Through the first two weeks of the season, the Sterlington Panthers have been chameleons.
You want to play smash-mouth football? The Panthers can feature a 300-yard rusher in Trammell Colvin against Loyola.
You want to stack the box and force Sterlington to throw? No worries, John Barr proved he could record 182 receiving yards in a win against Mangham.
Against rival Oak Grove Friday night, the Panthers continued to show it could play both styles of offense in a 34-16 victory.
"We're proud of our guys on that side of the ball. They played really well," Sterlington head coach Lee Doty said. "We just wanted to keep slugging after the first quarter. You've got to keep punching a guy until he wears out cause we felt like we had more depth than they do."
Early on it was the passing. Sterlington quarterback Mason Lawhon played Houdini in the backfield as he made an Oak Grove defender miss before throwing to the corner of the end zone and finding Barr for the 12-yard touchdown strike. Barr used his long frame to go up high and snatch the football while keeping a foot in bounds on the athletic grab.
Oak Grove took a 9-7 lead after Kaleb Proctor gathered a Colvin fumble and returned it 50 yards for the score. But not to worry, Colvin would soon redeem himself.
Four minutes later Colvin crossed the goal line on a 66-yard screen pass that put the Panthers back in front, 14-9.
The Panthers rush attack took over in the final two quarters.
Colvin made two more visits to the end zone in the second half. One was a 77-yard run in the third quarter that gave the Panthers a double-digit lead. And his 34-yard touchdown run put the Panthers on top, 27-9, with 10:26 remaining in the ballgame.
He finished the contest with 162 yards and three total scores on 13 carries.
The Panthers scored their final touchdown of the night on a five-yard Lawhon scamper. Sterlington was 6-of-15 passing for 136 yards on the night.
The Panthers defense limited Oak Grove to just 109 rushing yards on 33 carries.
"Caleb Andrews had a really good game for us last night and so did Luke Handy," Doty said. "(Armod) Mills played lights out from the safety position, as well. It was really a team effort. Our kids love playing for each other on the defensive side of the ball. Nobody wants to get the credit."
Following the victory, Doty was candid about the Panthers performance.
"Just to be honest, we didn't really play well up front, so we have some things to fix," Doty said. "We're about to go face a 4A team in North DeSoto, so we have to keep working this week to get better."
Up next for the (3-0) Panthers is an away contest against North DeSoto. The Griffins are still looking for their first win after lopsided losses to Many, Parkway and Captain Shreve this season.