Posted: November 13, 2016
The Granville Central Panthers traveled to Halifax, NC on Thursday for their final conference game of 2016. A win and the Panthers are undefeated conference champions for the second year in a row and guaranteed to host first round playoff off game. A win for the SE Halifax Trojans forces a three-way tie with the Panthers and Louisburg for conference champs.
The Trojans won the coin toss and elected to receive. Panthers kicker, Zach Cantaffa (#99), booted the kickoff down to the 2-yard line where Trojan senior, Joshua Godwyn (#2) fielded the ball and ran back to the Panther 7 -yard line where he was knocked out of bounds by Cantaffa. The Trojans scored two plays later but Central blocked the PAT. On the ensuing kickoff Panthers running back, Malcom West (#11), ran the kickoff back nearly 80-yards for the TD (Cantaffa added the PAT). That was all the points Central would score for the night.
The Panthers defense played good, only conceding 2 touchdowns to the Trojan offense, keeping close to their season average of 17.8 points allowed power game. Senior defensive tackle, Detroit Yancey (#60), had an exceptional night making several tackles and causing two fumbles. Senior guard, Chris Rhone (#50), senior linebackers Brad Speed (#33) and Chad Moore (#8) along with sophomore linebacker Deandre Moore (#9) all had career nights for the Panthers defense.
The Panthers offense was plagued by penalties and turnovers. Late in the 4th quarter Cantaffa was asked to attempt a 47-yard FG. With the clock not in the Panthers favor a rushed snap made it difficult for holder Brad Speed to get the ball down for Cantaffa to kick, which resulted in the ball falling just short and wide to the left.
The final score was 18-7 in favor of the now co-conference champions SE Halifax Trojans. SE Halifax, Granville Central and the Warriors from Louisburg tied with 4-1 conference records.
The Panthers will host a first-round playoff game next Friday (November 18th) against the Camden County Bruins. The Bruins were tied for second place in the Coastal 10 1-A Football Conference and come into the playoffs with a four-game unbeaten streak. Playoff matchups for SE Halifax and Louisburg were not known at the time this article was written.