Panthers secure first victory with comeback over Sharks

Carolina Forest rallied from behind to capture its first victory of the season with a 35-15 win over St. James.

The Panthers (1-2) trailed 15-7 in the first half before its defense shut down the Sharks (1-2) and the offense kicked it into high gear.

Carolina Forest quarterback Will Brunson threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second half and star running back Harold Atkinson scored his second touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

It was a far cry from the way the game started for the Panthers, who fumbled the opening kickoff and allowed St. James running back Alan Crum to score the game’s first TD on a 26-yard run in the opening minutes.

The Sharks padded their lead on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Josh Roper to Tyus Goodman, but St. James missed its second straight PAT attempt to settle for a 12-0 advantage.

Atkinson put the Panthers on the board with a 3-yard TD run and, after a St. James field goal, the Panthers tied it up at 15-all just before the half when Brunson connected with Hunter Yurachek from 17 yards and then again on the t2-point conversion.

The second half was all Carolina Forest, although St, James threatened to score in the third period. But Brunson hit Kylke Belack for a 46-yard game-winning TD pass and Atkinson rumbled 23 yards to paydirt in the waning minutes to secure the Panthers’ first win. Carolina Forest tacked on a late TD to make the game sound easier than it really was.

Brunson completed 13 of his 18 passes for 173 yards and two TDs, while Atkinson carried 16 times for 93 yards and two TDs. Crum led the Sharks with 95 yards on 15 carries.

St. James gets a bye week next Friday while Carolina Forest looks to stay on a roll at White Knoll.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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