Late drive not enough for FHS

Published 2:03 am Saturday, October 31, 2009

FLORALA — Collinsville’s Kenny Orr rushed for 122 yards on seven carries, including a 36-yard touchdown, to help lead the Panthers to a 35-7 win over Florala Friday night in the final game for both teams.

The Wildcats, who have had trouble scoring all season, managed to put together a long fourth-quarter drive for their only touchdown of the game. Florala’s Jon Miller caused Orr to fumble with 10 seconds left in the third quarter, and Hunter Oswald recovered it for the Wildcats (1-9) on their own 13-yard line.

Sixteen plays, 87 yards and eight minutes and 43 seconds later, Zach Fleming broke into the endzone with a 5-yard touchdown run.

“We finally woke up there a little bit in the second half,” Florala coach Stan Gooden said. “Collinsville has a very good football team. I’m proud of all our players. There’s not a lot of us out there, but we’ve got the guys who are committed and want to take this program to another level. The scoreboard might not say it, but I think we had a lot of improvement from last week.”

The Panthers led 28-0 at halftime, but Gooden was most impressed with his team’s performance in the second half.

“We finally played the way we are capable of tonight,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate that we only started to put it together in the second half of Game 10 of the season. But we’ve got a lot of young guys who are coming back next year, and they got a lot of important experience this season.”

Collinsville coach Alan Beckett expressed thanks to Gooden and the Florala coaching staff for allowing his team to have a “bowl-game-like experience.”

“It’s been a fun trip,” he said. “Obviously we would have liked to have been in the playoffs, but this was a fun way to end the year. We stopped in Montgomery and saw the sights, and coach Gooden showed us wonderful hospitality.”

Justin Chandler scored on a 5-yard run with 4:22 left in the third quarter to give the Panthers a 35-0 lead, their largest of the night.

Fleming was 4-of-11 for 42 passing yards and threw an interception. He also rushed 23 times for 74 yards, and Oswald added 10 carries for 64 yards.