Powell edged out Anderson County 31-29 on a late touchdown on Thursday, Aug. 27, as part of the Thursday Rivalry Game series.
The game started with both teams scoring early in the quarter, Powell from a 47-yard pass, and Anderson County from a measured drive up the field.
Anderson County had a hard time stopping Powell for most of the first half, letting the Panthers get up two touchdowns at one point before managing a 29-yard field goal.
It wasn’t until the second half that Anderson County finally took some control over Powell, shutting down its runs and scoring twice in the third quarter to take a four-point lead.
Those scores came first from a 10-yard pass to Bryson Vowell from Stone Hatmaker, and then on a nine-yard run by Gavin Noe.
There were many moments that could have decided the game, but one in the running was Anderson County’s final touchdown of the night, after which the Mavericks set up for a two-point conversion.
The referees threw a flag, seemed to call encroachment on Powell, but then moved the ball to penalize Anderson County – and then, for some reason, didn’t reset the play clock. That forced the Mavs to move forward with their two-point conversion from a much greater distance.
The other moment that might have decided the game came in the fourth quarter with Jordyn Potts’s final 20-yard pass on a fourth down for Powell.
Potts dodged two Anderson County defenders who seemed to have him contained, and passed under intense pressure to J.J. Foust, who caught the ball in the endzone, giving Powell its final score of 31-29.
The game was statistically quite close, just like the score, considering total offensive yards for each team.
Anderson County finished with 365 yards, while Powell finished with 366.
Other notable stats for the night showed the different approaches of the two teams. For net rushing yards, Anderson County blew Powell away, going 231 yards to Powell’s 15.
But the opposite was true for passing yards, with Powell finishing with 351 yards to AC’s 134.
Anderson County owed over three-fourths of its rushing yardage to Gavin Noe, who came out strong, regularly taking three or four of Powell’s defenders to bring down and gaining an average of six yards every rush. Noe also came away with two of the team’s three sacks, costing Powell a total of 12 yards.
Mavs Bryson Vowell and Zach Shannon each came away with more than 20 receiving yards.
Daniel Bethel, the team’s star kicker, was tested during the night, barely missing two 40-plus yard field goals.
AC Coach David Gillum said that, even with the loss, there were some positives.
“There were a lot of logistical mistakes,” he said. “We were having a little trouble with some assignements in the first half and gave them a few uncontested scores that gave them a lead on us.
“We corrected them all at halftime and shut them down until that final drive, when they had two fourth-down conversions and some penalties that bailed them out a couple times. I feel pretty comfortable with the progress we made in the course of the game, though, and where that will take us moving forward.”
Gillum also had praise for his team, including how well they played and controlled the field.
“Gavin [Noe] really stepped into his own,” Gillum said. “He did well the first game, but did great this last one and made a huge step up. He’s got a ton of potential going forward, and we have high hopes for him to get better going forward over the next three years.
“The [offensive] line really dominated, and it didn’t matter how many Powell put up against them, it couldn’t really do much to stop them.
“That front seven on defense and that front five on offense really controlled the game all four quarters.
“It was also good to see some of the younger guys stepping up, like Eli Davis. He came in at tight end on offense and played some linebacker on defense and did really well on both sides of the ball.”
Anderson County travels to face off in its first region game against Hixon this Friday 4.