OCS vs Sterlington - 2021 BayouJamboree

Played at Malone Stadium, Monroe, La. 27Aug2021. Photo by TOM MORRIS/The Ouachita Citizen. c.TomMorrisPhotos.com. All Rights Reserved

It took Sterlington's coaching staff all but a few seconds of watching tape to realize Mangham's speed could be a problem for the Panthers Friday night. 

No need to panic, though. The Panthers coaching staff did their homework, put the kids in a position to succeed and head coach Lee Doty delivered this gem before Friday night's game: 

"We told our players, 'Those guys are fast and athletic. But it's not a track meet. Let's turn this into a tough guy contest,'" Doty said. 

Doty must have been speaking his team's love language, as the Panthers responded with a 35-13 victory. As Doty described it, Sterlington won by utilizing the fullback (Romaj Hatfield) and passing game. Mason Lawhon and Ram Foster combined to complete 8-of-10 passes for 245 yards in the victory. 

"We just think we have good receivers and think Mason does a good job of running out and throwing the ball," Doty said. "We have to make sure people understand you're not going to be able to put nine in the box when you play us this year." 

After rushing for 310 yards last week, Trammell Colvin got the ball just three times for 23 yards. Instead the Panthers found success with Hatfield's fullback dives and Lawhon's arm. 

"We're trying not to give Trammell the ball 30 or 40 times a game," Doty said."It's a long season, and we don't need to beat him up." 

Hatfield, who led the team with 106 yards on 15 carries, scored the first touchdown of the contest on a 26-yard run three minutes into the ballgame. Colvin gave the Panthers a 14-0 lead with a 12-yard touchdown run two minutes later. 

In the second quarter, Lawhon connected with Hatfield on a 49-yard touchdown pass before finding John Barr on a 43-yard strike to lead the Dragons, 28-0, at the half. 

Barr caught his second touchdown in the third quarter when fellow receiver Ram Foster tossed an 82-yard touchdown to him. Barr led the Panthers with 182 receiving yards in the win. 

The Panthers held the Dragons to 124 rushing yards on 53 rushes. Jalen Williams, who rushed for more than 200 yards against Oak Grove's defense one week prior, was limited to 72 yards on 20 carries. 

Up next for the (2-0) Panthers is a home contest against (0-2) Oak Grove. Doty wants to see his team to clean up some miscues before the Friday night showdown. 

"I'm always happy with the wins, and we've had some big plays and really good quarter but we were sloppy, as well," Doty said. "We put the ball on the ground too much, and we have to clean those things up. Luckily it's only Week 2, and we feel like it's going to get better. But we definitely have to clean up the turnovers." 

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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