Panthers hand Terry first setback

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005

Senior cornerback Anthony Caffie labeled the Ole Brook Panthersa “born again team.” Caffie helped the Panthers upset thepreviously unbeaten Terry Bulldogs 24-21 Friday night on KingField, in a Region 6-4A showdown, witnessed by a crowd estimated at3,000.

“All of our losses are behind us,” said Caffie, as his teammatescelebrated in the dressing room. “We are a born again team.”

Ole Brook (3-3, 3-1), the defending state champion, made astrong statement for its chances of making the state playoffs. ThePanthers and Mendenhall (4-3) are both 3-1 in the region race.Terry(6-1), ranked No. 6 in last week’s Associated Press Class 4APrep Poll, is 2-1 in the region.

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Sophomore quarterback Charles (Bobo) Rancifer engineered 3first-half touchdown drives as the Panthers roared to a 21-0 lead.He ran 2 yards for the first Panther score. He also completed 11 of20 passes for 125 yards.

“Coach (Tucker Peavey) always says ‘Play Panther football,'”said Rancifer. “Our defense played great. Our offensive line isshaping up and I’m getting better.”

Ole Brook got 3 extra points, plus the eventual game-winningfield goal from Will Thibodeaux when he booted a 32-yarder with2:47 left in the game, giving the Panthers a 24-15 lead.

“Our defense did a heckuva job tonight,” said Peavey. “Terry hasa great running back in Anthony Dixon.. They’ve been a second-halfteam this season.”

Dixon (6-2, 235) was averaging over 200 yards a game enteringthe Ole Brook test. He had scored 13 touchdowns.

Against the Panthers, Dixon accounted for 30 carries and 160rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 1 pass reception for 42 yards.His longest run was 38 yards, on the first play of the secondhalf.

“Anthony Dixon is pretty good,” Caffie admitted. “But he’s justone person. It takes 11. Besides, we have the best Dixon on ourteam,” meaning linebacker Marlon Dixon.

Asked about the big victory, Marlon Dixon said, “The keyingredient was that we came together as a team. The joke this weekin practice was, ‘Who’s the best Dixon?’ We both wear jersey No.24.”

A 22-yard punt return by Orlandas Chapman set up Ole Brook’sfirst TD. Starting at Terry’s 21, the Panthers need 6 plays toscore on a sneak by Rancifer. Thibodeaux’s PAT put the Panthers up7-0 with 1:30 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Ole Brook’s defense forced another punt.Caffie caught the football and returned it 17 yards to the Terry43. Five plays later, Charles Wilson followed his blockers aroundright end for the TD and it was 14-0.

Another defensive stand set up Brook’s final TD. CornerbackJerome Avery broke up a fourth down pass and the Panthers took overat their 18-yard line with 2:59 left in the first half.

Rancifer completed 5 of 7 passes during the 82-yard drive.Marcus Smith caught 2 passes for 31 yards and Simmie Yarboroughmade a leaping catch at Terry’s 17 for 30 more. After Wilson andMarcus Smith caught short passes, Wilson scored from 1-yard out,circling left end.

Thibodeaux’s conversion put the Panthers up 21-zip with 45seconds left in the half.

“Our defense deserves congratulations,” said Wilson. “Our wholeline did a good job. The blocking was good.”

Terry head coach Bill French said his team needed to play 4quarters of football. “We fell apart in the first half. You can’tplay just one half; you have to play the whole game.”

The Bulldogs marched 65-yards to paydirt with the second halfkickoff. Facing fourth down at Brook’s 2-yard line, Dixon plungedover right tackle for the TD. The fake conversion kick saw holderZach Chancellor passing to Antwon Dixon for 2-points, making it21-8.

On their next possession, the Bulldogs went 43 yards in 10plays, with Dixon diving over the top from 2-yards out and RyanWeaver kicking the extra point. A 27-yard punt return by T.J.Milton ignited the drive.

Leading 21-15, the Panthers swapped turnovers. They drove to theTerry 18-yard line where they settled for Thibodeaux’s insurancefield goal.

Terry came racing back, aided by a pass interference penalty.Quarterback Charlie Shearer completed 2 big passes, the secondgoing for 25 yards to Spencer Spane for the TD, with 2:13 left.

Spane spiked the football when he crossed the goal line andreceived a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Bulldogstried another fake PAT kick but Caffie tackled Chancellor for alarge loss.

The Panthers are on the road for a region test Friday night,playing at Port Gibson.