The Cumberland Gap Panthers battled their neighbors to the north, Pineville, Kentucky, on a very comfortable evening almost perfect for high school football. The Panthers tried to overcome a great second half passing attack but fell in the end by the final score of 31-18.
Panthers Head Coach DeLynn Cline has made some gains when it comes to culture change and his team believes that they can compete each time they take the gridiron. Pineville is a team that is used to winning, has the history to prove it and the Mountain Lions would take it to the Panthers on this night but it would not be easy. It was a very good match up under the Friday night lights.
Jayson Upton and Jacob Bullins provided a lot of the Panthers offense along with Matt Muggridge. The two teams played almost as equals during the first half with only a point separating them on the scoreboard at 13-12 with the Mountain Lions leading.
During the second half, Mountain Lions QB Tucker Woolum played great football and created havoc for the Panthers. Pineville special teams were playing a part too as they returned two kicks back for scores. With 26 seconds remaining in the third quarter the Panthers were only down by seven points at 25-18. Pineville scored again around the 6:30 mark in the final quarter to complete the scoring.
Despite a 100-yard rushing, one touchdown performance from Upton and two touchdowns from Bullins the Panthers fell behind and remained on the low end of the scoreboard losing the game by the final score of 31-18. Cumberland Gap encountered a few injuries at key moments which also allowed the Lions to break the game open.
The Panthers could move the ball on the defense but didn’t turn the drives into points. The Panthers dropped their record to 1-4 but it doesn’t indicate how good this team performed in this game and at times during the season. The Panthers will travel to Sullivan North Sept. 30.
Stats and game information provided by Cumberland Gap Panthers and Jamie Lake. Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.