
It’s this enthusiasm and this hunger for the pressure situation that has vaulted Cowling to starting quarterback for the varsity level. Hopefully, for North Lamar fans, this energy and enthusiasm will transfer over to the football field.
Cowling and the North Lamar Panthers take the field in their season opener at home Friday night against Commerce. Kick off is at 7:30 p.m. at R.L. Maddox stadium.
Follow North Lamar football on Twitter all season long: @eParisExtra. Facebook: eParisTexas.com
By Greg Higgins, eParisExtra