High School Football
Newnan unable to stop Panthers in loss
by Doug Gorman
FAIRBURN—The Langston Hughes Panthers built a 20-3 lead and the half and didn’t allow the Newnan Cougars to find the end zone all night en route to a 30-3 Region 3-AAAAAA win.
Langston Hughes added a touchdown and field goal in a span of about two minutes in the third quarter to put the exclamation point on the region win.
The Panthers took control of the Region 3-AAAAAA standings with the victory, pushing their overall record to 6-1 and 2-0 in league play. Newnan dropped it record to 4-3 and 1-1.
Newnan quarterback Bailey Bryant was intercepted three times in the game, twice on tipped passes and the Cougars had trouble getting their offense on track all night as the Panthers defensive front dominated the line of scrimmage.
“Offensively, we knew it was going to be tough, our youth upfront just didn’t match up with them.” Newnan head coach Mike McDonald said. “Their front seven is really good. Hopefully, our guys are going to learn from it.”
Trailing 30-3, Bryant led the Cougars on their best scoring drive of the second half marching from their own 38 to the Langston Hughes 30, but the ball went over on downs after the Panthers came up with a fourth down stop.
With time running out Newnan crossed midfield for just the fourth time in the game after a 35-yard run by Darryel Hines, but the contest ended before the Cougars could find the end zone.
It was the first time since 2005 an opponent kept Newnan out of the end zone.
A year ago, Kenny Moxey led the Panthers to a 10-2 record as the team’s starting quarterback.
This year he moved over to wide receiver becoming the favorite target of new quarterback Kinan Humphrey. The two hooked up on two touchdown passed to open Friday night’s scoring.
Humphrey finished the game with 110 yards passing to go along with his two touchdown passes.
The Panthers scored touchdowns on their first three series, and needed just six plays to do it.
Langston Hughes first two scores came as it took advantage of a short field.
After the Cougars fumbled on just the second play of the game, Humphrey need just three snaps to direct his team to the end zone. The Panthers’ junior quarterback hit Moxey on a 7-yard pass for the first score of the game.
Newnan was forced to punt after just three plays on its next series and a good punt return by Robert Saunders to the Cougars 28 had the Panthers knocking on the door again.
After a Panthers’ 5-yard penalty for jumping offsides, Langston Hughes was back in the end zone one play later when Humphrey connected with Moxey again on a 31-yard pass.
The Panthers third touchdown of the first half came on the ground as Keion Davis broke free on a 78-yard score.
Davis finished the game with 110 yards on 10 carries.
It appeared Newnan stopped the Langston Hughes’ running back as he ran the ball up the middle, but he used a second surge and broke free on for the third score of the game.
“Truth of the matter is we gave up some big plays early,” McDonald said. “We missed some tackles early, and that hurt. In the second half we settled down and held them to 10 points.”
Despite the victory, the Panthers were their own worst enemy at times, finishing the game with 13 penalties for a 120 yards.
It was a Langston Hughes’ offsides that led to Newnan’s first down of the game.
The Cougars cut the lead to 20-3 at the break getting help from the defense after Langston Hughes moved the ball into Newnan territory midway through the second quarter.
Mark Harris picked up a fumble and returned it into Langston Hughes’ territory on a play where the Panthers’ defense seemed to freeze in its tracks.
Humphrey fumble the football when it was ruled he was hit while dropping back to pass before his arm came forward.
Newnan moved the ball to the 23 before getting stopped by the Panthers, setting up Connor Cox’s 33-yard kick for their only scoring drive of the game.
Randell Arnold caught passes of 7 and 9 yards during the drive to give Newnan’s it’s best field position of the game.
The Cougars also completed a fourth and short run by Hines to keep the drive alive, but when Newnan faced a second fourth-down situation, McDonald elected to kick the field goal.
Newnan returns to Region 3-AAAAAA play next week at Douglas County
Langston Hughes travels into Coweta County to play East Coweta.
“There is still a lot of football left to be played,” McDonald said.
Panthers 30, Cougars 3
Newnan 0 3 0 0—3
Hughes 2 0 10 0—30
LH—Kinan Humphrey 7 pass to Kenny Moxie, (Aaron Martinez kick) 9:54
LH—Humphrey 11 pass to Moxie, 6:25
LH—Keion Davis 78 run (Martinez kick), 3:48
N—Connor Cox 33 kick,4:45
LH— Martinez 28 kick, 8:04
LH—Davis 11 run, 6:34