Panthers open SCA play with win over Ava - Mountain Grove News-Journal : Sports

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Panthers open SCA play with win over Ava

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Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 9:02 am

The Mountain Grove Panthers came from behind to win their first SCA Conference game over Ava Friday evening, 20-14.

 The Panther defense held Ava scoreless in the second half while Mountain Grove scored its only touchdown of the half with 5:33 remaining  in the third quarter. Panther quarterback Johnny Healy ran the ball in from 15 yards out. Mountain Grove converted the two-point attempt after two laterals that resulted in Trystan Short scoring.

Four times during the second half the Panthers defense forced Ava to turn the ball over on downs including with 22 seconds remaining in the game.

Late in the third quarter Ava threatened when they recovered a Panther fumble on the Panther 26. The Bears completed a pass to put the ball on the Panther 12, but an Ava holding penalty on the play moved the ball back beyond the Panther 40. Ava was forced to punt.

Neither team could push the ball across the goal line in the final quarter.

The Panthers had taken the game opening kickoff and drove to the Ava three yard line. A rushing loss and holding penalty moved the ball back to the Ava 17. Ava intercepted a pass on the next play  and moved the ball back out to the Ava 22. Ava used nine rushing plays to move the ball into the endzone when Gerald Smith carried in from the Panther one. With the two-point conversion Ava took an 8-0 lead.

It took the Panthers five plays to score their first touchdown on a one yard touchdown run by Healy. Mountain Grove’s two-point conversion attempt failed.

The Panther defense forced an Ava punt on their next possession and Mountain Grove drove to the Ava 19 before turning the ball over on downs. Two plays later with the help of a long pass play and Panther penalty the Bears had the ball on the Panther four yard line.

Ava quarterback Caleb McFarlin, who replaced injured Ava quarterback Cody Huff in the game, ran the ball in for the Bear’s final score of the game with 4:36 remaining in the first half.

On the Panthers next series, Healy found Blaine Halford on a 55 yard touchdown pass. The Mountain Grove two point conversion attempt failed.

With one minute remaining in the half the Panthers recovered an Ava fumble on the Panther 12 to stop an Ava drive.

Trystan Short led the Panther rushers with 93 yards on 15 carries. Healy had 16 carries for 90 yards; Cory Allen, 3 carries for 11; and Jacob Mitchell, 5 carries for six yards.

Healy was seven for 12 for 146 yards. Trey Dixon had three receptions for 36 yards. Halford had the one catch for 55 yards; Andy Amos, one catch for 25 yards; and Jamison Cain and Short each had one catch for 15 yards.

The Panthers will host Willow Springs Friday.