BATESBURG - The Batesburg-Leesville High football team was having little luck finishing drives against Keenan early in Friday's contest. So after being held to 34 yards of offense in the first quarter, the Panthers decided to employ a quick-strike attack.
Batesburg-Leesville (3-1) took the lead with two one-play drives, scoring on 62- and 30-yard touchdown passes in the second quarter on the way to a 31-14 win.
The Panthers' first touchdown came when KJ Johnson connected with senior receiver Chris Lewis with 1 minute, 23 seconds remaining in the first half. The 62-yard catch and run gave Batesburg-Leesville a 10-7 lead.
When Keenan (3-1) fumbled on the second play of its ensuing drive, the Panthers recovered and took possession at the Keenan 30.
They wasted no time.
On the next play, B-L running back Elliott Jeffcoat got downfield along the sideline, hauled in Johnson's pass at the 10 and scored.
"At the start, we couldn't get it in the end zone," coach Courtney McInnis said. "They were doing some good things on defense, and we had to loosen them up with the pass."
Early on, the Panthers struggled to finish their drives. With two minutes to go in the first quarter, Batesburg-Leesville had first-and-goal inside the Raiders' 10. But the Panthers fumbled at the 4, and Raiders lineman Kendrick Hipps recovered the fumble and returned it to the Keenan 21 - but broke his leg on the play.
The Raiders then mounted a nine-play touchdown drive that covered 79 yards.
Batesburg-Leesville put together another drive of 50 yards on 13 plays that stalled in the red zone. The Panthers settled for a Austin White field goal.
"My guys played hard, and we matched their intensity in the beginning," Keenan coach Mitchell Moton said.
The Panthers' scoring outburst in the second quarter was something Moton had prepared his team for.
"We practiced defending that all week, and it was just a blown assignment, and you can't afford to miss assignments on the road against a quality team like this," he said.
Keenan 0 7 7 7-21
Batesburg-Leesville 0 17 7 13-37
K: Antonio Perry 3 run (William Moore kick); 10:57
BL: Austin White 34 field goal; 2:44
BL: Chris Lewis 62 pass from KJ Johnson (White kick); 1:23
BL: Elliott Jeffcoat 30 pass from Johnson (White kick); :44.3
BL: Jamal Bryant 43 run (White kick); 9:29
K: Phillip George 3 run (Moore kick); 4:58
BL: Ricky Adams 8 pass from Johnson (White kick); 10:25
K: Perry 2 run (Moore kick); 3:39
BL: Isaiah Langford 100 interception return; 0:00
First dns 16 12
Rush-yds 24-106 41-197
Pass-yds 14-184 6-126
Att-Comp-Int 38-14-4 11-6-0
Punts-avg 3-22 4-33
Pen-yds 5-34 6-50
Fum-lost 1-1 1-1
Rushing-K: Phillip George 9-43. BL: KJ Johnson 11-60.
Recieiving-K: Dennis Rowe 9-117. BL: Chris Lewis 1-62.
Passing-K: Antonio Perry 6-11-126. BL: KJ Johnson 5-9-118.