Panthers fall short at South Florence for first region loss

In what has already been a memorable season for the Carolina Forest football program, Thursday night’s 34-20 loss to South Florance may be remembered as the one that got away.

The Panthers (6-2 overall, 1-1 Region VIII-AAAA) led at halftime and were tied in the third quarter before allowing the Bruins (5-3, 1-1) to score two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Carolina Forest running back Harold Atkinson scored on a 1-yard run just 10 seconds before halftime to give the Panthers a 7-6 lead at the intermission. Aaron Williams intercepted a pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown in the third period for a 14-6 lead.

But South Florence quarterback Ethan Grainger threw his second and third TD passes of the night to take a 20-14 advantage. Atkinson broke free for a 50-yard TD run late in the third period and a missed PAT kept it tied up at 20-all.

But it was all Bruins in the fourth quarter, as Grainger and Brandon Lewis scored rushing touchdowns to close out the win, snapping Carolina Forest’s five-game winning streak.

The Panthers travel to Sumter next Friday.

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