PANAMA CITY — Mosley ran 28 more offensive plays and more than doubled Milton’s total yardage in Thursday’s District 1-6A contest at Tommy Oliver Stadium.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they learned as many teams have before that turnovers and bad special teams play are more than enough to torpedo their chance to win.
Mosley turned the ball over five times, had two punts blocked, and allowed four non-offensive touchdowns to Milton as the Panthers notched a 40-28 victory.
The Dolphins (0-8) outgained the Panthers (5-3) 343-165, but Milton got two interception returns for touchdown, a kick return touchdown, and a blocked punt that resulted in another touchdown.
"The turnovers, the blocked punts, the touchdown on the kickoff … we’ve been so solid on special teams all year and tonight we just didn’t execute," Mosley coach Jeremy Brown said.
Mosley also struggled against a talented Milton defensive front, surrendering seven sacks on the night.
The Dolphins’ quarterback duo of Joey Garrett and Josiah McCall combined to complete fewer than 50 percent of their passes with two interceptions each and no TD passes.
Tyler Buchanan had two touchdown passes for Milton but was also picked off twice by Mosley’s Derek Harris.
Emmanuel Holmes led the Mosley rushing attack with 51 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, while Don McKay had 42 yards on seven attempts with two scores. Randy Pittman caught seven passes for 88 yards.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Milton linebacker Jared Barbour
The Panthers’ senior was a key figure in three of the biggest plays of the game, blocking a punt in the first quarter, returning an interception for a touchdown in the second quarter, and recovering another blocked punt for a touchdown in the third quarter.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
That’s the number of touchdowns that the Panthers were able to score without their offense on the field.
Two of the scores came from the defense on pick-sixes by Barbour and Kemontre Current, with the other two from special teams on kickoff return TD by Raymond Cottrell and a punt block recovered by Barbour in the end zone.
"I love these kids. They keep coming to work every week. We’ve had a bad hand of cards dealt to us this year, but the kids haven’t made any excuses. We think they’re winners in life. They’ll be able to build on this and carry it on later into life. They’ll learn something from it."
– Brown on the turmoil his team has faced this season
Leading 15-7 late in the second quarter, Mosley saw the game slip away in the blink of an eye, as Milton scored 20 straight points in the final 2:35 of the first half.
The first score came on a 29-yard TD toss from Buchanan to Current, with a fumble by Garrett two plays later giving it back to Milton at the Mosley 28-yard line.
Buchanan hit Tony Elmore for a touchdown on the very next Milton snap, with the Panthers’ defense cashing in another Mosley miscue just two plays after that when Barbour stepped in front of a Garrett pass and returned it 15 yards to the end zone with 15 seconds on the clock.
Mosley will play another district contest next week against Gulf Breeze on Oct. 25. Milton will play at Pace the same night.