BATESBURG — Landrum quarterback Aaron Bryant moved the visiting Cardinals up and down the field on Batesburg-Leesville on Friday night at Panthers Stadium.
But four turnovers gave the Panthers a 28-0 cushion close to halftime as they knocked off Landrum 63-27 in the second round of the Class 2A Division II playoffs.
Batesburg-Leesville (9-2), which received a first-round bye, will play host to Central, a 38-21 winner over Andrew Jackson, in the third round.
“It was kind of a sloppy ball game,” Panthers coach Jerry Brown said. “There were a couple of fumbles on kickoff returns, some interceptions; they had a lot of big plays that didn’t go their way.”
Even so, Bryant kept the ball moving for the Cardinals. Even though Landrum was down by three or more scores throughout the game, Bryant peppered the air with passes, going 21-40 for 268 yards — but finishing with five interceptions.
Bryant completed most of his passes to Caleb Lanning, who had 14 catches for 243 yards and a TD.
“Turnovers got us in the first half,” Landrum coach Russell Mahaffey said. “I felt like the statistics were on our side and we were moving the ball and doing everything right, but those interceptions and fumbles in the first half and in the second half, they turned it on.”
Landrum (6-6) may have dominated time of possession, but Batesburg-Leesville’s flexbone offense took over. Rickie Smith had 20 carries for 166 yards and a touchdown, while Terrance Wilson had 103 yards on five rushes.
The Panthers didn’t need much running room with Landrum’s early mistakes.
Landrum fumbled three plays into its first possession, which set up Ray Norris’ 7-yard touchdown run.
Defensive back Jaquarius Hair came down with two Bryant passes in the second quarter. His first pickoff set up Wilson’s 56-yard TD scamper with 11:42 to go in the second quarter. About a minute later, Hair picked off a pass and returned it 43 yards to make it 21-0 Panthers.
Kobe Long ended Landrum’s next possession by snagging another Bryant pass. Four plays later, Dashawn Stroman caught a 19-yard Jacquiel Chandler pass to make it 28-0.
Landrum cut that lead to 28-14 with two Bryant TD passes to Jacob Lanning.
After Lanning’s second score, Chandler scored two touchdowns of 11 and 43 yards to give the Panthers a 42-14 advantage. Backup quarterback Jacob Corn found Lanning for a 73-yard catch-and run, but Rickie Smith closed out the third-quarter scoring with a 7-yard run that made it 49-21.
Batesburg-Leesville scored twice in the fourth to cap the win.
B — Ray Norris 7 run (Alexander Caughman kick) 10:12
B — Terrance Wilson 56 run (Caughman kick) 11:24
B — Hair 43 interception return (Caughman kick) 10:57
B — Dashawn Stroman 19 pass from Jacquiel Chandler (Caughman kick) 8:18
L — Jacob Lanning 38 pass from Aaron Bryant (Adam McNeil kick) 5:39
L — Lanning 21 pass from Bryant (McNeil kick) 11:23
B — Chandler 11 run (Caughman kick) 9:38
B — Chandler 43 run (Caughman kick) 8:13
L — Lanning 73 pass from Jacob Corn (McNeil kick) 7:49
B — Rickie Smith 7 run (Caughman kick) 2:22
L — Bryant 5 run (kick failed) 10:59
B — Wilson 39 run (Caughman kick) 10:06
L — P. J. Hyland 44 run (Caughman kick) 6:54
RUSHING — Landrum, Bryant 25-96, Anderson 2-(-2), Bishop 1-1. Batesburg-Leesville, Smith 20-166, Norris 3-11, Wilson 4-103 Watson 4-19, Hyland 1-4, Chandler 6-63.
PASSING — Landrum, Bryant 40-21-5. Batesburg-Leesville, Chandler 3-1-0.
RECEIVING — Landrum, Lanning 14-243, Anderson 3-28, McNeill 5-54. Batesburg-Leesville, Stroman 1-7.