Sometimes, history repeats itself.
The Camden Fairview Cardinals (5-1, 3-0) went down to Columbia County and defeated the previously undefeated Magnolia Panthers (5-1,2-1), 35-19.
In 2006, the two undefeated teams met in a game that came down to the wire (CF won, 28-27). But this time, CF had to come from behind and shut out the home team 21-0 in the second half.
The Cardinals received its first proverbial punch in the mouth on the first drive of the game. After the Panthers fumbled on their second play, CF was hit with a face mask. Two plays later, Magnolia running back Garrion Curry would rumble for a 41-yard pick up. Then at the 9:11 mark, He would power his way in from 10 yards out. The PAT was no good.
CF would pick up a first down on their first possession behind sound blocking by the offensive line and quarterback Martavius Thomas finding the seam. However, a big sack on a third down thwarted any chance for a response and the Cardinals would have to punt.
Both teams would exchange possessions before Magnolia would get its second running TD from Curry with two seconds left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Panthers held on to the 12-0 lead.
The offense would finally start to find some traction against the tough Panther's defense. Thomas and Kenny Langford would pick up big gains on the ground before Thomas punched it in from three yards out. Nasir Khan came on to add the PAT to cut into the Panthers' advantage with 7:24 left in the half.
If the opening drive was the first punch in the mouth for the Cardinals, then the Panthers' fourth drive was a right cross and an uppercut.
The Panthers would get the ball at their own 35 and Curry would immediately run for a 16-yard pick up on first down. CF would find themselves in a position to get the ball out of the rolling Panthers when it appeared to stopped them on a fourth and short. The play was ruled a first down for the home team, much to the chagrin of the Cardinals. But three plays later, the Cardinal defense would have another chance. On a fourth down, Magnolia's Dalen Blanchard would drop back to pass just as he was being hit. The wide-open receiver would drop the pass, but before the Cardinals could celebrate, they were nailed with a roughing the passer penalty. On the very next play, Curry would run the ball in for a 14-yard touchdown. This time the PAT would be true.
With only 1:26 left in the half and the momentum heavily along the Magnolia sideline, the Cardinals would finally land a flush counter punch.
Sophomore Trent Haygood would field the kickoff at the 11-yard line and speed up the middle before bouncing it outside and scoring. The special teams blocked the play to the "T" and were disciplined as Haygood simply outran the Panthers for the score. Khan added the PAT. The Cardinal defense stepped up and stopped Magnolia before the half ended, and the Cardinals would get up near midfield as the half ended.
CF received the ball to start the third and were making its way down the field before an athletic interception Jacor Herbert ended the drive at the Panthers' 20. Curry would again go for a big run - this time for 30 yards - before the Cardinals could bring him down. Then Camden Fairview would slip an uppercut. A couple of plays after the big run, sophomore Ronald "Buck" Buchanan ripped the ball from a ball carriers grasp and returned it about 10 yards before being brought down.
The offense took the field ready to jab behind its run game. Thomas, Langford, Haygood and AJ Alsobrook would all get carries on the drive before the Cardinals got the ball down to the Magnolia 1-yard line. The charismatic Cardinal coaching staff began to "raise the roof" along with its players and the Cardinal fans, meaning it was time for the heavy package. Jabauree Lockhart took the snap and ran it in for a touchdown to give the Cardinals their first lead. On the two-point attempt, Thomas would roll to his right looking to pass before reversing field and getting in the end zone to put CF ahead 22-19 with 3:37 left in the third.
The fourth quarter was all body blows for the Cardinals. Now the momentum was heavily in the visiting teams favor as the Magnolia option run game got off schedule. Magnolia would still get inside Cardinal territory before the defense would come up with back-to-back big stops on third and fourth down. CF would run the ball patiently down the field and score again on a Lockhart one-yard run. With Khan's PAT, CF extended its lead to 10 making it a two-possession game for a team that doesn't like to air the ball out.
Ultimately, the Cardinal defense would stop the Panthers again and the disciplined, physical offensive line would lean on the Panthers all the way down the field as Lockhart would punch in another touchdown with 3:39 left to set the final margin.
Kameron Easttam and DJ King stayed in the Magnolia Panther's backfield in the second half as Bacari Jackson, Treston Jones and Bricen Butler stopped numerous plays in the triple option to two yards or less. With the exception of a big run in the first half, the Cardinals' defense made it impossible to run off tackle. The Panthers put the ball on the ground three times, attempting to.
The Cardinals will now set their sights on the DeQueen Leopards (0-6, 0-3) for homecoming on Friday night.