GADSDEN – Spring Garden sophomore running back Connor Bates is taking to the featured Panther back role quite nicely.
A week after gaining 210 yards and scoring four touchdowns against Sand Rock, Bates churned out 172 of the Panthers’ 352 total yards and a touchdown against Coosa Christian in a 27-0 victory in high school football action Friday night.
Bates also had five tackles on defense for the Class 1A, No. 2 Panthers (2-0).
But it was junior quarterback Chapel Pope who got Spring Garden going early. He scored two first-quarter touchdowns from 36 yards and a yard away to put the Panthers up 14-0.
Pope finished with 85 yards on 11 carries and two scores. He was also 4-of-9 passing for 23 yards.
Bates scampered for a 71-yard score with 7:52 remaining in the first half to give Spring Garden a 20-0 edge. Sophomore running back John Welsh added a touchdown on a 5-yard run with 6:31 to go in the fourth for the final.
Welsh also posted five tackles and a sack on defense for the Panthers. Noah Barber, Jacob Welsh and Reece Winstead also each posted five tackles on defense.
Spring Garden hosts ninth-ranked Wadley to open Region 6 play on Friday.