Preparing for the Playoffs

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Preparing for the Playoffs

Tristan Bates, Staff Member

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Last Friday, The Panthers competed in their last game of the regular season before the playoffs. The Panthers took on the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats in a contest that was more than just a regular game. Before the game, Head Coach Scott Reed gave us an idea of how the team was treating the game. Reed said,  “We are treating this like a playoff game, The winner will be at home in the first round, and that is important.” Reed added, “For our seniors, it would be nice to play at home in the first round of the playoffs.” The Panthers certainly were motivated coming into the final game. 

Cabot came into the game with a 6-3 record coming off a win over the Northside Grizzlies while North Little Rock came into the final game at 5-4 after suffering a defeat to the undefeated Bryant Hornets. Both teams understood the high stakes of the game and it was a thriller. Early in the first quarter, the Panthers started off hot as Junior Quarterback Tyler Gee connected with Sophomore Braden Jay for a 46-yard touchdown pass to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead. Both teams would fail to put up any points on the next two possessions but the Charging Wildcats would tie the game at seven thanks to a Brandon Thomas 26 yard rushing touchdown. With just under 1 minute to go in the first quarter of play, Gee would find Junior Kyler Carmack for a 37-yard passing touchdown to give the Panthers a 14-7 lead going into the second quarter. 

North Little Rock would continue their rushing attack into the second quarter as Aaron Sims would find the endzone from eight yards out tying the game at 14. The Panthers would draw up a very creative play on the next drive as Carmack would throw a touchdown pass to Gee after some trickery in the backfield. The Panthers, however, would miss the PAT only giving them a 6 point lead. Gee would continue to find ways to score on the next possession he would run himself into the endzone from one yard out to give the Panthers a 27-14 lead. The Charging Wildcats would respond with another touchdown to make the score 27-21 at halftime. 

The Panthers would continue to pile on the points as Gee would connect with Senior Wide Receiver De’Kairo Rudolph to give Cabot a 34-21 lead in the third quarter. At the start of the 4th quarter, North Little Rock would score a touchdown and then sack Tyler Gee in the endzone giving them safety and making the score 34-30. The Charging Wildcats on their next offensive possession would be called for holding in their own endzone giving the Panthers safety and extending the lead to 36-30 with just under four minutes to play. 

The Wildcats would drive their way to the 10-yard line with 17 seconds to go and both teams out of timeouts. The Wildcats would score on the following play and convert the PAT giving them a one-point lead with just under 10 seconds to go. The Panthers would attempt a lateral on the kick return and it would get them to the 30-yard line and they would have 70 yards to go with seven seconds left. The Panthers would have one last gasp but would be unable to score, suffering a 37-36 defeat to the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats. The Panthers finish the season at 6-4 while the Charging Wildcats advance to 6-4 and achieve a home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Panthers will travel to Fayetteville to take on the Bulldogs in the first round of the playoffs at seven P.M this Friday.