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Taylorsville tops Lumberton, 26-6, in key region game

Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 12:45 PM CDT
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LUMBERTON, Miss. (WDAM) _ On the third play of the second quarter, Lumberton quarterback Rodney Parker scrambled and then found Hayden Campbell with a 5-yard touchdown pass.

The score pulled the Panthers within a point of visiting Taylorsville High School in a key Region 4-1A showdown.

By the end of the second quarter, Parker and teammate Khalid Bush were gone, banished after an on-field argument escalated into an ugly, full-fledged fight on the Lumberton sideline.

Gone, too, was any hope that the Panthers could keep pace with the Tartars, who steamrolled Lumberton 19-0 in the second half to take a 26-6 victory back to Taylorsville.

The Panthers managed just 65 yards offense after Parker’s dismissal, including 18 net yards in the second half.

While much of that had to do with a quick, hard-hitting Taylorsville defense, the impact of the self-inflicted absence of the Panthers starting quarterback could not be overlooked.

“They always say that great empires and kingdoms don’t ever fall from outside pressure,” Lumberton coach Jonathan Ladner said. “They fall from internal issues. We caused a lot of internal issues on ourselves (Friday) night.

“We did a lot of damage on ourselves. We had an altercation with some of our kids. We had a lot of penalties, missed assignments, and that’s on me.”

Lumberton (4-3, 2-1 Region 2-1A) trailed just 7-6 at halftime, but with the Panthers’ offense stuck in neutral, Taylorsville (4-2, 4-0) wore down its opposition behind the slicing runs of Cobey Craft.

Craft, whose 1-yard run had given the Tartars a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, bolted for three more touchdowns in the second half, including scoring runs of 47 yards, 38 yards and 12 yards.

“He’s a good back, and good backs always seem to find the holes or the creases,” Ladner said. “He’s got a little burst there, and he outran us a couple times to the end zone.”

Over the final three quarters, Craft rambled for 205 yards, including 163 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries over the final two periods.

“I’m glad he’s on our side,” Taylorsville coach Jay Blackledge said. “He got it a bunch.

“Our defense got us going early, we went down and scored early, and after that, it kind of went back and forth. We went in at halftime and kind of figured some things out, and then our kids came out and okayed so hard.”

Parker and Bush will miss the next week’s game, and the Panthers were already without starting running back Shavante Toney, who was sidelined with a wrist injury.

Back-up running back Blake Walters left the game in the first half with what Ladner said may be a season-ending knee injury.

“What is it? Murphy’s Law?” Ladner said. “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, and it held true (Friday) night. We get the two guys ejected and then we just have a rash of injuries from ankles to knees.

“But you know what? Our kids kept fighting (Friday) night, the ones who were still out on the field. We’re going to suit u and go to war next week. The ones who want to be here, they’re the ones who are going to be on the field. The ones who want to play with great effort and do right, they’re the ones we’re going to go with.”

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