Panthers grind out a victory against Indians


Published: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 12:10 a.m.

CHIEFLAND — Newberry football coach Chris Baker said he thought his team's District 7-1A opener at Chiefland could be a grind-it-out affair.

That was exactly what it was Friday night at C. Doyle McCall Field at Wayne Pridgeon Stadium.

The Panthers ran for 330 yards on a whopping 61 attempts and allowed the Indians to only run six plays from scrimmage in the second half and finish with just 115 total yards for the game.

Ra'kheem Hoyt carried 32 times for 215 yards and a touchdown, as Newberry controlled the clock and downed Chiefland 16-7.

The Panthers (4-2, 1-0 in district play) were 6-for-10 on third- down conversions and were 2-for-2 on fourth down, as they defeated the No. 4 ranked Indians (4-2, 0-2) for the sixth straight time.

“We had to grind one out,” Baker said. “I knew this was going to be the kind of game it was going to be.

“I am proud of this team. It is a good feeling. This one counts bigger because it is a district game.”

Chiefland looked good on its first drive, which was capped by James Corbin's 5-yard scoring run on a quarterback keeper. The Indians, who entered this season with a 23-game losing streak, led 7-0 at the 7:02 mark of the opening period.

The Panthers answered when Tamarcus Faulkner scored from five yards out to make it a one-point game after Alex Files missed the extra point. Files later nailed a 20-yard field goal in the second quarter to give Newberry a 9-7 halftime lead.

The second half was all Newberry, which compiled 190 rushing yards in the final 24 minutes. Hoyt, who was suspended for three games this season due to a disciplinary issue, collected 119 rushing yards in the second half and his 10-yard touchdown run provided the final margin with 10:32 left to play.

“We played a lot of defense tonight,” Chiefland coach Aaron Richardson said. “We're hurting right now because we don't control our own destiny as far as the playoffs go.”

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