Lanett Panthers beat Horseshoe Bend 39-6
Published 1:04 am Saturday, September 3, 2022
By Larry Robinson
Horseshoe Bend students showed up dressed out in hard hats and orange vests hoping to help their home team construct a historical win over 2A Region 3 rival Lanett at home on Friday night.
Lanett had different plans and brought their imaginative sledgehammers that broke through Horseshoe Bend’s defense to score 39 points en route to a 39-6 win.
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The Generals gave it their all in the first quarter as the first 15 ended with Lanett leading 14-6
after scores by both teams, as Horseshoe Bend quarterback James Smith lobbed a pylon
fade over a defender to senior Cully Sharpe after the Tigers drove the field with a long
reception and chunk runs by Alajawon Whitfield.
Under duress during the second quarter from an incoming rushing linebacker, Smith tossed the
ball into the air to what was a wide-open receiver, before watching the ball float for what
seemed like minutes and eventually fall into the clutches of a Tiger cornerback who positioned
himself underneath for the interception.
“New rule in high school, just throw it away, and that’s something we’ve got to work with. Just
a little bit of decision making there, but I think we’ll be able to work on that in the upcoming
week,” said Horseshoe Bend head coach Jeremy Phillips about the interception.
This is the first season that quarterbacks cam mimic college and pro ball and throw a football
away when under pressure instead of taking a sack, so long as the quarterback is out of the
passer’s pocket and the ball passes the neutral zone.
Outside of the turnovers, Phillips wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance against a
talented opponent — opponent likely to be faced in the playoffs if both teams advance past
the regular season finale.
“We didn’t show up; we thought we had opportunities, especially in the first half. In a ball game
against these guys, you gotta score touchdowns, and we just weren’t able to,” Phillips said.
“Blown coverages, missed blocking assignments. Playing a good team, you can’t do that kind of stuff.”
The Tigers muffed a punt return in the third quarter that Generals’ linebacker Ethan Mitchell scooped up inside of the red zone, but the team ultimately failed to advance the ball to the
end zone through four attempts.
The Generals stay home for two weeks in a row and prepare for a 2A Region 3 against Luverne
for the first matchup in years as Horseshoe Bend made the move from 2A region 3 to region 4.
Lanett is home next week against Highland Home.