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Red Devils de-claw Panthers

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The Williston football players did not seem to have a true understanding of the Williston versus Newberry football rivalry as they traveled to Panther Country Sept. 23.
However when the Panthers took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards through their defense, and Ra'Kheem Hoyt blasted into the end zone from 4 yards out, they knew the rivalry game was on.
   Trailing 7-0, the Red Devils Brandon Preston took the hand off on the Red Devils first play and raced untouched for a 59 yard touchdown.
With the game tied at 7-7, Newberry quarterback Brandon Herbert, found his receiver Monte Seabrook for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The Panthers went for a 2 point PAT and connected again for a 15-7 lead. Following the kickoff and there second play from scrimmage, Preston again took the hand off and juked and jagged and just flat out ran three Panther tacklers that had the angle on him for a 68  yard touchdown run.The Red Devils felt obligated to go for the 2-point PAT but the run failed. Now on defense and trailing the Panthers 15-13 the Red Devils forced a Panther punt on fourth down. Red Devil Coven Terrell blocked the punt, picked up the bouncing football and returned the football 45 yards for another Red Devil touchdown. The kick for the PAT was good and the Red Devils had ran just 2 plays on offense, and held a 20-15 lead as the first quarter ended.These young Red Devils seemed to be understanding the meaning of rivalry football game.In the second quarter the Red Devil defense continued to stiffen as the offense scored another touchdown with 5:01 showing on the clock. Quarterback David Heinkel hit Damien Strange over the middle with a quick pass and run for a 38 yard score. Again the Red Devils tried a 2-point PAT that failed. The Red Devils now held a 26-15 lead.The Panthers drove to the Red Devil 10 yard line with just over one minute left in the first half. Strange stopped the Panther threat with a interception of the Panther quarterback at the 4 yard line.The first half ended  as well as a light mist that had been falling throughout the first half of play.The Red Devil fans were now left to wonder, would these players remembered last weeks terrible second half, where they gave up an 18 point halftime lead or do these young players now fully understand the meaning of a rivalry football game.The Young Red Devils wasted little time in giving the fans the answer. Taking the opening kickoff quarterback Heinkel swept the left side on a keeper and raced 45 yards for a touchdown. The good PAT kick put the Red Devils ahead 33-15  just two minutes into the second half. The Red Devil defense held the Panthers to a fourth down and 8 at their own 18 yard line as the Panthers felt the urgency to go for it deep in their own end of the field. The Red Devil defense knocked down the Herbert pass attempt and took over at the Panther 18 yard line. Preston took the hand off and scooted into the end zone for his third touchdown on just seven total carries. The kick for the PAT was good and the Red Devils took a 40-15 lead with six minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Panthers fumbled the ball  on their next possession following a hard hit by Red Devil David Higgins who also recovered the loose football for the Red Devils.With 4:55 showing on the clock in the third quarter, Fullback Keith Neal busted through the Panther defense, breaking two tackles and scampering for a 55 yard touchdown run. With the good kick by Jorge Deciderio, the Red Devils had scored 40 unanswered points in less than two full quarters of play for a 47-15 lead as the third quarter ended.     Beginning the fourth quarter of play the young Red Devil team became even younger as new uniforms took the field. The Red Devils ran three plays and were forced to punt. The Panthers got in to block the punt and recovered the football at the Red Devil 6 yard line. Again Hoyt found the end zone for the Panthers on his 46 carry of the game for just under 200 yards. The 2-point PAT was good and the Panthers pulled the score to 47-23. Following the kickoff the Red Devils fumbled the pitch out deep in their own end of the field and the Panthers pounced on the loose football. With just under 4 minutes left in the game the Panthers scored again, and with the 2-point PAT had scored 16 points in under 2 minutes. With the score now 47-31 the game ended, and I feel these young Red Devils showed their fans they understand the meaning of  a “rivalry football game.”The Red Devils will continue their 5 game road schedule as they travel to Wildwood next Friday Sept. 30, to face the Wildcats. Game time is 7:30 p.m.