The Tigers opened Region 3-AAAAAA play here Friday night against Langston Hughes. And it was a familiar foe – turnovers – that cost Douglas County.
The Tigers fumbled the ball three times in the second half and the Panthers converted all three into scores in a 34-7 thumping.
“We emphasize ball security,” Douglas County head coach Jason Respert said. “Obviously we coaches aren’t emphasizing it and coaching it enough. We’re going to go back and we’re going to work.”
Douglas County (1-5, 0-1 Region 3-AAAAAA) has lost five straight since beating Chapel Hill to start the season on Aug. 31.
Running back Keion Davis led Langston Hughes (5-1, 1-0 Region 3-AAAAAA) with 166 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns.
Davis’ 74-yard sprint for a score with 10:12 in the third quarter put the Panthers up 14-7 and was all they needed. The TD came after Douglas County’s first turnover and broke a 7-7 halftime tie.
The Tigers fumbled their next possession when Anthony Graves dropped a sideways pass from Douglas County quarterback Ellis Richardson. Emile Sexton punched it in from a yard out six plays later to give Langston Hughes command at 21-7.
Davis added a 42-yard run for a score in the fourth and Justin Brown added insult to injury on a 40-yard run for paydirt with 14 seconds left in the game.
Brown’s touchdown came after Graves, pushing to get across the goal line on a 26-yard pass from Richardson, fumbled the ball through the end zone giving the Panthers the ball on their own 20 with 2:47 left in the game.
Both teams opened the game with a bang.
Richardson ran for 43 yards on the first play of the game to put the Tigers at the Langston Hughes 37. Douglas County converted twice on third down on the seven-play possession. Richardson finished off the drive with a keeper for a score on third-and-goal from the 6. Juan Serna’s PAT put the Tigers up 7-0 with 8:33 left in the first quarter.
But Langston Hughes returned fire on its first
offensive play on an 80-yard flea-flicker from Kentavious Eberhart to Trevon Badger for a score and Badger added the point after to tie the game at 7-7 just 12 seconds after the Tigers’ score.
Douglas County got deep inside Langston Hughes territory twice more in the first half but couldn’t put it in the end zone and Serna missed field goals from 32 and 49 yards.
Richardson was 16-of-26 for 151 yards passing. He had nine carries for 48 yards and the touchdown. Juanya Smith led the Tigers on the ground with six carries for 61 yards.