Tonight’s matchup between the HoCo Bears and the Perry Panthers kind of mirrored last year’s game with one team getting up big and then the other team battling back to take the game all the way down to the wire and tonight’s result would be the same as last year…. a Houston County victory but this time by a final score of 42-35.
Both teams started slow with the Bears fumbling the opening kickoff and the Panthers would follow suit by fumbling the ball on their first offensive play from scrimmage. The Black, Silver, and White got the scoring started when AJ Hill found Ricky Johnson for a 98 yd pass touchdown and the PAT made it 7-0 HoCo in the first quarter.
The Bears scored a rush TD and the PAT made 14-0 and would later add a pick-six to make it it 21-0 after the PAT in favor of the visitors in the second. The Maroon, Gold, and White got a fumble recovery and had a short field to work with and got on the board with a TD and the PAT made it 21-7 HoCo which was the score at the half.
The Panthers received the 2nd half kickoff and drove the ball slowly down field ending with a TD after taking 7:15 off the clock in the third quarter and the PAT made it 21-14 Bears with 4:45 left in third. The fourth quarter began with the visitors up 21-14 and then the game would become another track meet.
The Maroon, Gold, and White tied the game with a TD and the PAT made it 21 all with 7:44 left in the game after trailing by 21 late in the first half. The Black, Silver, and White answered quickly with a TD drive of their own that took 45 seconds when Hill found Gavin Kurpis for the pass TD and the PAT made it 28-21 HoCo with 6:59 to go in the contest. Perry returned the favor with a TD and the PAT tied the game at 28 all with 5:29 left in the game.
AJ Hill found Ricky Johnson for a pass TD but the score remained 34-28 Bears after the PAT was missed wide right with 2:43 remaining in the game. Perry once again responded but this time it took only 11 seconds as it was a kickoff return TD and the PAT gave the host it’s first lead of the night 35-34 with 2:32 remaining.
HoCo was able to orchestrate a nice 2 minute drive that ended with Hill finding Johnson for the third time tonight for the go ahead pass TD with :43.5 seconds remaining in the contest and the successful 2 pt try made the score 42-35 Bears. Perry had one last chance but would fall short when HoCo sacked Panthers QB Colter Ginn as time expired on the game handing the Black, Silver, and White the 42-35
HoCo improves to 2-0 on the season and will return home next Friday to take on the West Laurens Raiders while Perry opens 2023 at 0-1 and will host the Jones Co Greyhounds next Friday.