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John Essex rallies past Marengo 28-19

The John Essex Hornets spoiled the debut of new Marengo Panther head coach Travis Carswell Friday, rallying from a 13-0 deficit to claim a 28-19 win.

In the opening quarter, Marengo’s Keldrick Bouler scored from three yards out to put the Panther up 6-0. The extra point kick failed. Later in the first, an Essex fumble was recovered by the Panthers’ Lawrence Pritchett to keep the score 6-0 at the end of one.

In the second, Panther quarterback Jarvis McCall found wide receiver Jeremy Dixon on a 40-yard scoring strike. This time, foreign exchange student Daniel Ottosen connected on the extra point for a 13-0 lead.

But the Hornets would respond, running back Chris Jones taking off for a 68-yard run to the Panther 8 before taking it in for the score on the next play. The two-point conversion failed leaving the score 13-6. Panther Ronnie Hildreth fell on an Essex fumble later in the quarter to send Marengo in at halftime with the 13-6 lead.

With 8:42 remaining in the third quarter, Jones scored from ten yards out and tacked on the two-point conversion to give Essex their first lead at 14-13.

McCall connected with Dixon again for a 50-yard bomb down to the Hornet 20, but fumbled on the next play to end the threat.

Essex backup QB Suran Allen, in for the injured Keionte Phillips, threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to extend the Essex lead to 20-13.

But Marengo would respond, Dixon taking the ball and scoring on a 40-yard reverse. The extra point try failed, leaving Essex clinging to a one-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Essex then struck again from the 27-yard line, Jones scoring his third TD and notching the two-point conversion for the final 28-19 margin.