Lumberton on road to Bay Springs

By JESSE JOHNSON,

Lumberton experienced its first loss of the season to West Marion Friday night 36-13 in non-league play.

Going into the game the Panthers knew they were going to face a tough opponent.

“I’ll be honest with you. I thought we got better from week one to week two,” Coach Zach Jones said. “West Marion is a really good football team and we knew that going into the game. It boiled down to four or five plays that could have been made on the field. They got some breaks and we will learn from this and move forward.”

Fundamental mistakes were key in the loss to West Marion and Jones looks to address those things in this week’s preparation.

Playing a tough first half of the season and having a key loss early are things that Jones believes will make the team stronger in the long run.

“This is probably the toughest non-division schedule we have had since I have been coaching in Lumberton,” he said. “We did that for a reason. We want to win them all, of course, but most importantly we want these tough games to make us better and help us make a run deep into the playoffs this year. That’s the message we have. We just want to get better every week.”

Junior running back Robert Henry finished the night with 126 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown. Sophomore Shavante Toney and senior Augustus Sandifer also finished with 17 total tackles.

The Panthers are on the road this week in another tough game against Bay Springs.

“Bay Springs is a really well-coached team,” Jones said. “They are really fun to watch on game tape. We are excited to play them and look forward to the challenge ahead. This is a battle and we re going to have to match their intensity.”

Bay Springs is currently ranked No. 3 in Class 2A in the state. Bay Springs played Forrest High this past week, which resulted in a 36-19 win and Stringer High the previous week with a 40-0 win. The Bulldogs are currently averaging 38 points per game and 337 yards a week on the ground.

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