Two interceptions help set the stage for Oconee County as it rolled past Perry 39-7 Friday in Watkinsville.
The picks came on the Panthers’ first two possessions. Both were turned into scores and an early 13-0 lead for the Warriors.
The first came via a 29-yard pass from quarterback Max Johnson to Ben Noland – the first of three times they would hook up on the night. The second was on a 40-yard return of the pick by Justin Coleman.
The score held through one.
Johnson and Noland made it 19-0 on a four-yard pass and then 26-0 on a 15-yard pass sometime later – both capping of drives. That was where it stood at the half.
Johnson, in the third, found Jake Johnson on a 10-yard pass and then in the fourth found him again from the same distance. That made it 39-0, with Perry getting its lone score late in the fourth. (Perry did pick up first downs on several of its drives, but just was unable to sustain it long enough to turn it into points.)
Extremely disappointed no doubt, but the Panthers did finish the season with several accomplishments. Finishing second in the region was one, as was hosting its first home playoff game in more than 10 years. (Earning a win over Mary Persons and going 4-1 in the region was also huge.) Cruising past Hampton 38-0 in that game was also one. Likewise for putting up seven wins (with four losses). That was one better than the year prior and two better than the year before – all under Head Coach Kevin Smith.
As far as Oconee County, it improved to 11-1 and moves on to the next round of the Class AAAA state tournament.