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Dragons beat Panthers to close regular season

Collierville junior running back Mikho Grandison rushes past Bartlett’s Antonio Mazzone for a third quarter touchdown to tie the game 21-21. The Dragons gained 164 rushing yards Friday night in a 31-21 win over Bartlett. Collierville will play at Mt. Juliet this Friday in the first round of the Class 6A State Football Playoffs.
Collierville junior running back Mikho Grandison rushes past Bartlett’s Antonio Mazzone for a third quarter touchdown to tie the game 21-21. The Dragons gained 164 rushing yards Friday night in a 31-21 win over Bartlett. Collierville will play at Mt. Juliet this Friday in the first round of the Class 6A State Football Playoffs.

Collierville junior running back Mikho Grandison rushes past Bartlett’s Antonio Mazzone for a third quarter touchdown to tie the game 21-21. The Dragons gained 164 rushing yards Friday night in a 31-21 win over Bartlett. Collierville will play at Mt. Juliet this Friday in the first round of the Class 6A State Football Playoffs.

When the regular season ends with a game against a team that’s struggled in district play all season long, it’s hard to get up and be ready for the game.
However, with Bartlett showing up to play, Collierville had its hands full with the Panther’s running game. Bartlett had 329 yards of total offense on Friday with all yardage coming from the running game.
The Panthers attempted only three pass plays in the game with no success and Collierville’s defense held Bartlett on their last three possessions to get the 31-21 win.
Some key factors in the game were Collierville’s ability to move the ball down the field through the air and Bartlett’s tenuous passing game.
The win advances the Dragons into the first round of the state playoffs as a fifth seed traveling to play the fourth seeded Mt. Juliet Golden Bears.
Collierville scored on its first possession with a 6-play, 60-yard drive capped off by Edmond Pomphrett’s 14-yard touchdown run (PAT by Dylan Scott was good) for the early 7-0 lead.
The Panthers scored on their first possession as well, with a 10-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 7-7.
Collierville turned the ball over with an interception at their own 28 yard line, with Bartlett capitalized on a 7-yard touchdown run (PAT was good) for the Panthers to go up 14-7. The Dragons scored in the second quarter on a Peyton McCay 2-yard touchdown run (PAT by Scott was good) to even the score 14-14 at halftime.
Collierville was unsuccessful with an onside kick to start the third quarter and gave Bartlett good field position at the Panther 47 yard line.
Bartlett drove down the field and scored on 6-yard touchdown run (PAT was good) to go up 21-14.
Collierville responded with a 7-yard touchdown run by Mikho Grandison (PAT was good by Scott) to tie the score at 21-21.
In the fourth quarter, the Dragons scored on a 28-yard pass play from Matt Connors to Marcus Bersosa (PAT by Scott was good) to go up 28-21.
On the next series, Collierville held Bartlett with a turnover on downs to give the Dragon offense a chance to take time off the clock.
Scott’s 30-yard field goal with a little over two minutes left in the game gave Collierville a 10-point lead they would not give up.
Collierville’s defense held Bartlett from scoring deep into Dragon territory to end the game. Collierville’s balanced rushing and passing attack proved to be the difference.
Quarterback Matt Connors played well, rushing for 45 yards and passing for another 117 yards, with one touchdown and an interception. Collierville as a team rushed for 175 yards with three touchdowns. Marcus Bersosa led in receiving with four catches, 87 yards and a touchdown.
“We started out slow and faced a Bartlett offense that changed a few weeks ago,” said Collierville Coach Mike O’Neill. “It was tough to defend and our guys did a good job against them. At halftime we made some adjustments. I’m proud of our kids because they didn’t quit. I could tell at halftime that our guys wanted this game.”
Next for the Dragons is the first round of the state playoffs matchup against Mt. Juliet (5-5) on Friday at 7 p.m. in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. The winner will play either Whitehaven or Antioch in the second round.

BOX SCORE
COLLIERVILLE – 31
BARTLETT – 21
First Quarter
• Col — Peyton McCay 14-yard run (Dylan Scott kick)
• Bar — J.J. Vaden 9-yard run (Brian Cannon kick)
• Bar — Marquavius Weaver 7-yard run (Brian Cannon kick)
Second Quarter
• Col — Peyton McCay 1-yard run (Dylan Scott kick)
Third Quarter
• Bar — LaMarcus Young 6-yard run (Brian Cannon kick)
• Col — Mikho Granderson 6-yard run (Dylan Scott kick)
Fourth Quarter
• Col — Marcus Bersoza 28 pass from Matt Connors (Dylan Scott kick)
• Col — Dylan Scott 30-yard field goal

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