CRESTVIEW — Time will tell how well the Crestview High School football team’s defense does.
Based on Friday’s season opener against Milton at Jack Foster Stadium the Bulldogs still have a long way to go.
Simply put Crestview couldn’t stop the run in a 28-14 loss to Milton.
“You can’t play football like that and win,” Bulldog Coach Tim Hatten said. “We go down there and score our first two possessions and they don’t do anything to stop us, but we make mistakes (later on offense).
“They are solid and the bring ht ball right at you. We don’t do a good job when folks come right at us and we didn’t do a very good job tonight.”
Led by Shemar Henderson’s 155-yard, three-touchdown performance, the Panthers pounded the rock for 310 yards on 49 carries while passing for just 33 yards.
Henderson scored on a 5-yard run in the first quarter, and runs of 1 yard and 6-yards in the fourth quarter. Desmone Knight scored Milton’s other touchdown on an 8-yard scamper in the second quarter.
In the early going the game looked as if it would be a shootout.
The Bulldogs (0-1) went 79 yards on six plays to score on the game’s opening drive. A 13-yard touchdown pass from Corey Armstrong to Andrew Adkins capped the drive with 9:16 left in the first period.
A 57-yard bomb from Armstrong to Marquis McClain set up Crestview’s second touchdown on the second Bulldog possession. Armstrong finished the drive with a 19-yard run.
Henderson notched his first touchdown in between the Bulldog scores.
Milton tied the game on Knight’s scoring run in the second quarter.
Late in the third quarter Crestview had a second and two at the Panther 26-yard line. But three plays later, after netting just one yard, the Bulldogs gave the ball to Milton on downs.
The game remained tied until the fourth when Milton went in front for the first time.
Crestview returned the ensuing kick into Panther territory, but back to back major penalties backed the Bulldogs up and they were unable to dig out of the hole.
“We made some serious mistakes on the sidelines,” Hatten said. “I probably put us in some bad situations play calling several times. We ran some things we probably shouldn’t have ran.
“I don’t think our effort got us beat. It was a total team and coaching effort that got us beat.”
Armstrong finished the night with 315 yards in total offense as he ran for 109 and threw for another 206. Marcus Mobley had 59 yards rushing on 13 carries and 30 yards receiving. Alik Whited caught six passes for 62 yards.
Crestview plays at Choctaw at 7 p.m. Friday.