By Ross Chauvin
SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) — First-year head coach Bobby Sanders and the Northshore Panthers faced the Salem Spartans as scheduled on Friday night in Slidell, despite having Week 1 wiped out due to Hurricane Ida.
The Spartans took an early 12-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to a 12-yard touchdown by Spartans running back Trent Johnson.
The Panthers finally entered the score column as wide receiver TJ Coleman hauled in a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Buell.
Buell showcased his talents furthermore, finding Austin Jackson IV for a 60-yard touchdown pass, taking the lead 14-12 at the start of the second quarter.
Salmen entertained this back-and-forth affair, capitalizing on several possessions and scoring two more touchdowns before the half. Trent Johnson found the endzone once more on a 10-yd keeper, and quarterback Jack Gillikin snuck in on a 2-yard sneak, reclaiming the lead, 26-14.
Northshore put a stop to the Spartans coming into the second half, as Buell found wide receiver Brandon Hines on a swing pass for a 28-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 26-21.
The Panthers did not stop putting up their fight, as running back Charles Watts entered the endzone on a 2-yard draw in the third quarter, taking the lead once more, 28-26.
Salmen’s defense prevailed when relied upon, as defensive back Donald Cousizan intercepted Buell, and scored, for a 39-yard pick-six. Following a successful 2-point conversion, the Spartans reclaimed the lead, 34-28.
In the middle of the fourth quarter, Panthers running back Chandler Chapman busted through the Spartans defense, and streaked into the endzone for a 52-yard touchdown run, to tie the game at 34.
With 30 seconds remaining in regulation, Buell hit Coleman on a slant pass over the middle for a 21-yard touchdown for the 41-34 come-from-behind win.