Langston Hughes and Douglas County each were looking for its first win of the season in the region opener for both on a misty first Friday night of the fall.
Junior quarterback Isaiah Green got it started right off the bat leading Langston Hughes down the field 66 yards in five plays on their opening possession capping it with an 11-yard touchdown pass to DeShawn Ross giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead with 8:29 left in the opening quarter.
Douglas County would get on the board early in the second quarter by cashing in on a Langston Hughes turnover. DJ Avery powered in for a yard out capping a 15-play drive that began in the first quarter tying the contest 7-all with 10:22 in the second quarter.
The game would change later in the second quarter when Douglas County was forced to punt. Langston Hughes’ Rashad Burch juggled the catch at the Panthers 20, three Douglas County players failed to tackle him leading to Burch racing 80 yards for the touchdown putting the Panthers ahead 14-7 lead with 2:56 left in the half which held through halftime.
Langston Hughes (1-3; 1-0 Region 3-6A) would not let up as Aaron Finch intercepted Douglas County’s Malik Oliver on the first play of the third quarter, returning it to 55 yards to the Tigers eight. After a pair of penalties, Hughes was first and goal from the twenty-two, Green hit Burch in the left corner for a 22-yard touchdown pass and a 21-7 lead. Burch was not finished. After the Panthers forced a Douglas County punt on the next possession, Burch returned the punt 27 yards to the Tigers 19, two plays later it was Green to Burch for a 20-yard touchdown pass making it 28-7 with 7:29 remaining in the third quarter.
Douglas County (0-4; 0-1 Region 3-6A) cut the lead in half on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Oliver to Cauthen to make it 28-14 with 9:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Tigers would have more than one opportunity to pull closer and make a game of it. After forcing a punt the Tigers were turned over on downs at their own 45. One play later, John Brown intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 13 yards to the Panthers 37 however the Tigers were unable to cash it n as they were turned over on downs again, this time on the Panthers ten to seal the game.
Green finished 15-21 192 yards three touchdowns and one interception. Burch finished with 131 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns (two receiving and one punt return). Jeffrey Allison, Keyshaun Clark and Joshua Brown led a Panthers defense that allowed only less than 200 yards of total offense to Douglas County. Freshmen Dequavious Parker and Charles Thomas showed why they are on the starting defensive unit with outstanding play all evening.
Langston Hughes will travel to Campbell-Smyrna (2-2; 0-1) next week while Douglas County will travel to Newnan (3-1; 1-0).
Archive coverage of this contest can be heard on Total Sports Coverage.