Jason Thompson and Jeff Tannehill have been — and will continue to be — close friends for a long time.
Not that any of that mattered for 48 minutes on Friday night. The friendship took a four-quarter hiatus when Thompson’s Sterlington Panthers and Tannehill’s St. Frederick Warriors met up at Chip Luffey Field.
Behind a monster performance from Sterlington’s Jaylan King, the Panthers (2-0) mauled St. Frederick 41-7 and put an end to a trying week following the tragic death of Franklin Parish football player Tyrell Cameron.
King outgained the Warriors (1-1) by himself by catching nine passes for 149 yards and making two visits to the end zone. St. Frederick managed just 147 total yards on a Panther defense that’s allowed only seven points through two weeks.
“I just wanted to come out and play for Tyrell tonight and do everything for him,” King said. “Our coaches did a great job of preparing us and it payed off.”
While the Panthers still rushed for 174 yards, they went to the air more than usual, with most of those throws in King’s direction. Senior quarterback Devon Murphy was a perfect 13-of-13 for 214 yards and the one touchdown to King.
Sterlington led 14-0 before St. Frederick took its first offensive snap of the game with 5:30 left in the first quarter. Free safety Semaj Colvin — who doubles as the Panthers’ kick-off specialist — booted two sky kicks that surprised the Warriors and led to back-to-back fumbles.
“It didn’t go exactly the way we wanted it to. We actually had a zone we were trying to kick to and missed it the first time but it worked out for us,” Thompson said.
“They gave us some turnovers and obviously when you get those you need to do something with them.”
St. Frederick turned the ball four times in the first half alone and gave it away five times on the night.
“Those two things back-to-back and a couple missed tackles put us in a hole we didn’t need to be in,” Tannehill said. “All we can do is take this as a learning experience and get ready for next week.”
DeVante Douglas did most of the heavy lifting, but junior fullback Tyler Muse barreled in from inside the five on both Sterlington scores. Douglas finished one off with his touchdown run on the next possession.
St. Frederick was able to mount one drive in the first half, moving all the way down to the Sterlington 3-yard line. With penalties moving them back to the 10, the Warriors’ best chance for points in the first half ended when quarterback Barrett Coon was sacked by Colvin on fourth down.
After Coon was intercepted on the next St. Frederick possession by Leo Robinson, Murphy found King on a bubble screen that the senior turned into a 50-yard touchdown and a 28-0 Panther lead at halftime.
King took a punt return 60 yards for his last score of the night at the 8-minute mark of the third quarter. More bad luck on a mishandled snap by the St. Frederick punt team led to Sterlington’s last score of the night — a 20-yard run from Douglas.
Junior Cordarius Banks finally put the Warriors on the board with 11:36 to play.
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