Blount Press Row

Let’s Play Two

Governors vow to finish strong after tough loss to Panthers

By Brandon O’Neal
Staff Writer
Blount Press Row

The Governor defense swarms the ball carrier on Friday. Photos by Chris Ritchie

Lenoir City – Sometimes a score relays a certain message about a game. Sometimes it doesn’t.

After an off week to see what went wrong against West, William Blount suffered another tough loss against Lenoir City, 42-7, on Friday, but nothing is stopping the Governors from keeping a positive attitude with its last two opponents a combined 13-3.

Standing on the sidelines being down 42-0 at halftime can be a pretty daunting thing, but, with the Governors, you couldn’t tell a difference.

Even though the Governors fell short, they look to improve going into next week’s game against top-ranked Maryville.

“It won’t get any easier,” William Blount coach David Gregory said. “They have to understand. They have to work and we as coaches have to push them to the limit and never give up.”

Lane Bloom accounted for William Blount's lone touchdown on Friday.

Lane Bloom rushed for a 15-yard touchdown to give William Blount its first and only score with 10:22 left in the fourth quarter, but he looked fresh. Bloom bounced off would-be tacklers like he was using the juke button in a video game.

The touchdown came on the best Governor drive of the night, capping a 60-yard march.

Even though the game was out of reach, the Governors focused on things to improve.

“We have to come out and do the little things on all aspects,” Bloom said. “Everyone has to come out and work together so we can get the chains moving. Everyone has to contribute.”

The first half was all about the Panther senior quarterback Jordan Hall.

On Lenoir City’s first drive, Hall marched the Panthers (7-1, 4-1 District 4AAA) 55 yards to score on an 8-yard touchdown pass to Mason Sharp, giving Lenoir City an early 7-0 lead with eight minutes left in the first quarter.

Michael Bryant returns the only kickoff the Governors received on Friday.

Lenoir City’s next score came with 2:57 left in the second quarter. The touchdown once again came from Hall. In three plays the Panthers scored on a 38-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Willis, who broke two tackles on his way to the end zone.

After a blocked punt, the Panthers had a short field to work with. Starting at the Governor 8-yard line, Jaylond Woods received the pitch to the left and streaked in for an 8-yard Panther touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter.

Woods would also account for the next two Lenoir City touchdowns.

Hall connected with Woods on a 44-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-0 with 4:15 left in the half. Then, on defense, Woods picked off a Tim Green pass and returned it 60 yards for a score to make it 35-0 with two minutes until intermission.

On the ensuing drive, Green saw his pass land in the wrong hands again. Lucas Hamilton returned the intercepted the pass 65 yards to the Governor 5-yard line with 16 seconds left in the half.

After three plays and two timeouts, Hall found the end zone on foot from 2 yards out as time expired.

Justin LaForty picks off a Panther pass.

Hall threw for 152 yards on 7-of-10 passing with three touchdowns in the first half. Lenoir City offense totaled 169 yards through two quarters, finishing the night with 203 yards.

William Blount had 43 yards at the half with three Green interceptions. The Governors turned it around in the second half thanks to Joel Graham and Bloom, who helped William Blount raise the tally 157 by game’s end.

Graham made a critical third-down catch. Immediately hit when he caught the ball, his grab moved the chains and helped set up the Governor score.

“I knew I was probably going to get hit, but not that hard,” Graham said. “I haven’t been hit that hard since we scrimmaged. I came across the middle and caught it then the ball slipped up a little bit. I grabbed it at the last second and played it off pretty well.”

If there is one thing the Governors don’t do, it’s give up.

 

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