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Panthers pounce on Vernon

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After a win at FAMU High, the West Gadsden Panthers had a home game against the Vernon Yellow Jackets.

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Vernon kicked the ball off to the Panthers. The Panther starts off running the ball, Antonio Murphy, No. 12, had four rushes for 25 yards on the first drive then Panther Quarterback Qwuantrezz, a sophomore, threw a touchdown pass to Marquiz Brown, No. 8, for 36 yards. Vernon’s junior quarterback G. Johnson had an 80-yard kick-off return for a touchdown, putting the score at 7-6 in the first quarter with six minutes left.

Vernon kicked the ball off to the Panthers and Antonio Murphy had a long return, setting the Panther’s up for a missed field goal. Qwuantrezz Knight, No. 4, threw an interception while taking a hard hit recovered by corner back G. Johnson. 

Vernon’s offense capitalized on the turnover and scored with a quarterback keeper resulting in the score 12-7 with a two point conversion from G. Johnson, creating a 14-7 lead over the Panthers. 

Knight threw another touchdown to wide receiver Marquiz Brown, tying the score 14-14. 

Israel Grande kicked a 33-yard field goal. After trying to make a run before halftime, Derek Washington Jr., No. 7, delivered a crushing hit at his first start at safety, putting a Vernon player out of the game. The first half of play ended with a Panther lead 17-14. During the second half, Octavious Evans delivered an amazing Panther kickoff return, bringing the score to 23-14 and the extra point from Grande made it 24-14. 

West Gadsden Head Coach Joe Striplin said the game with Vernon was very physical and he was proud of the way the players did not put their heads down when they got behind in the game. Striplin also said it’s a sign of a team coming together and becoming a team. 

West Gadsden plays Cottondale at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home.