By Eric Shannon
STIGLER — After the Stigler Panthers spotted the visiting Eufaula Ironheads seven points in the first quarter, Seth Sandlin directed the Panthers to 28 unanswered points en route to the 28-7 win in District 3A-8 action at Panther Stadium on Friday night.
Sandlin led the Panthers with 106 yards rushing on 20 carries and passed for another 145 yards in Stigler’s first league win in two games.
“Seth is a very talented kid and our offensive line did a great job blocking and giving him time to throw,” Stigler coach Chris Risenhoover said. “Our receivers did a great job of getting open and making catches.
“It’s good to get that first district win. We let one get away from us last week (in a 17-14 loss to Spiro) and every win is going to count in this district.”
Casey Pryor got the Ironheads rolling early with a five-yard touchdown run with 1:43 left in the first quarter to cap a seven-play drive. The drive started after Devin Siers picked off Sandlin at the Ironheads’ 10-yard line.
Sandlin and the Panthers countered with a drive of their own on the next possession.
Starting at the his own 34, Sandlin marched his troops down the field on a seven-play drive. Sandlin finished off the drive when he found an open Austin Drewry for a 10-yard TD to cut the Eufaula lead to 7-6 with 10:52 left in the second quarter.
Then, Eufaula had the first of six turnovers.
Two plays into the ensuing drive, the Ironheads fumbled and gave the Panthers good field position at Eufaula’s 11 yard line.
Two plays later, Sandlin found a streaking Blane Thompson for a 25-yards pass and Stigler took a 14-7 lead with 9:22 left in the first half.
The Panthers carried their momentum into the second half.
Sandlin’s runs of 15 and 16 yards helped the Panthers.Trace Jackson took a reverse pitch from Sandlin, picked up a few blocks and sprinted down the right sideline for a 44-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead with 10:56 left in the third quarter.
Sandlin put the stamp on the win with a four-yard touchdown dive with 3:43 left in the third quarter. The run capped a 10-play, 72-yard drive.
With the time winding down, the Ironheads were forced out of their comfort zone and went to the air.
Quarterback Dillon Larkin tried to mount a comeback, passing for 107 yards in the second half but the Ironheads couldn’t find the end zone in the final two quarters of play.
“We didn’t hit them in the mouth and keep fighting,” Eufaula coach Larry Newton, Jr. said. “We stayed in there but just didn’t fight like we needed to.”
Both teams are 3-2 for the season and 1-1 in 3A-8.
STIGLER 28 , EUFAULA 7
EUFAULA 7 0 0 0 —7
STIGER 0 14 14 0 —28
EHS - Casey Pryor 5 run (Jake Hunn kick) 1:43
SHS - Austin Drewry 10 pass from Seth Sandlin (Run fail) 10:52
SHS - Blane Thompson 25 pass from Sandlin (Sandlin run) 9:22
SHS - Trace Jackson 44 run (Tristan Cone kick) 10:56
SHS - Sandlin 4 run (Cone kick) 3:43
First Downs 14 21
Rushes -Yards 29-84 39-181
Passing C-A-I 11-27-2 8-15-1
Passing Yards 107 145
Punts - Avg. 4-32 3-25
Penalties Yards 5-40 5-24
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 4-2
Rushing: SHS, Seth Sandlin 20-106, Trent Casinger 5-11, Trace Jackson 8-42; EHS, Shane Moore 7-27, Dillon Larkin 5-0, Trey Moore 4-16, Devin Siers 5-36, Casey Pryor 10-14.
Receiving:SHS Blane Thompson 3-55, Dylan Bryant 2-42, Austin Drewry 2-23