Photo courtesy of Ben Diffley
By Jack Jeffrey | Pinewood Prep contributor
Pinewood Prep dropped their season opener to Ben Lippen 41-6 on Friday night in Columbia.
The Panthers are coming off a less than favorable campaign last year, notching a 1-9 overall record. It’s a new season though, and Pinewood opened the game excited to see some of their new pieces in action.
Quarterback Myron Wigfall and offensive coordinator Thomas King both transferred to Pinewood from First Baptist High School over the summer. “They bring a lot to the team with their experience, and we’re hoping to make a little magic happen here,” said Panthers head football coach Michael Wright.
The excitement was cut short, however, when Wigfall went down with an ankle injury early in the first quarter. Wigfall did not return, leaving sophomore backup quarterback TJ Hatchett to finish out the rest of the game.
Myron was ultimately just the first of several Pinewood players to leave due to injury. Depth and experience was a concern coming into the game. “Some of these guys are a little younger and some of the guys who are older haven’t played as much,” said Wright.
Ben Lippen relied heavily on their run game, on wet and rainy night that saw weather delays that impacted both teams. The Falcons scored two long rushing touchdowns early on in the game, and led 27-0 at the end of the first half.
The lone bright spot on a rough night for the Panthers came late in the second half, as junior wide receiver Ben Brown caught a deep ball down the left side, shook off a defender, and dashed into the end zone.
“I felt like that score lifted everyone’s spirits and gave us all a reason to keep fighting in the game even though the weather and injuries had really taken a physical and emotional toll on us throughout the game,” said Brown.
The Panthers defense struggled to contain the Falcons quarterback who used his speed and mobility to escape the pocket multiple times and break off several long runs.
Pinewood will look to get into the win column next week when they host Trinity-Byrnes in their home opener. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
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