Panther comeback effort comes up short at Millry

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By Jeremy Sellers

Special to The Watchman

MILLRY — The Marengo Panthers fought and clawed the entire game on Friday night but came up on the short end of a 49-34 final with the Millry Wildcats.

Millry was led by running back Xavier Thornton, who racked up 326 yards on the ground and five touchdowns.

Thornton scored the first three touchdowns of the game for either team. His first score came at the 9:17 mark in the first quarter. He added one more score in the first quarter and the third at the 7:10 mark in the second quarter. Brett Boykin added three extra points to give Millry the 21-0 advantage.

The Wildcats came up big once more before halftime, this time at the 3:00 mark of the first half. Millry quarterback Michael Manuel found Taylor Giles for a 25-yard connection. The extra point snap was a bad one, leaving the score at 27-0 in favor of Millry.

Marengo came to life at the 2:47 mark in the second quarter when Michael Kennedy took the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a Panther touchdown. The two-point attempt failed, putting the new score at 27-6 with Millry on top.

The Panthers would add one more score before halftime when quarterback Cordarius Pritchett busted one into the end zone from three yards out. Alphonzo Lewis took the two-point attempt into the end zone to send both teams to the locker room with a score of 27-14.

Marengo wasted no time getting on the board again in the second half. Following a fumble and a scramble for a loose ball, Curtis Autery picked up the pigskin for the Panthers and took it 34 yards for another Panther touchdown. The two-point attempt failed, cutting Millry’s lead down to 27-20.

Millry added the next two scores, including another 25-yard touchdown connection between Manuel and Giles. The other score came on Thornton’s fourth touchdown of the night.

Pritchett found Kennedy for Marengo at the 11:18 mark of the fourth quarter for a 68-yard touchdown connection. The two-point conversion was successful, which cut the Millry lead to 41-28. Marengo narrowed the deficit even more at the 8:09 mark when Tyler Smith picked up a Millry fumble and took it 75 yards for another Panther touchdown. A failed two-point attempt left the score at 41-34.

Millry tacked on one more score to put the game away at 49-34.

Marengo (2-2, 2-1) will travel to A.L. Johnson next Friday night while Millry (3-1, 2-0) will travel to Chatom to take on Washington County.