One of the most shining examples of a good team is the having the ability to show up night after night and complete the task at hand, no matter the circumstances surrounding each game.
Yazoo County displayed just that when they defeated Raleigh 31-14 on Thursday night.
The win improved their record to 6-2 (1-1 in the district).
Due to possible incoming bad weather, the game was moved from Friday to Thursday on short notice.
Despite that playing a factor in the game, Yazoo County head football coach Robert Dobbs and his staff did their best to make adjustments as they went.
“It did affect us because it happened short notice,” Dobbs said. “It was on Wednesday around 11 before we were notified about the possibility of changing the game. We just continued as normal as possible and had to make adjustments on the fly.”
The game was a slog early on.
Neither team was able to break through, despite some opportunities from the Panthers.
It was in the second quarter when Raleigh scored on a 27-yard pass. After the ensuing 2-point conversion, the Panthers finally woke up.
Dobbs believes that was the turning point in the game.
“We were inconsistent early,” Dobbs said. “We were moving the ball, but had two early drives stall deep in Raleigh territory due to some bad drops. After Raleigh scored, we kind of woke up and got back to playing Yazoo County football. We went back to what's been our strength all year and that's being a downhill running team. Our O-Line played great all night. They opened up massive holes in the run game and kept Kobe clean in the pocket all night.”
A few moments later, Kobe Fisher hit Malik Banks for a 27-yard score before taking the ball in on a 2-point conversion, tying the game at 8-8.
A Fisher 1-yard score and a Corey Rucker 2-point conversion gave the Panthers an 16-8 lead at the half.
Raleigh cut into the lead in the third quarter with a 14-yard run, but early in the fourth, Banks struck again on a 21-yard TD reception to make it a 23-14 game.
Dobbs was excited to see Banks stepping up and making plays when they needed him the most.
“Malik was also a big X factor,” Dobbs said. “On a night when we were looking for someone to step up and be the guy in the passing game, he stepped forward and put us on his back.”
Kobe Fisher put a bow on the win a few minutes later with a 3-yard touchdown run, which was followed by a Malik Banks 2-point conversion, making it a 31-14 final score.
Fisher went 14-for-23 for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He also chipped in 24 carries for 68 yards, two more scores, and a 2-point conversion.
Banks caught six passes for 100 yards with two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion.
Corey Rucker caught five passes for 47 yards and scored a 2-point conversion.
Jamarion Stewart took nine carries 73 yards.
Kory Gainwell had 11 rushes for 45 yards, two catches for 19 yards, and seven total tackles.
Alphonso Ray led the Panthers with 10 total tackles in the victory.
Clifton Young had eight total tackles in the winning effort.
William Noelle had five total tackles, one of which was for a loss.
Marlon Brown had four total tackles and a sack, while Donavin Green and Deiondre Herron each had three total tackles, including a tackle for loss.
The numbers aren’t as gaudy defensively as some games have been, and Dobbs credits Raleigh’s game plan for that.
“Defensively, we started out playing slow and flat,” Dobbs said. “We adjusted in between series during the game, but just not quick enough. Raleigh had a good game plan against us, and they were good at the few plays they had running the ball. They gave us fits in the first half but in the second half we played better ball and made better adjustments.”
The Panthers will attempt to improve to 2-1 in the district on Friday night when they host St. Andrews.
The Saints are 2-6 on the season after dropping a 35-0 game to Velma Jackson this past Friday night.
Dobbs believes St. Andrews fights hard with what few players they have.
“They are a tough-nosed team that plays hard,” Dobbs said. “They don't have many players, but they give everything they have. They are a pretty even team as far as pass and run. They have a few good players on their team.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.