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By: GREG HIGGINS
The North Lamar Panthers will begin the 2012 playoffs on Thursday night in the same stadium in which they began the 2012 season. Unlike the first game in Commerce, the Panthers are hoping to walk away from Thursday’s contest victorious.
The foe for North Lamar’s first round playoff game is also a familiar one. Quinlan Ford was North Lamar’s opponent at the end of September for Homecoming. It was a game in which North Lamar won 37 – 33, but they had to come from behind to do it. North Lamar trailed 33 – 24 going into the fourth quarter of that game before rattling off 13 straight points. The final points coming in the final minute when Quarterback Austin Anthony found Ian Dukleth in the back of the end zone for an 18 yard score.
Anthony finished the night with his best performance as a quarterback. Austin was 12 of 19 for 220 yards on the night. The Panthers not only threw the ball successfully against Quinlan Ford, but they also ran the ball really well. They finished the night with 193 rushing yards on the night.
Of course it’s never easy to beat a team twice in one season, which is what North Lamar hopes to do on Thursday night.
“We know how we match up,” Head Coach Tommy Felty told eParisExtra.com. “The key is not making mistakes and executing to the best of our ability.”
The Panthers are coming off one of the more dominating wins they’ve had in recent memories. The Panthers defense caused havoc all night for Pleasant Grove, while the offense moved the ball up and down the field. Don’t forget about special teams, though. With the help of Mario Smith’s three kickoffs that were recovered by the Panthers, North Lamar cruised to a 41 – 14 victory.
It was an impressive win to say the least, especially when you consider the devastating loss to cross town rival Paris High the week before. Of course adversity seems to be what drives this team. When Felty was asked about it, he responded with, “We have several seniors who have been good leaders. They’ve helped pull their whole team together. The coaches have done a good job with staying positive with the kids.”
Coach Felty and the North Lamar Panthers will take on Quinlan Ford at 7:30 in Commerce on Thursday night.
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