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|Sterlington whips Benton; hosts Caldwell next|
The Sterlington Panthers (1-0) dominated from start to finish in a 27-7 win over Class 4A Benton on Friday night at Panther Stadium.
Sterlington marched right down the field on their opening drive against Benton (0-1) and quarterback Logan Dobson capped the drive off with a one-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.
After a Brandon Adams seven-yard rushing touchdown tied the game, Dobson connected with Clay Branton on a 52-yard touchdown strike that gave the Panthers the lead for good.
"Benton had some turnover problems," Sterlington head coach Mike Collins said. "We made some plays."
Dobson went 13-of-26 for 182 yards and two touchdowns through the air for the Panthers. The second Dobson touchdown pass went to d'Mardrei Richardson. Richardson caught seven passes for 68 yards against Benton.
Benton out-gained the Panthers 150-80 in rushing yards and that could be a concern as Sterlington hosts Caldwell this Friday.
Caldwell will feature running back Centarius Arnold — one of the most highly recruited running backs in the state of Louisiana at this time.
Arnold rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns last week in a 21-0 route of the Jena Giants.
The passing game of Caldwell is no slouch either, but his own team's mental errors is what concerns Collins right now.
Sterlington had seven penalties for 50 yards compared to just five penalties for Benton in their opening contest.
"We had too many mental mistakes," Collins said. "Caldwell is real talented and we have to do cut down on mistakes because they have two division one guys on offense."
One of the strengths of the Panther team right now seems to be the defense which forced four turnovers against a Benton team that reached the Class 4A semi-finals last season.
The game is also huge for power point and playoff purposes. The Panthers will receive two extra points for playing up in class so a win could provide a whopping 12 points in their playoff power point equation. The early season can mean the difference in the end of getting into the playoffs or not if teams can pick up wins against larger schools.