Panthers claim Backyard Brawl trophy against rivals Poyen

PANTHERS CAPTURE 2019 BACKYARD BRAWL RIVALRY TROPHY: The Magnet Cove Panthers celebrate with the 2019 Backyard Brawl trophy after defeating close county rivals’ the Poyen Indians 43-14 Friday, October 4, 2019 at Kenneth W. Hammons Stadium in their rivalry game for 5-2A Conference play.
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

Hooten’s Arkansas Football Class 2A Game of the Week featured the annual Backyard Brawl between close county rivals’ Magnet Cove and Poyen that showcased some intense play on the gridiron at Kenneth W. Hammons Stadium for Friday night touchdowns October 4, 2019.
The home team Magnet Cove Panthers (4-1 overall, 2-0 conf.) prevailed convincingly against a hot talented Poyen Indians squad (4-1 overall, 1-1 conf.) 43-14 in their big time 5-2A Conference bout.
The hype featured two teams coming off impressive wins in their conference openers, but only one team could arise for bragging rights in this rivalry contest. Several missed opportunities and costly turnovers haunted the unbeaten Poyen Indians team that had problems battling on a slippery field due to rain prior to the kickoff. But, the Panthers were able to capitalize on each occasion and finished as the victors to give Poyen their first defeat of the season. The Panthers keep their winning streak progressing to now have four straight wins and remain undefeated in conference.
Magnet Cove football head coach Caleb Carmikle thought the Panthers played well and executed to win a big rivalry-hyped battle against their close county rivals’ Poyen.
“It’s a big win for our kids and the community. I’m really proud of our execution tonight and it’s just a great day to be a Panther,” Carmikle said. “Poyen is well coached. We stoled a few possessions early and the kids did a good job going down to score. Our kids played well and kept the same intensity to the end of the final whistle. I’m just really happy with the win tonight,” Camikle said.
The Panthers had the spark early in first half play by making four touchdown trips in the first quarter to lead the Indians 27-0. The Indians fumbled a few kickoff’s and the Panthers recovered each time to give them productive field position. The Panthers relied on their ground attack as they’ve done through the first four games of the season. Senior quarterback Tyler Hodges sparked the Panthers’ scoring by soaring into the end zone for a 18-yard touchdown on the QB keeper at the 10:39 mark. The PAT was blocked by Poyen, but the Panthers led, 6-0.
Magnet Cove’s running back Landon Stone marched into the end zone on a 61-yard touchdown run at the 5:32 mark, then QB Hodges completed the pass to Jaryd McJunkins for the 2-point conversion to put the Panthers up 14-0.
Then at the 4:48 mark, Stone scored again on a 37-yard touchdown run, but the two extra point conversion failed. Magnet Cove led Poyen, 20-0. The final end zone trip in the first quarter came with 25 seconds left with Hodges launching a 9 yard touchdown pass reception to McJunkins and PAT was good by Alex Ordonez to end opening quarter play.
In the second quarter, Poyen’s defense sparked to hold the Panthers without making an end zone trip the entire 12 minutes. The Indians sparked by their playmaker and star running back Brandon Sanchez exploding into the end zone on a 2-yard touchdown run at the 9:21 mark, but Poyen’s 2-point conversion was unsuccessful and trailed Magnet Cove, 27-6. The Indians’ Anthony Nannemann came up big for an interception at the 5:13 mark to help hold off the Panthers monumentally. At halftime, Magnet Cove held a 21-point lead over Poyen (27-6).
In the second half, the Panthers built up more momentum for two end zone trips in the third quarter. Stone exploded for a 92-yard touchdown run at the 4:00 mark and the PAT good by Ordonez to give Magnet Cove a 34-6 advantage. Then down to the 1:37 mark, the Indians sparked by QB Jaxson Carter soaring into the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown on the quarterback keeper. Jaxson completed a pass to Sanchez on the reception for the 2-point conversion, but Magnet Cove led Poyen, 34-14 to end third quarter action.
In the fourth quarter, the Panthers put the game out of reach at the 9:32 mark by QB Hodges scoring on the quarterback keeper for 69 yards to give Magnet Cove a 40-14 lead. Then defensively for Magnet Cove, Ordonez intercepted Poyen’s pass at the 8:24 mark to regain possession from their own 44 yard line. Later, with 51.5 seconds left to play, this set up Magnet Cove to move into field goal range and Ordonez sailed a perfect kick through the “Big H” to make a 25 yard field goal to give the Panthers their 29-point victory to claim the 2019 Backyard Brawl trophy hardware once again over rivals’ Poyen.
The Panthers will carry their momentum on the road next Friday, October 11, 2019 to face the Quitman Bulldogs for conference play in Quitman. As for the Indians, they’ll look to regroup and get back on the winning trail again and return home to host Cutter Morning Star in conference play next Friday at Malvern National Bank Stadium, Indian Field. Kickoff for both games is at 7 p.m.