Football: Averett holds on to down Panthers 27-24

Photo by Eddie Sherrer
Photo by Eddie Sherrer

DANVILLE, Va. - Averett held on for a 27-24 win over LaGrange in a USA South game Saturday at Frank Campbell Stadium. The loss evened the Panthers' conference record at 1-1 and left them 2-3 overall.

The Panthers jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. They took the opening kickoff 79 yards to go up 7-0. Brendon Scott's 59- yard run set up Connor Blair's 7-yard TD pass to Austin Sapp. Scott finished the game with a career-high 139 yards on 19 carries.

Zachary Kudwa's 30-yard field goal made it 10-0. The score was set up when Shamar Slappy forced a Cougar fumble and Royce Owens recovered at the Averett 19.

Blair hooked up with David Apiag for his second touchdown of the quarter. Apiag's 40-yard scoring reception finished a quick four-play 73 yard drive with 5:47 left.

Averett got back in the game on Christian Miles' 35-yard touchdown run late in the quarter to make it 17-7. The Cougars tied the game at 17 on Cole Westberry's 37-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.

The Cougars drove the ball 78 yards in 12 plays on their first possession of the second half to take the lead. Sean Bowman, who had a game-high 178 yards rushing, finished the drive with a 16-yard run for a 24-17 lead.

Averett drove the ball to the Panthers' 12 late in the third quarter. Ed Wright stopped Bowman on a fourth and 1 to get the ball back for LC. 

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Blair went 64 yards to Djeimon Owens to tie the game at 24.  Blair finished the game with 308 yards passing in the game.

The Cougars retook the lead on Westberry's 22-yard field goal. The LC defense had stopped the Cougars at the 5-yard line to force the field goal.

The Panthers got the ball back with 1:17 left. They picked up two first downs to get to the Averett 36. A pass interference penalty moved the ball to the 21 with 3.8 seconds left. Kudwa's 38-yard field goal was wide of the mark on the final play of the game.

The Panthers continue USA South play when they host N.C. Wesleyan next Saturday.