Sharks pound Panthers to capture first win of season

In a showdown of winless teams, something had to give. It turned out to be the Carolina Forest defense.

St. James scored its first victory of the season with a 38-19 win over the Panthers (0-3), whose defense was victimized for the third time this season. This time it was Sharks quarterback Josh Roper throwing for three touchdowns and running for another to lead the Sharks (1-2) to their first win.

The Sharks did it with a balanced offensive attack. Alan Crum opened the scoring with a 24-yard TD run, but the Panthers quickly responded to tie it on Shaquille White’s 72-yard kickoff return.

St. James claimed the lead going into the locker room after Roper hooked up with Tom Andrew for a 41-yard score. The Sharks came out of the locker room in attack mode, recovering the fumbled kickoff and scoring three plays later on Roper’s 16-yard TD connection with Jacob Loud for a 21-7 edge.

The Panthers tried to get back in the ballgame as Kyle Belack caught a 38-yard TD pass from Will Brunson. But Roper answered with his passing game hat trick when he hit Dakota Holmes for a 28-13 lead.

Carolina Forest tried to keep pace as Brunson hit Zavier Jones for a 23-yard score that made it 28-19. The Panthers mishandled a punt snap to set the Sharks up with a short field. Roper scored from 1-yard out to cap his big night and female kicker Nicole Myers added a 38-yard field goal to close the scoring.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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