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CABOT -- Tyler Gee completed 17 of 23 passes for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Cabot Panthers downed Little Rock Catholic 31-21 on Friday night in the 7A-Central Conference opener at Panther Stadium.

Cabot is off to a 4-0 start for the first time in four years' and the Panthers avenged a conference-opening loss to the Rockets last season.

"It seemed like we were battling uphill the rest of the conference season," Cabot Coach Scott Reed said. "That made it tough. Getting a leg up and being 1-0 is big. ... In coaching, you're always going to see things we need to improve on. But I'm proud of our kids for being 4-0."

Braden Jay caught 6 passes for 116 yards and 2 scores. Kyler Carmack caught four passes for 111 yards.

Will Bowman completed 22 of 37 passes for 223 yards for Catholic (2-2, 0-1).

Cabot led 17-7 at the half.

Gee, who was intercepted three times, put the Panthers on top with 7:45 left in the first quarter when he connected with Jay for a 30-yard touchdown pass. Jack Tebbutt kicked the first of four extra points.

Catholic (2-2, 0-1) tied the game at 7-7 on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Bowman to Brandon Bisceglia with 3:53 left in the first quarter.

Cabot took the ensuing kickoff and drove 67 yards in only four plays. Gee threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Carmack with 2:46 left in the first quarter.

Cabot's Eric Masterson recovered a Catholic fumble at the Catholic 30. That led to a 27-yard field goal by Tebbutt with 9:18 left in the first half.

The Panthers started the second half quickly, pushing the lead to 31-7. Gee threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to Jay on the second play of the first half.

After a tipped punt by Catholic, Gee scored on a 1-yard run with 5:06 left in the third quarter.

Catholic scored the game's final 14 points. Jason Stith scored on a 3-yard run with 3:20 left in the third quarter. Jack Currence scored on a 4-yard run with 7:53 left to cap a 95-yard, 16-play drive.

"It seemed like every time we were going to get away from them, we would do something or they would make a play," Reed said. "That's typical of Cabot and Catholic. I was impressed with them tonight."

Cabot's Jacob Parks led the Panthers with 62 yards rushing on six carries.

Stith led the Rockets with 49 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Brooks O'Shea led Catholic with six receptions for 123 yards. Bisceglia had five catches for 77 yards.

Catholic Coach John Fogleman said his team made some mistakes at the beginning of the game that cost the Rockets.

"It was just two unforced errors and they got 10 points off it," he said. "Our defense got some turnovers in the second half, and that kept us in it."

Cabot was scheduled to play Little Rock Southwest next week but the game was cancelled because of covid-19 issues.

"We're working on a game," Reed said. "Maybe Monday, we'll have it finalized. We've got a couple of options. We need to play. We were off last week. I don't want us to be off two out of three weeks. Hopefully, we'll have news of it by Monday."

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