Panthers get payback|Edge out Southside to avenge 2008 Anchor Bowl loss

Published 3:21 am Saturday, November 7, 2009

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Consider the favor returned.
One year after Southside used a two-point conversion to top Northside 34-33 in overtime of the Anchor Bowl, the Panthers got their payback with a cruel ironic twist as they overcame a 21-7 deficit to edge out the Seahawks 29-28 and bring the anchor back to Yeatesville.
Their would be no OT this time around, Northside coach Keith Boyd, who had been kicking extra points all game, opted to go for two after a DeMarques Martin touchdown cut the Seahawks’ lead to 28-22 in the third quarter.
The successful conversion, which was also scored by Martin, set up Northside to take the lead with a methodical seven-minute, 70-play drive midway through the fourth quarter in which the ball never left the ground.
Martin also scored the Panthers’ first touchdown of the game from three yards out.
The Panthers marched down field on the strength of a strong offensive line and tough running by quarterback Isaiah McCullor and Martin.
The Panthers mixed formations varying from wishbone to spread as they stomped down to the Seahawks’ 5-yard line, where they hit a snag.
Facing a fourth-and-one situation with 2:17 left in the game, the Panthers drew a five-yard penalty for a false start.
Still holding faith in the running game, Northside coach Keith Boyd call for a QB keeper and was rewarded when McCullor dashed off-tackle 10 yards for the game-winning score.
“I was just hoping we all did what we were supposed to do,” McCullor said he was thinking before the play. “I just wanted to get in the end zone.”
The touchdown was McCullor’s second of the game. The QB also ran for a 28-yard score in the third quarter that cut Southside’s lead to 21-14.
The win for the Panthers (3-9, 1-6 Four Rivers Conference) was their first conference win in over two years, and after the game Boyd said he was happy to see his team overcome its slow start and win its season finale.
“It feels pretty good. We where down two touchdowns in the second quarter and we really didn’t look that good,” Boyd said. “But we came back out in the second half and stuck one in. We just kept our poise tonight. We didn’t get rattled, we just kept making plays and ultimately we found a way to come up on top.”
Aside from McCullor’s 10-yard dash, the decision to go for two in the third proved to be the game’s biggest play. Boyd said he just played on a gut feeling.
“I just felt like we had the momentum,” Boyd said. “We were lining up and getting into them a little bit, we had been getting four to six yards a clip. I was thinking it might just come down to a point, things don’t usual work right for us, but tonight it did.”
While the Seahawks’ second half defense was inconsistent, the offense was its usually explosive self.
Wingback Derick Cannon ran for touchdowns of 11, 6 and 3 yards, and also caught a gorgeous 8-yard fade pass in the back of the left side of the end zone from Terrill Moore.
Moore finished the game 5-9 for 67 yards and one pick, and was very effective rushing the ball.
The Seahawks (4-7, 4-6 Four Rivers Conference) had one final chance to take the lead when they got the ball back with two minutes left in the game, but a Seth Boyd sack of Moore ended their rally attempt.
“I give Northside all the credit in the world, they played hard from the first down,” Southside coach David Hines said. “They made some great adjustments, we made some adjustments … but their offensive line did a great job of blocking. … It was just a great chess match.”
Northside Southside
19 First Downs 17
51-310 Rushes-Yards 37-305
83 Passing Yards 67
4-8-1 Pass-Comp-Int 5-10-1
1-x Punting x
3-0 Fumbles-Lost 2-0
6-40 Penalties 6-60
Northside 7 0 15 7 — 29
Southside 7 14 7 0 — 28
Scoring Summary
N — DeMarques Martin 3 run (Cecilio Cota kick) 8:55, 1st.
S — Derick Cannon 11 run (Michael Ward kick), 6:15, 1st.
S — Cannon 6 run (Ward kick) 11:55, 2nd.
S — Cannon 8 pass from Terrill Moore (Ward kick), :14, 2nd.
N — Isaiah McCullor 28 run (Cota kick) 7:45, 3rd.
S — Moore 3 run (Ward kick), 5:35, 3rd.
N — DeMarques Martin 11 run (Martin two points), :55, 3rd.
N — McCullor 10 run (Cota kick) 2:10, 4th.