By Brad Nevels, Jackson County Sentinel
WOODVILLE – The Woodville Panthers made history Friday night, as the Panthers beat Class 1A, Region 7 rival Cedar Bluff 38-27. The win broke a 15-game losing streak dating back to 2006.
The victory also snapped Woodville’s 12-game losing streak in region play.
Panther senior quarterback Sam Peek started the scoring early. On the third play of the game, Peek ran 63 yards untouched into the end zone to give Woodville a 6-0 lead.
Cedar Bluff (1-2, 0-1) got on the board early in the second quarter. Hunter Jenkins scored from two yards out, following a 16-play drive that began with 4:36 to go in the first quarter. Carter Dillingham made the point after, giving Cedar Bluff a one-point lead.
A Woodville turnover gave it right back to Cedar Bluff, and two plays later, Kaden Pack found Alex Baty in the end zone for Cedar Bluff’s second touchdown in 16 seconds. The point after was no good.
Cedar Bluff’s six-point lead would be short lived, as Ace Weaver returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a Woodville touchdown. Peek converted the two-point try, putting Woodville (2-0, 1-0) ahead 14-13.
Cedar Bluff almost scored before halftime, but Caleb Edmondson was knocked out of bounds at the 1-yard-line with no time left on the clock. Woodville led 14-13 at the half.
Cedar Bluff took the lead on its first possession of the third quarter. Jenkins ran in for a 33-yard touchdown, capping off a four-minute drive, but Woodville answered quickly.
Weaver ran the kickoff 43 yards to the 37-yard line, and he scored from 15 yards out five plays later. The Panther defense came up with a stop on fourth down on the next possession. Woodville capitalized seven plays later, with Weaver scoring his second touchdown of the quarter to send the Panthers into the fourth quarter leading 26-21.
Woodville’s defense came up big on another fourth down early in the final quarter. Steve Williams sacked Pack to give the Panthers the ball at the 40-yard-line. On the next play, Peek connected with freshman Knox McMonigle for a 32-yard gain setting up first-and-goal. Peek powered into the end zone on the next play, giving Woodville an 11-point lead.
Cedar Bluff answered quickly. Pack threw a screen pass on the first play of the drive to Eli McFry, who took it 82 yards for a touchdown. The two-point try failed, and Woodville led by five.
However, Woodville answered again. On third-and-17, Peek found Weaver on a wheel route, and Weaver broke several tackles on his way to a 34-yard touchdown. Woodville came up with another fourth down stop with 5:15 left in the game, all but sealing the victory.
Peek led the Woodville offense with 174 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. He also went 7-of-14 through the air for 127 yards and a touchdown. Weaver added a rushing and receiving touchdown.
Pack completed 10-of-18 pass attempts for 174 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers. McFry caught four passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. Jenkins ran for 138 yards on 28 carries with two touchdowns.
Woodville travels to Appalachian next week to continue region play while Cedar Bluff hosts Gaylesville.