Sterlington 36, Carroll 26
Scoring on its first two possessions, Sterlington jumped out to an early 15-0 lead on its way to a 36-26 triumph over the visiting Carroll Bulldogs on Friday night.
Upon receiving the opening kickoff, Sterlington (6-0, 1-0) needed just seven plays to get on the board in its District 2-3A debut. Luke Denman's 11-yard run and Carson Clowers' 2-point conversion pass to Brooks Rushworth put the Panthers up less than three minutes into the proceedings.
Carroll (2-4, 0-1) ran only two offensive plays before Trevor Jones forced a fumble and Justin Fuller made the recovery for the Panthers.
Taking over at its own 45 after the change of possession, Sterlington covered 55 yards on seven plays, with Dallas Reagor doing the honors from four yards away. Landon Green's extra point brought the score to 15-0 with 5:25 still to play in the opening period.
Carroll put its first points on the board after stopping the Panthers on a fake punt. Cedric Woods' 1-yard run drew the Bulldogs within 15-6 with 7:56 to go before halftime.
Sterlington needed just one play to retaliate as Denman's season-long 46-yard burst stretched the Panthers' lead to 22-6.
There was no further scoring until the Bulldogs opened the second half with a nine-play, 75-yard drive. Woods' 23-yard pass to Sirtimothy Hollins and a successful 2-point conversion shaved Carroll's deficit to 22-14.
Sterlington needed just two plays to answer as Clowers' 54-yard TD dash pushed the margin to 29-14 with 6:52 left in the third frame.
Continuing to hang around, the Bulldogs pulled within 29-20 on Derrick Longwood's 67-yard fumble return late in the third quarter.
Sterlington then put together an eight-play, 55 yards drive, which culminated with Clowers' 10-yard run. Green's fourth straight extra point brought the Panthers' lead to 36-20 with 7:49 remaining.
Carroll wrapped up the scoring on Woods' 7-yard touchdown scamper with under three minutes to play.
Sterlington held a 396-335 advantage in total yardage.
Averaging 7.9 yards per carry, the Panthers rushed for 322 yards, with Reagor and Denman both eclipsing the 100-yard mark. In only his second varsity start, Reagor ran for 116 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Denman added a career-high 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 16 totes, while Clowers picked up 72 yards and two scores on just four attempts.
Clowers completed 7-of-9 passes for 74 yards, including four for 45 to Rushworth and two for 17 to Reid Handy.
Woods turned in a solid outing for the C-Dogs, completing 6-of-9 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown, along with a team-high 89 rushing yards and 1 TD on 20 carries.
Dawson Snell set the tone for the Panthers defensively with 10 tackles, a sack and an interception. Cole Jones matched Snell with 10 tackles. Fuller and Jones contributed six stops apiece and Chandler Moncrief recorded five tackles and a pair of sacks.
Returning to action Friday, the Panthers travel to Wossman at 7 p.m.