COLUMBIA, S.C. — Three key miscues helped place the combined North Carolina Schools for the Deaf eight-player football team in an early hole last week as the Bear-Hornets concluded their road schedule with a 50-12 loss to the Providence Athletic Club Panthers at Seven Oaks Park.
NCSsD remained winless through four games, while the Panthers, a program comprised of homeschool athletes in the Columbia region, improved to 5-3 in celebrating homecoming.
“We are not good enough to overcome that,” NCSsD co-head coach Leonard Baker groused. “Too many turnovers and miscues. We have to keep working to get better.”
En route to falling down 24-0 after one quarter, the Bear-Hornets were victimized by a blocked punt that set the Panthers up inside the red zone, a long punt return to the NCSsD 15-yard line and a lost fumble at the Bear-Hornets’ 20.
Panthers quarterback Jackson Gleaton completed all five of his passes, with three of them going for TDs. Gleaton found Hucks on scoring strikes of two and 15 yards tthree minutes apart put the hosts up 16-0. Austin Coates slammed in from seven yards out, with Robert Hogg’s two-point conversion run extending the Panther lead to 24-0 after one quarter.
The Bear-Hornets responded after a 6-yard run from Harry Baker made it 30-0. Alfonza Robinson took the ensuing kickoff and rumbled 81 yards to the end zone, making it 30-6 with 8:22 remaining until halftime. The two-point conversion failed on the ground.
Trailing 37-6 after Gleaton tossed his third TD pass — a 21-yarder to Parker Pocock — the Bear-Hornets struck back before halftime. Naheim Carlton’s 71-yard reception off a Luis Vargus pass pulled NCSsD to within 37-12 with 20 seconds left.
NCSsD was not called for a penalty, but yielded 332 yards on the ground. Conversely, the Bear-Hornets produced 53 rushing yards and threw for 135.
Carlton had two catches for 90 yards to lead the Bear-Hornets, while Luigui Manzanares snared two receptions for 37 yards.
NCSsD will observe its rescheduled homecoming festivities Saturday as it hosts Louisiana School for the Deaf at 2 p.m.