Turnovers haunt Lumberton in loss to TaylorsvilleBy ANDREW ABADIE,
As much of a powerhouse and explosive team Taylorsville, is the biggest difference of the night was Lumberton’s five turnovers, and it helped the Tartars finish with a 35-9 win.
The Panthers’ five turnovers resulted in Taylorsville scoring 21 points. At the same time, Lumberton forced two turnovers against Taylorsville and only came away with three points, which was notably the first field goal Lumberton kicked in coach Zach Jones ‘ tenure.
“I thought we played hard,” Jones said. “We were sloppy [with] five turnovers. It’s hard to beat anybody turning it over five times especially a team that’s the caliber of Taylorsville. They took advantage of them and that’s how it ended up like it did.”
To add to the damage of Lumberton, two of the fumbles were in Taylorsville’s red zone with one taken back on a 90-yard score to close out the game.
“We’re at 28-9 and have a chance to make the score 28-16 then all heck breaks loose. They go [90 yards] for a touchdown and kind of put everything away,” Jones said.
While the score showed a lopsided victory for Taylorsville, Lumberton’s defense proved to be an unsung hero and kept Taylorsville’s sophomore quarterback Ty Keyes in check as he entered the game with 22 touchdowns and more than 2,000 passing yards on the season. Keyes only completed 19-of-26 passes for 144 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
“We knew we weren’t going to stop him,” Jones said. “We wanted to slow him down and I thought we did a pretty good job of that. I think we gave up 28 points defensively, and I’ll be honest, we said all week if hold them to under 30 we’d have a shot. We kind of took the deep stuff away. Keyes is as good as advertised. That cat can play.”
Another notable highlight of the night was running back Robert Henry, who ran for 149 yards on 17 carries and scored the only touchdown for Lumberton on a 52-yard run.
Moving forward, the focal point of the night for the Panthers was protecting the football, but at the same time, Jones felt there were several positives from the night.
“We have to learn to protect the football that’s the most important thing,” he said. “You can’t win football games turning it over. I think our kids saw tonight what we can do and what we’re capable of doing. We just have to put four quarters together and play good football. But we have to learn from this. It’s not the end of the world. Our goals are still in front of us. We played the best football team were going to play tonight.”