Football: Connor Blair has record-setting day as Panthers beat Ave Maria 54-17

Football: Connor Blair has record-setting day as Panthers beat Ave Maria 54-17

AVE MARIA, Fla. - Connor Blair had a record-setting day as LaGrange routed Ave Maria 54-17 in a non-conference game Saturday at Gyrenes Field.

Blair set school records with 520 passing yards and six touchdowns. The junior's record day helped the Panthers improve to 2-1 as they scored the fourth most points in the program's history.

The Panthers went 60 yards on their first possession to open the scoring. Blair's 5-yard pass to Josh Hardrick finished the drive for a quick 7-0 lead. Hardrick would have a career-high 145 yards receiving in the game.

Ave Maria (0-3) tied the game on an 85-yard interception return by Kobi Bowers, the longest ever by an opponent. 

Zachary Kudwa's career-long field goal of 35 yards gave the Panthers a 10-7 lead after the first quarter. Kudwa's field goal was the start of 23 straight unanswered points by the Panthers.

Blair threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter and into the third quarter for a 30-7 lead. Jamarkis Holmes tied a school record for longest reception when he went 80 yards on a catch and run for the only score of the second quarter. Freshman Brendan Thomas hooked up with Blair on a 49-yard strike for his first collegiate touchdown.

Blair finished his day with a 36-yard touchdown to Hardrick in the fourth quarter. Freshman defensive back Quentin Dixon capped the Panthers scoring by returning an interception a school-record 82 yards for the 54-17 final.

The Panthers are off next Saturday. They will host Averett in their USA South conference opener Oct. 1 at 5 p.m.