Missed opportunities, errors costly as Charles City falls
A pair of first half trips into the red zone that resulted in no points came back to haunt Charles City’s Panthers. Instead of a possible halftime deadlock, Christchurch’s invading Seahorses owned a 14-0 lead at intermission. The visitors then withstood a third quarter Panther rally to post a 36-14 non-district football win.
Friday afternoon’s clash evened Charles City’s record at 2-2 while the Seahorses improved to 4-1.
“In the midst of our mistakes, we played with dignity and it’s something we can work on going down the district stretch,” said Panther head coach Steward Greene.
“We have to go back to the drawing board. We’ve got to go back to basic stuff and get fundamentally sound,” he said, pointing to missed scoring opportunities and mistakes in the first half.
The first occurred with Christchurch up 7-0 in the first quarter. Panther cornerback Terrance Banks pounced on a Seahorse fumble near midfield to set up a drive that reached the visitors’ 8-yard line. But on fourth down and one, the Seahorses stuffed Joseph Tabb’s run for a loss. From there, the visitors marched 91 yards in 11 plays to up their advantage to 14-0.
Late in the second quarter, Charles City drove to the Seahorse 20, but a high snap over quarterback Trevor Jones’ head resulted in a 23-yard loss. Avery Jones, now at quarterback, got the yardage back, firing to tight end Dominic Jones at the 18 yard line. But on the next play, Seahorse defender Andy Snow stripped the ball from Trevor Jones on an end-around and recovered to stop the Panther threat.
A successful on-side kick to open the second half led to a 21-0 Seahorse lead, but the Panthers needed less than a minute to reduce the margin to a single-score game.
Banks’ 50-yard kickoff return to the Seahorse 27 yard line set up Charles City’s first TD. From the 20, Trevor Jones lofted a pass meant for wide receiver Gregory Cotman in the end zone. A pair of Seahorse defenders deflected the pass, but into the arms of Avery Jones to cut the gap to 21-6.
On Christchurch’s next play from scrimmage, Jones stripped the ball from running back Cool Battle and raced 54 yards for his second TD. Tabb’s conversion run made it a 21-14 contest.
But Christchurch answered with a seven-play, 44-yard march capped by Battle’s 10-yard run early in the final period. After stopping Charles City on downs, the visitors put the game out of reach on Taylor Byrd’s 35-yard TD hookup with running back Carlos Gray.
In the second half, Charles City ran only 12 plays from scrimmage, netting just one first down.
“We can’t get down on ourselves, regardless that we’re down two or three touchdowns,” Greene said. “We’ve told our guys they can’t stop fighting.”