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story.lead_photo.caption Cabot’s Graham Turner (left) evades a tackle by Pine Bluff’s Cason Blunt on Friday at Jordan Stadium in Pine Bluff. Cabot won 43-19. ( Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/JEFF GAMMONS / Jeff Gammons)


PINE BLUFF -- It was all about the Cabot Panthers in the second half.

In Scott Reed's first game as the Panthers' head coach, Cabot scored 31 consecutive second-half points on its way to a 43-19 victory over Pine Bluff on Friday night at Jordan Stadium.

Cabot (1-0) take advantage of two Pine Bluff turnovers in the second half to pull away from the Zebras.

[HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Scores, photos, stories, rankings + more »]

"We calmed down," said Reed, who took over for the retired Mike Malham in December. "Our defense got turnovers. We got short fields. Our execution was much better in the second half."

Gallery: Cabot at Pine Bluff Football

On Pine Bluff's first offensive drive of the second half, senior quarterback Tyler Foots was intercepted by Cabot senior linebacker Justin Underwood. Three plays later, Cabot junior quarterback Tyler Gee threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver De'Kairo Rudolph to give the Panthers a 19-13 lead with 10:16 left in the third quarter.

Senior Rhett Thurman's second field goal of the game, this one from 38 yards, extended Cabot's lead to 22-13 with 6:54 remaining in the third quarter.

Pine Bluff committed its second turnover of the third quarter as senior wide receiver Xavier Turner fumbled and Cabot senior defensive lineman Masen Wade recovered at the Zebras 21.

Cabot stretched its lead to 29-13 with 5:51 left in the third quarter as Gee found senior tight end Gage Morrow for a 20-yard touchdown.

Senior running back Graham Turner, who rushed for 66 yards on 21 carries, scored from 3 yards out to give the Panthers a 36-13 lead with 11:10 remaining.

Junior William Sheldon tacked on a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:47 remaining to make it 43-13.

Gee completed 11 of 17 passes for 135 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception for Cabot, which has gone from former Malham's run-dominant Dead-T offense to Reed's Spread offense.

"Tyler's a gamer," Reed said. "He threw balls under pressure. He stood in and made some great throws. He has a good arm. He can throw the football."

Gee was proud of his team's offensive performance.

"We did amazing," Gee said. "I didn't think we'd accomplish this in the first game."

Rudolph caught 9 passes for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Panthers.

Foots went 9-of-16 passing for 97 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception for the Zebras (0-1), who were led by new Coach Rod Stinson.

Cabot led 5-0 after the first quarter thanks to a 34-yard Thurman field goal and a safety.

Pine Bluff took a 7-5 lead with 6:34 left in the second quarter on Foots' five-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Turner. But the Panthers came right back, as Gee's 48-yard touchdown pass to Rudolph made it 12-7 Cabot with 4:22 left in the second quarter.

The Zebras took a 13-12 lead with 2:12 left before halftime as Foots completed a 67-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Turner.

Cabot hosts El Dorado, which was led by Reed for the previous 12 seasons, on Friday night at Panther Stadium. Gee hopes the Panthers can build on their victory against the Zebras.

"We just need to keep going with the momentum right now and don't stop," Gee said.

Sports on 09/07/2019


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