PINE BLUFF -- There were no last-minute heroics for Cabot this time around in its season opener against Pine Bluff, but the Panthers did use a dominant second half to pick up another come-from-behind victory over the Zebras.
Cabot limited Pine Bluff to 34 yards of offense after halftime and got a huge lift from senior running back Adam Flores to pull away for a 20-12 victory at Jordan Stadium on Friday night.
"I didn't know what to expect because we've got some new guys on offense," Cabot Coach Mike Malham said. "[Pine Bluff] have a very tough defense, and we had a tough time there in the first half. We finally figured it out a little bit, though, in the second half and we were fortunate to win."
Flores carried 23 times for 120 yards for the Panthers (1-0), who beat the Zebras 28-27 last season after former All-Arkansas Preps quarterback and current University of Arkansas at Fayetteville wide receiver Jarrod Barnes scored a touchdown on an untimed down in the fourth quarter to win the game.
Cabot had a hard time getting anything going on offense for most of the first half and found itself in a 12-point hole midway through the second quarter.
Pine Bluff (0-1) got things going on its third possession.
The Zebras moved 60 yards in five plays after recovering a Cabot fumble, with junior running back Braylon Moody scoring on a 2-yard run with 58 seconds left in the first quarter to give Pine Bluff a 6-0 lead.
Pine Bluff extended its lead to 12-0 in the second quarter after marching 60 yards in four plays, culminating with sophomore quarterback Tyler Foots' 36-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Rod Stinson Jr. with 7:31 remaining before halftime.
Cabot, which had 257 yards of total offense in the game but only 107 in the first half, answered on its ensuing drive by using a rare pass play to pick up its first score.
Junior quarterback Tommy Oaks found junior running back Tadariyan Rogers streaking behind Pine Bluff's secondary for a 50-yard touchdown with 5:12 left in the quarter to cap a five-play, 65-yard drive and pull the Panthers within 12-6 after a botched point-after attempt.
"Pine Bluff was coming pretty hard," Malham said. "They were coming for the run, and we finally got them over the top by slipping the back out. Still, it was tough going for us for a while."
The Panthers continued to establish the run in the second half and began to wear down the Zebras after changing up their blocking schemes.
"And we didn't have an answer for it," Pine Bluff Coach Bobby Bolding said. "We missed some opportunities that we didn't take advantage of, and that kept the game tight. But those missed chances caught up with us, and Cabot got the win."
Cabot' first lead came with 6:27 left in the third quarter on Oaks' 10-yard touchdown run. Ben MacCullough's extra point put the Panthers ahead 13-12. Oaks threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brad Morales with less than three minutes to play to complete the scoring.
Foots finished 9 of 23 passing for 106 yards for Pine Bluff, which finished with 202 yards of total offense. Moody ran 13 times for 62 yards.
Sports on 09/02/2017
Print Headline: Cabot climbs out of 12-point hole to win