Football: Connor Blair, Marcus Campbell lead Panthers past Brevard 38-28

Football: Connor Blair, Marcus Campbell lead Panthers past Brevard 38-28

Senior quarterback Connor Blair and junior wide receiver Marcus Campbell led LaGrange to a 38-28 win over Brevard on Saturday in Callaway Stadium. The Panthers evened their record at 2-2, while the Tornados slipped to 1-3. 

Blair was 25-of-35 in the game for 432 yards and four touchdowns while setting a new school career mark for passing yards. He now has 7,494 passing yards, eclipsing Drew Carter's record of 7,298. Campbell broke the school single-game receiving yards record. He had a game-high seven receptions for 210 yards, breaking Marsalis Jackson's record of 172 set against Huntingdon in 2013. Blair and Campbell hooked up on an 80-yard scoring play, tying the school record for longest touchdown reception.

"The guys kept playing hard when we fell behind, and we had struggled with that a little bit earlier in the year, but now we've convinced them its going to be a four quarter game," Coach Steve Pardue said. "Connor played lights out, while Marcus Campbell and Austin Sapp had great games."

The Panthers took the opening kickoff and needed only five plays to cover 73 yards to go up 7-0. Blair's 7-yard pass to Brendan Thomas capped the drive. But Brevard took advantage of a couple of mistakes to take a 14-7 lead.

Jarkevius Hopkin tied the game for Brevard (1-3) with a 7-yard run Blair was intercepted at the LC 12. The Tornados went up 14-7 when Nayayah Brown returned a block punt 32 yards. The Panthers cut the deficit to one, 14-13, by the end of the quarter after Nicholas Searcy went 31 yards on a catch and run from Blair.

In the second quarter, Brendon Scott's 14-yard run put LC up 21-14. Tied at 21 with time running out in the half, the Panthers got down to the Brevard 15. Zachary Kudwa hit a 32-yard field goal as time expired for a 24-21 lead.

Blair and Campbell connected on their 80-yard scoring strike less than four minutes into the second half to extend the Panthers' lead to 31-21. Brevard cut the deficit to three, 31-28, with six minutes remaining in the game.

On the Panthers' ensuing drive, they faced third and 14 at their onw 22. Blair found Campbell over the middle for 16 yards to keep the drive going. Two plays later, Blair found Austin Sapp down the middle of the field for a 55-yard scoring play and a 38-28 lead. Sapp finished with a career-high 101 yards on six catches.

Brevard drove the ball down to the Panthers' 15 on their final possession. Bryan Oliver came untouched to block Joseph Calhoun's 25-yard field goal attempt to end the threat.

"Huge, huge play by Connor and Marcus but there were so many big plays in the game," said Pardue. "I'm so proud of our guys blocking that field goal, we worked tremendously hard on that in practice this week. I'm going to enjoy this game tonight and come back in the morning and look at this game before thinking about Averett next week."

With the win, the Panthers snapped an eight-game home losing streak. It marks the first time since the start of the 2014 season LC has put together back-to-back wins. The Panthers travel to Averett next Saturday in a USA South game.