After having a week off, the Sweetwater Wildcats returned to action Friday night.

They came into the game looking for their second win of the year. If successful, it would also keep the Wildcats in a share of first place in the region standings. The Wildcats’s Homecoming opponent was the Brainerd Panthers.

Brainerd came into the game also sporting a 1-0 record in region play. The winner would position themselves as an early front-runner for the region crown.

The game got off to a very slow start as neither team could gain any offensive momentum. Brainerd was able to strike first when they returned a Sweetwater punt 71 yards for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead.

With 3:47 to play in the first half, Brainerd was able to score the first offensive touchdown of the night as Ciante’ Chaney scored on a 4-yard run. The extra point attempt was no good, and the Panthers took a 13-0 lead into the locker room.

The offensive struggles continued in the second half. A large part of the problem for both teams was penalties. In total, the game saw 30 yellow flags. Brainerd suffered the majority of the fouls, but Sweetwater committed them at the most inopportune times. The Wildcats had two touchdowns called back because of penalties.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Panthers found the end zone one last time on a 7-yard run by Chaney. Brainerd failed to convert a two-point attempt, and the final score was 19-0 Brainerd.

Before the game against the Panthers, the Wildcats honored the late Anthony Oggs by retiring his jersey number. Oggs was one of the greatest players in Sweetwater’s storied history and formed a legendary backfield in the early 1970s teaming with Kippy Brown.

Sweetwater will travel to Sequoyah on Friday evening for a county rivalry game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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