Garden looks for first win
by Rip Donovan
Sports Correspondent
Sep 18, 2013 | 981 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the first time this football season, Spring Garden’s Panthers won’t be a decided underdog when they take the field Friday night. Inexperienced to begin with and depleted by injuries, the Panthers had little chance for a win in their first three games against Fayetteville, Gaylesville and Valley Head.

Coosa Christian comes to Spring Garden Friday at 7 p.m. with the same 0-3 record as the Panthers and the game with the Conquerors should be competitive.

“They’ve got about three or four players that we’ve just got to contain. We’ve got to play well. That’s it going into every game. We’ve got to play well,” Spring Garden coach Jason Howard said of Coosa Christian. “The boys have been playing real hard. If they continue with their effort and we can get a some breaks, we’ll be okay.”

Senior quarterback Will Ivey returned to action, mostly on offense, against Valley Head and should be in better shape with an additional week of practice time. While Ivey should be available on offense again, Howard said after Tuesday’s practice that Zach Dobbs and Dalton Kerr are questionable for Friday.

At Valley Head last Friday, the Tigers scored twice in the first quarter and went on to defeat Spring Garden 34-7. Valley Head got a big-play pass for touchdown late in the second quarter and led 21-0 halftime lead. Spring Garden’s best chance to score before intermission came on a 14-play drive that started late in the first quarter. The possession ended on downs in the second quarter at the Valley Head 28-yard line after two consecutive negative plays.

Valley Head added 13 points in the third quarter on two more big plays. Late in the third quarter, the Panthers got the ball again and Matt Mullinax capped the possession with a 45-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Hunter Bondie’s extra point completed the scoring.

Mullinax finished with 107 yards rushing on 15 carries. Quintin Downey ran 13 times for 52 yards. Kyle Reece had 24 yards on nine tries. Will Ivey netted 20 yards on 14 attempts and Ben Ivey ran two times for three yards.

Will Ivey was 5-for-9 passing for 18 yards. Dalton Kerr had one catch for 12 yards, Dawson Broome one for three yards and Joe Price two catches for three yards. Ben Ivey caught a pass from his brother for no gain. Playing quarterback late, Ben Ivey completed his only pass attempt. Chase Jennings was on the receiving end and the play covered 50 yards.

The defensive effort got off to a strong start as Bondie caused a fumble and Downey recovered near the Spring Garden 40. Downey recovered a second fumble later in the game and Taylor Hardin secured Spring Garden’s third fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.

Hunter Crider, Kris Holcomb, Ben Ivey and Alton Shell each had four tackles apiece. Bondie, Downey and Jennings each made two stops.
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Garden looks for first win by Rip Donovan
Sports Correspondent

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