The LaGrange Panthers embarked on the 2022 season against Berry College and suffered a tough loss, 56-10. The team's original opener against Middle Georgia scheduled for last weekend was canceled due to problems within its football program.
Finally facing an opponent, the Panthers started out firing, striking first at the end of the first quarter with an Alex Rivera 35-yard field goal to put the Panthers up 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The rest of the contest was a much different story, however. Berry outscored the Panthers 21-7 in the second quarter, outgaining the Panthers 140-88 through a balanced attack, with 70 yards on the ground and in the air, giving the Vikings a 21-10 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Panthers drove the ball to the Berry 31 on a 15-play drive that lasted almost seven minutes. Near the end of the drive, 5th year starting quarterback Shedrick Linsey was injured on a pass and replaced by backup Rashod Brockington. Rivera missed a 48-yard field goal to finish the drive.
On the very next play, Berry QB Gavin Gray found WR Khamari Smith for a 69-yard touchdown to make the score 28-10 Vikings—and they never looked back.
The Vikings outscored the Panthers 28-0 the rest of the game and kept Brockington and the Panthers at bay. By the game's end, LC was outgained 540-309 and gave up 345 yards through the air.
On a more positive note, preseason All-American De'Queze Fryer picked up right where he left off from his 2021 record campaign, catching five balls for 65 yards and a touchdown.
The Panthers have their home opener next week against Ferrum and will be looking for win No. 1.
Story by Eli Rogers