A balanced offense and a rugged defense led the Alba-Golden Panthers to an exciting 20-18 win over Arp. Coming into the game, Arp stood at 2-0 and the Panthers 0-2 in district play.
Alba-Golden put together an offense which rushed for 240 yards and gained 204 on the passing arm of Zane Smith. Smith added an interception on defense.
“The kids played good and they played good for all four quarters. We got after them,” Head Coach Derek Smith said. “Our defense really stepped up when we need it to and we beat a pretty good Arp team on the road. We a good night on special teams too.”
The Panther defense blocked two punts in the first half, one by Michael Gaskill leading to a five-yard touchdown run by Cole Harle. Dylan Arenas had the other blocked punt.
John Michael Chadwick scored on a 27-yard pass from Smith. In the middle of the fourth quarter providing the winning points for the game was a 68-yard pass from Smith to tight end Chris Chabaud.
Smith rushed for 57 yards on 13 carries, Chadwick added 49 yards on nine carries, Harle had 46 yards on nine carries, Austin Hartley had 36 on nine carries, Boedie Baker added 25 yards on seven totes and Arenas had four carries for 19 yards. Tim Mitchell caught passes covering 23 and 39 yards.
The Panthers drove to the Arp 15-yard line late in the fourth quarter and turned the ball over on downs.
“We decided not to try the field goal that late in the game. Our defense was playing well and they stopped them there in the fourth quarter,” Coach Smith added. “They busted one long run about 70 yards, but other than that we did a good job. We had several tackles for losses on defense.”
The Panthers face a Grand Saline team that is 2-1 after defeating Frankston Friday night.
“Grand Saline has a really good team and they are playing well right now. They have a solid defense and they have a Zane (Taylor) at quarterback who is a good one,” Coach Smith said. “It’s going to be a good game and it will be a physical game. They are big and tough up front.”
Alba-Golden is 3-2 on the year and 1-2 in district action. The Panthers host the Indians this Friday with a 7:30 p.m. kick-off.