By LOUIS MELLINI
CHEROKEE - Following a rain delay, the Hackleburg Panthers pulled off an incredible first quarter display in Cherokee that resulted in mercy-rule shortened quarters. The Panthers won 40-8.
The team played their third straight away game against Cherokee on Friday, Sept. 17, at Cherokee High School.
The Panthers began their scoring just a few minutes into the first half when Josh Cooper scored a 26 yard touchdown run. Carson Swinney ran in the two point conversion.
Just under a minute later, Jaquan Reeder scored a 20 yard touchdown reception from quarterback Blaise Vickery. Following the second touchdown, Joe Carter ran in the two point conversion.
The Panthers refused to let up with 6 minutes left in the quarter as Cooper scored a 42 yard touchdown reception from Vickery. Vickery passed to Carter for the two point conversion.
With just 17 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Carter scored a 20 yard touchdown reception from Vickery and Swinney ran in yet another two point conversion.
After such a high scoring opening to the game, quarters were shortened to just six minutes and the game finished with little scoring action as Cherokee scored one touchdown from a 15 yard run with a little over two minutes left in the game. The game ended in favor of Hackleburg 40-8.
“We played well, we got a chance to play everyone. It’s always good to see kids that practice hard get to play in a game,” said Panthers coach Rod Hudson.
Vickery had a perfect game when it came to passing, completing four passes out of four attempts, three of which resulted in touchdowns.
Swinney completed three rushes totaling 16 yards and scored one touchdown in the game.
Cooper completed one rush for 26 yards resulting in a touchdown and had one reception totaling 42 yards and one touchdown.
Reeder completed one reception, scoring a 20 yard touchdown and Carter completed two receptions totaling 23 yards, scoring one touchdown and one two point conversion.
The Hackleburg Panthers (3-1) will host the Hubbertville Lions (2-2 this Friday night, Sept. 24, in a non-region match-up.
See complete story in the Journal Record.