Rising from the ashes: Lanett cruises to win 100 for Coach Clifford Story

Published 11:32 pm Friday, August 20, 2021

Coming in to Friday’s matchup against Georgiana, Lanett Panthers coach Clifford Story was on the brink of 100 wins.

It did not take long for the Panthers to help Story achieve that milestone. Lanett imposed their will and took down the Georgiana Panthers 54-7 at Morgan-Washburn Stadium Friday night.

The game started sluggishly for Lanett, which Story said he expected.

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“It started off a little slow,” Story said. “You know how it is, we had to get the kinks out, you know, start getting things moving in the right direction.”

Judging by the first quarter, it looked as if it was going to be a slugfest, with both teams trading touchdowns early on.

Lanett would take a 16-7 lead into the second quarter, and that is when the kinks started to work themselves out. Some of those kinks, Story said, had to do with his decision to sit a few guys for the first quarter.

“I had to suspend a few guys because they missed a roll call, and so they had to sit the first quarter – that played a lot into it substitution wise, but were able to get it going,” Story said after the game.

Senior running back, Dquez Madden took over the game, scoring three of the Panthers’ four second quarter touchdowns.

Madden scampered out of the backfield for a 69-yard touchdown to start the second quarter,  putting Lanett up 24-7.

Then, with 6:12 left in the quarter, Madden bolted into the endzone again, this time with a 56 yard touchdown run, extending the Panther lead to 40-7.

Story raved about Madden after the game.

“I mean, Madden is special; he’s a special talent,” Story said. “He is going to tote the ball for us a lot.” Story also emphasized line play, saying Lanett need to get better maintaining blocks.

Lanett’s defense was smothering on the night, spending most of the game in Georgiana’s backfield and disrupting the offense. With the exception of two deep pass completions – one of which found the endzone for Georgiana’s only score of the night – Lanett’s defense swarmed to the ball, making good solid tackles.

As the clock reached zero, Story was treated to the iconic water bucket shower by his team and a fireworks show to celebrate his 100th victory.

You could see the emotion in his eyes as he glanced up at the fireworks while answering questions from the media.

When asked what the sight of those fireworks meant to him, Story said it meant a lot. “I am emotional, very emotional,” he said. “ When I first started, you know, I didn’t know we would make it to this point, but I’m elated.”

Lanett takes this victory back to the practice field as they prepare for cross-county rivals Valley, who is coming off an 18-7 win over Beauregard.