Panthers give Indians first half scare but fall 44-14

The Cumberland Gap Panthers were looking for their first win Sept. 20 as they hosted Oneida. The Panthers’ schedule has been daunting to say the least as they seem to be playing as tough a schedule as anyone in East Tennessee. Once again they faced another outstanding team in Oneida, but they remained in the game throughout one half of play before losing pace and falling in the end 44-14.

Cumberland Gap won the toss, deferred to the second half but surprised the Indians by going for and recovering an onside kick. A Caden Brunsma to Holdin McDaniel pass play covering 40 yards gave the home team the lead at 7-0 following a Drew Ramsey point after.

Oneida scored three consecutive TDs to gain the lead and pull ahead by the score of 20-7. Logan Miracle answered for the Panthers on a 10-yard touchdown run up the middle to make it a 20-14 game, but the Indians had enough time to tack on a field goal at the end of the first half extending their lead to 23-14.

After the break, the Panthers were strong until midway throughout the third where the visiting Indians started pulling away and won the game 44-14.

Coach DeLynn Cline spoke about his team and the effort, “The team has really worked hard these last two weeks and this Oneida team is really good. We played our tails off tonight, we ran out of steam late. We had some bad breaks there in the second half, and we have to learn to handle that. The difference in our team from two weeks ago is night and day. I feel our team has grown a lot over the last few weeks. We gave them a game tonight.”

When asked about establishing a rushing game tonight Cline added, “We moved the ball well. The line pushed. We have to correct the big loss, and we had too many big loss yardage plays tonight but we are getting there.”

Cameron Leight, defensive lineman of the Panthers, also talked about the game, “We had a good game tonight. We are getting better as a team. We are working hard every practice and practicing better. We are getting closer as a family and working together to get better.”

The Panthers dropped to 0-4 but are trending upward and looking forward to a little better schedule in the middle and end of the season.