PINE BLUFF — The Cabot Panthers rallied from a 12-0 deficit to beat the Pine Bluff Zebras 20-12 in the season opener last Friday.
Cabot will host Class 6A El Dorado in the home opener this Friday at Panther Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Zebras took a 6-0 lead with 58.6 seconds left in the first half on a 2-yard run by Braylon Moody. The extra point was no good.
Pine Bluff added to its lead when Tyler Foots threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Rod Stinson with 7:28 left in the first half. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Cabot got on the board when Tommy Oaks threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Rogers with 5:12 left in the first half. The extra point was no good, leaving the score at 12-6.
Cabot took a 13-12 lead when Oaks scored on a 10-yard run with 6:27 left in the third quarter. Ben McCullough kicked the extra point to give the Panthers the lead.
Cabot pushed its lead to 20-12 when Oaks threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Bradley Morales with 3:45 left in the game. McCullough’s extra point gave the Panthers an eight-point lead.
From there, the defense held the Zebras to win the game.
Adam Flores led Cabot with 127 yards rushing on 23 carries. Oaks had 37 yards on nine carries.
Oaks completed 2 of 6 passes for 62 yards and two scores.
Foots completed 8 of 23 passes for 117 yards and a score. He also threw one interception.
Dalton Crumbly led Cabot with 11 tackles. He also had three tackles for loss and an interception.
Cody Skinner and Davonte Roberts each had seven tackles for the Panthers. Justin Nabors had six. Austin Swackhammer, Justin Holland and Zhane Harper had five tackles each.
Cabot coach Mike Malham was proud of his team’s effort in coming back against the powerful Zebras.
“It is a good confidence builder,” Malham said. “We started off a little slow but we got a little better as the game went on.”
Malham bragged on his defense.
“The defense in the second half shut them down,” he said. “They had 34 total yards in the second half. We made a few blocking adjustments at halftime and started moving the ball better.”
The way his team controlled the second half was a pleasant surprise for Malham.
“We had a lot of mistakes,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. But that ought to help our confidence. If we can keep working and getting a little better, then we might be a contender before it’s all over with.”
El Dorado beat Camden Fairview 29-7 in their season opener. Malham said beating them will be a challenge.
“They are ranked No. 2 in 6A,” Malham said. “They’ve got good size and speed. They are a lot like Pine Bluff. They run it out of the shotgun. We’re going to have to play awfully well. If we’re not ready to play they can run away from you.”