[Nathan Wright, Special to ETSN.fm]

BULLARD – Bullard responded from their first loss of the season last week in a big way Friday night at Panther Stadium.

Brentavian Henderson rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 42-9 victory against White Oak in the final non-district game of the season for both teams.

“I think our kids, in a good way, really were hungry to win,” Bullard head Coach Shannon Wilson said. “They wanted that feeling again and that was a good thing.”

The Panthers wasted little time scoring once they got the ball on their first possession of the game. After a pass on the drive’s initial play, Bullard ran the ball six straight times. The sixth carry was a seven-yard touchdown by Henderson.

After recovering a White Oak fumble, the Panthers cashed in on their second possession of the game as well. A five-play drive that began at the Bullard 29-yard line ended with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Connor Mebane to Major Tennison.

Less than seven minutes into the game, the Panthers led 14-0.

White Oak found the end zone on its next possession. The Roughnecks went on a 13-play, 75-yard drive that spanned the last five minutes of the first quarter and a few seconds into the second, culminating in a five-yard touchdown pass from Cordelle Smith to Logan Rowe.

The PAT was no good and Bullard led 14-6 with 11:54 to go before halftime.

Smith finished the game 26-for-35 passing for 217 yards.

Bullard answered on its next possession. After recovering the ensuing kickoff just inside their own territory, the Panthers needed seven plays to go ahead 21-6 on an 18-yard run by Mebane with 9:25 to go in the first half.

White Oak responded with another long drive. This one went 83 yards in 13 plays and ended with a 26-yard field goal by Jack Rogers to cut the Bullard lead to 21-9 with 4:59 to go in the second quarter.

The second half was all Bullard as the Panthers shut down Smith and the Roughnecks’ aerial attack and continued to hold them in check on the ground.

“Our coaching staff did a great job of getting a little more pressure on the quarterback,” Wilson said. “We have some young kids on defense so every game is a learning experience.”

The only mistake the Panthers’ made in the second half was an interception by Mebane. But White Oak was not able to take advantage of it.

Henderson found the end zone a second time on the Panthers’ third play of the second half. He scored on a 41-yard run to give Bullard a 28-9 lead just a minute into the third quarter.

A minute into the fourth quarter, Henderson scored his third and final touchdown of the game on a 31-yard run to put the Panthers ahead 35-9 with 11:03 to go in the game.

“We have a good offensive line,” Henderson said. “They practice hard each week. What I saw, there were holes here and there and hit them. I just ran and had fun.”

The explanation point on the victory came midway through the final quarter. With 6:22 left in the game, D’Juan Martin returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown to give the Panthers the 42-9 margin.

Both teams are off next week before beginning district play Oct. 10.