2nd and 3rd string players get ample playing time in thrashing of Panthers
Lexington, SC (James Bowers) - The Pelion Panthers hoped to “drain the swamp” with an upset of the River Bluff Gators on Friday night. At the end of the night, the only “upset” was the emotional state of the Pelion faithful. The Gators led 44-0 at halftime, and the addition of three more touchdowns prompted River Bluff Head Coach Blair Hardin to throw in several deep reserves as the game wound down at RBHS. Pelion got on the board after a long 4th quarter drive, but any hope of a comeback was long extinguished by this point.
The Gators got on the board first in quarter number one, though a missed PAT left the score at 6-0. Pelion went on an impressive drive that was ultimately fruitless, and RBHS took over beginning a drive that lapsed into the second quarter and ended with a Braden Walker touchdown run and 2-point conversion. On the next Pelion possession, quarterback Pryce Whitten had a third down at his two-yard line. He threw the ball to no one resulting in an intentional grounding penalty. The location of the foul resulted in a safety, extending the Gator lead to 16-0. The next possession saw another RB TD, a feat the team duplicated on its remaining three first half possessions. River Bluff carried a 44-0 lead into the locker room.
The Gators struck again to make it 51-0 in the third quarter, and at that point fans of both squads made their way out of the swamp to begin their Labor Day festivities. Another Gator touchdown made it a 58-0 affair in the fourth, then Pelion parlayed some long runs into its only score, an unconverted touchdown. Another late TD by RB was the dagger. The record 65-point outing gave the River Bluff program a 3-0 start.
Coach Blair Hardin says the win was a great moment for a team trying to build a history. “We don’t have any tradition (this is only the fifth-ever season for the program), that’s something we’re trying to start,” Hardin said. “The kids have bought in to working and being coached, and I’m just really proud of our guys.” Hardin called the win a “team effort” and praised his defense for quality play.
River Bluff will cap a two-game homestand next week facing a Lugoff-Elgin team that fell to Chapin this week. “They’re gonna play tough, Coach Campbell does a great job,” Hardin said. “We’re gonna have to practice hard Monday-Thursday.”
The River Bluff-Lugoff Elgin game is set for a 7:30 pm kickoff on September 7 at the Swamp. Pelion hopes to avoid an 0-4 start when they welcome Saluda to the Panther Den that same night. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.