MOODY — Moody opened its 2020 football season in tough fashion Friday, falling to Elmore County 27-7.
Panthers quarterback Payton Stepenson contributed three of his team’s four touchdowns along with 114 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback A.J. Wallace contributed an impressive 252 total yards along with a touchdown pass for the Blue Devils.
Moody sophomore wide receiver Kolby Seymour, also had a big night, catching passes good for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively for the Blue Devils, Taylor Rothe, Matthew McDonald and Parker Dodd contributed nine tackles apiece.
The first touchdown of the game came on a 7-yard pass from Stephenson to tight end Cole Booth halfway through the first quarter.
The remainder of the half was a tale of two defenses until less than three minutes remained, when the Panthers put another touchdown on the board on a 16-yard run by Sean Darnell.
In the second half, the duo of Darnell and Stephenson consistently moved the ball down the field and put up a third touchdown for Elmore County, bringing the score to 20-0.
With less than two minutes left in the third quarter, Wallace, Seymour and freshman Blaine Burke diligently worked together to move the ball for Moody. Ultimately, a 17-yard pass from Wallace to Seymour would put the Blue Devils on the board.
Burke ended the night with nine receptions and 67 yards for the Blue Devils.
Stephenson contributed one last touchdown for the Panthers less than a minute into the final quarter.
Moody head coach Adam Wallace said despite the loss, he believes his guys put forth full effort.
“We’re a young team, a little bit of an inexperienced team even with our older kids, and we knew that coming in and some of that (showed),” he said. “We had some bright spots, but some of that (inexperience) showed up on the field … in the form of penalties.
“But overall, our effort was great all the way around. The kids fought to the end despite being down and were really in the game until the very end.”
Wallace emphasized he hopes to see his team become more consistent offensively and physical defensively.
“We would have a big, explosive play, we would move the ball, and then we had over 300-plus yards on offense, (but) to only come away with seven points. We had a lot of things like that,” he said.