Panthers crush St. Andrews in 42-0 win

By TAYLOR HAWKINS,

Yazoo County Football Week 9

Panther blow out St. Andrews

Yazoo County dominated St. Andrews in the second half of Friday night’s game to take the victory 42-0.

The win allowed the Panthers to improve to 7-2 on the year (2-1 in district).

The Panthers struck first in the contest with a 10-yard Kobe Fisher touchdown run to make it a 7-0 game after a Raed Ali PAT.

Scoring grinded to a halt after the initial touchdown, and when the buzzer sounded for the end of the first half, it remained a 7-0 game.

In the second half of the contest, it was all Yazoo County.

Fisher hooked up with Malik Banks on a 9-yard touchdown to kick off the second half, making it a 13-0 game after a missed PAT.

The defense then made its presence felt with on the scoreboard with a LaQuan Wade scoop and score. After a failed 2-point try, it was a 19-0 game.

Fisher scored his third touchdown of the game before the end of the third with a 4-yard touchdown run. A Corey Rucker pass to Malik Banks for a 2-point conversion pushed the Panthers’ lead to 27-0 heading into the fourth.

Kory Gainwell took a pass from Fisher 25 yards for a score in the fourth quarter, and after an Ali PAT, the Panthers’ lead was extended to 34-0.

Franco Whisenton placed he exclamation point on the victory in the end of the fourth quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run. A Corey Rucker 2-point conversion brought the score to 42-0, a score that would become the final score.

Kobe Fisher had a huge night for the Panthers on offense. The senior quarterback went 11-for-19 passing for 176 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also added 146 yards and two more scores on the ground on only nine carries.

Yazoo County head coach Robert Dobbs believes the improvement by Fisher has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Against St. Andrews, Dobbs believes Fisher was at his best.

“He played lights out once he settled down,” Dobbs said. “He was frustrated with some of the early mistakes the offense was having and he was pressing trying to get it all back in one play. He came to the sidelines and took a deep breath and went back out and was the field general we needed. He was spreading the ball around to multiple targets, and he made huge plays with his legs. That was the most focused I've ever seen him, and after every big play, he just wanted to increase the tempo faster and faster. He's playing out of his mind right now. His confidence and maturity level is through the roof, and to see him at this point from where we started the season with him is special.”

Gainwell had seven carries for 77 yards, a 25-yard touchdown reception, and a tackle for loss.

Jamarion Stewart took six carries 69 yards.

Corey Rucker led the Panthers in receiving with five catches for 98 yards and scored two 2-points conversion, one through the air and one on the ground.

Malik Banks caught two passes for 20 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown.

Alphonso Ray had 10 total tackles, two of which were for loss, and a sack.

Marlon Brown had six total tackles, two of which were for loss.

William Noel had six total tackles in the victory, including one for a loss. He played valiantly on special teams with a 45-yard punt and seven kickoffs for 200 yards.

Dobbs has been thrilled with the production he has gotten out of Noel this season, particularly in special teams.

“Will has done well for us all year long in the kicking game and on defense,” Dobbs said. “He has done a good job of changing the field position for us on defense. Will played good tonight, he was in the right position to make plays tonight.”

Cortavious Rogers had four tackles and an interception in the win, while Donavin Green had four tackles.

The Panthers are tasked with taking on Crystal Springs on Friday night with key playoff implications.

The Tigers are 6-2 on the year (1-2 in district) after falling 32-13 to Velma Jackson.

According to Dobbs, Crystal Springs doesn’t try to get too fancy on offense, but what they do, they do well.

And what they do is run the ball.

“They are well coached team, Dobbs said. “They don't have many plays, but they do a good job of running counter. The running back is their best player, and he makes them go. He is a very patient runner and then attacks downhill running with a purpose.”

Kickoff at Crystal Springs is set for 7 p.m.