NL cuts off Winnsboro's last-minute bid
By TREY HILL | News-Telegram Correspondent

August 28, 2004 - PARIS - A last-minute bid for a win by the Winnsboro Red Raiders was ended suddenly as the Raiders fell to the North Lamar Panthers 28-27 on Friday night.

Winnsboro was faced with an early deficit when North Lamar scored on their first two possessions. North Lamar junior Broderick Franklin capped the Panthers' first possession with a 16-yard touchdown run. Seniors Casey Smith and Brandon Kennemer paired up for a 36-yard touchdown pass on their next possession to give North Lamar a 14-0 lead.

"They came out and kind of took it to us early and kind of shell-shocked us a little bit," said Winnsboro coach Steve Pinnell. "Then we settled in, and then I felt like we dominated the middle half of the game, maybe a little more than that, we dominated the second and third quarters and part of the fourth; then we didn't do well enough to finish the game off."

Winnsboro answered back with a 68-yard scoring drive. The seven-play scoring drive was sparked by a 25-yard scamper by junior running back Mitch Wheeler. Josh Neiswander and Colby Noble, both seniors, capped the drive on a 27-yard touchdown strike. Jake Hawkins added the point after for a 14-7 score.

The two teams traded touchdowns, a 56-yard run by Franklin and a 3-yard run by Neiswander, making the score 21-14 at the half.

Winnsboro came out to dominate the second half. The defense limited North Lamar's offense to just nine plays in the third quarter while the Red Raider offense began working like a well-oiled machine.

After forcing North Lamar to a pair of three-and-out possessions, Kord Chapman posted touchdown runs of 12 and 2 yards to give Winnsboro the lead. However, a blocked PAT following their final touchdown left the score 27-21 which turned out to by costly.

Facing their third three-and-out series of the half, Smith connected with Justin Clayton on a hitch pass that moved the ball down to the Winnsboro 2-yard line. Franklin finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. Patrick Whaley added his fourth PAT of the night to give North Lamar a one-point 28-27 lead.

Winnsboro's attempt to retake the lead ended when Kennemer intercepted a Neiswander pass at the North Lamar 5-yard line.

Pinnell believes this game should answer the questions about the team's offense.

"We come into the game with lots of different things that we want to do and we keep working different things until we find something that works," he said. "Hopefully we have enough offenses if we have one thing that isn't working we can try something else. I thought we were pretty balanced and I thought everybody did a super job at times.

"I felt both teams played a great game, it's just that they made a big play and that was the difference in the game."

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