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Douglas County remains unbeaten, defeats Langston Hughes 30-27

Douglas County quarterback Sire Hardaway in shotgun formation against Langston Hughes

On Friday, the Langston Hughes Panthers hosted the Douglas County Tigers in a key region matchup as both teams would enter the contest at 1-0 in region play, for the Tigers, their perfect record at 4-0 on the season, would also be on the line. Douglas County would strike first defensively as RJ Tyson would intercept a Langston Hughes quarterback, Prentiss Noland pass, setting the Tigers up deep in Panthers territory. And on the ensuing Douglas County possession, Tigers’ quarterback, Sire Hardaway would connect with Adam Carter in the end zone and with the extra point, Douglas County would take the early 7-0 lead.

As the Panthers would take over following the Tigers’ score, despite not having three of his top wide receivers, Noland, along with running back, Justice Savage, would help lead Langston Hughes on a drive resulting in a Savage rushing touchdown, his first of three on the night. The Panthers would add on the extra point to tie the game at 7-7. In the second quarter, Douglas County would retake the lead thanks to a field goal, going up 10-7, however, Langston Hughes would score on back to back rushing touchdowns by Savage and despite a missed extra point, the Panthers would go back on top 20-10.

Not wanting to allow the Panthers to go into the locker room at the half with momentum in their favor, the Tigers would respond late in the second quarter with a James Johnson rushing touchdown on a quarterback keeper and Douglas County would trail 20-17 at the break after tacking on the extra point. In the third quarter, both defenses would stand firm, as neither offense would reach the end zone, however after the scoreless third period of play, the fireworks would resume in the fourth quarter.

Douglas County would be the first team to score in the final quarter as Johnson would line up at quarterback once again, this time racing to the pylon and getting into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night and Douglas County would go up 23-20 after the Panthers would block the extra point attempt.. Langston Hughes would then respond as Noland would connect with Dorian Page, who would do all the work after the catch, racing through the middle of the Tigers’ defense and into the end zone helping the Panthers regain the lead, as they would be back on top 27-23.

On the ensuing possession, the Tigers would march down field and score almost two quickly as Hardaway would connect with Johnson, who would outrun the Panthers’ defenders and score his third touchdown of the night, but with about 1:30 to go in the game, Langston Hughes would still have plenty of time to respond. The Panthers would look good early on in the drive as they would end up in Tigers’ territory, and despite a penalty pushing Langston Hughes back, it was the Douglas County defense that would help seal the win as they would sack Noland twice on the drive, including on his final pass attempt.

“I’m very proud of those young guys, they played very well on both sides of the ball,” Douglas County head coach, Johnny White said of his young offensive and defensive linemen following the Tigers’ win. White would add that the fight his players displayed throughout the night was one of the things he was happy to see from them. “I love the way they’re playing for each other and I understand that as long as we’re humble, we’ve got a shot against anybody. So I’m very proud of the way they played,” White said. With the win, Douglas County moves to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in region play and will now turn their attention to New Manchester, who they will face next Friday.

“We have to keep our composure. We have to stay even kill, we can’t be a roller coaster team. If we keep it at an even pace and keep loving on each other, I think we’ll have a great year,” White said as they begin preparing for New Manchester.


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