Panthers focused on DQ

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Updated: August 31, 2018

By Quinton Bagley

Little River News

Ashdown quarterback Bradley Bearden looks down field for an open receiver as teammate NJ Williams looks for someone to block during last week’s season opener at Dick Hays Stadium. The Panthers lost to Hamburg, 10-7.

Things did go as the Ashdown Panthers had hoped last Friday night as they lost their season opener to Hamburg, 10-7.

“I thought our kids played their tails off,” Ashdown head football coach Matt Richardson said. “Sometime you come up short and that is what happened to us. Overall, I am really proud of our kids attitude and effort. They laid it all on the line.”

After a scoreless first half, Ashdown got on the board first as quarterback Bradley Bearden found an open NJ Williams for the 40-yard touchdown pass. Cody Flowers added the extra point and with nine minutes to play in the third quarter, the Panthers led 7-0.

Hamburg scored on its next possession with a 20-yard touchdown pass with 4:51 to play in the third. The PAT was good and the game was knotted at 7-all.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Lions kicked a 24-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead.

The Panthers were not done. Ashdown drove to the Hamburg goal line with the opportunity to win the game but the would-be touchdown pass fell to the ground incomplete.

Ashdown is looking to get back in the winning column this week as they renew a series with long-time rival De Queen. The Panthers have won 13 of the last 15 games in this series.

The Leopards are coming off a 28-14 loss at Mena last week.

“It is always good to play De Queen,” Richardson said. “It is an old rivalry and one that both fans can travel to with ease. It’s a big environment with lots of fans on both sides. It is great that we get a chance to play them again.”

The Leopards run an pro set I and Richardson said they have some play makers on the offensive side of the ball. One to watch is junior running back Marquez Ester along with junior quarterback Isaiah Williamson.

Four other players that Richardson said to keep an eye on are senior Mack Carver, senior Hayden Harp, senior Quinshawn Bennett and senior Malik Beasley.

Defensively, the Leopards are a 4-3 team led by middle linebacker Adrian Mendoza.

Kickoff for Friday’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Bill Blackwood Stadium in De Queen.