The Panther football team took the field Saturday with momentum from a three game winning streak but fell just short of another victory after falling to Fort Scott Community College, 34-29.
ECC was first on the board with a 29-yard field goal by Justin Wright, the only points put on the board by either team in the first quarter. The second quarter saw a little more action by both teams, with ECC scoring early on a pass from Lamont Toney to Kameron Maye and then a 34-yard pass to Jamarius Way. Fort Scott came back with three touchdowns to get in the game. The first half ended with a late 2-yard touchdown pass from Toney to Way, sending Fort Scott into halftime with a 21-17 lead.
The Panthers scored the only touchdown in the third with another pass from Toney to Way. In the fourth quarter ECC had a 37-yard field goal by Wright and a blocked kick by Devon Russell. Elijah Jones ran back the blocked kick for a two-point conversion. Fort Scott had two touchdowns in the fourth, one from a fumble by the Panthers. Toney made several attempts in the Panthers last possession of the game to connect with Way but was unable to make the play.
The game was plagued with fumbles and penalties. ECC had 7 penalties and 4 fumbles, while Fort Scott tallied 12 penalties and 2 fumbles.
Toney threw for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Ethan Barnett was leading rusher for the Panthers with 107 yards. Way was leading receiver with 144 yards and 3 touchdowns. Devon Russell led kickoff returns with 52 yards, followed by Juwan Petit-Frere with 50 yards.
ECC's defense played a big part in the close matchup. Ryan Guthrie led the Panther defense with 14 tackles, including 9 solo and one sack. Javonte Arius had 11 tackles, 9 of them solo. Demetrius Caddell and Reggie Miles each had a sack, and Louy Compton and Chris Miller combined for a sack. Jadarius Byrd had an interception, and Devon Russell had two blocks for the Panthers.
The Panthers will be on the road next, taking on Butler Community College on Saturday, Oct. 29; kickoff is at 7 pm.