The Phoenix varsity football team committed five costly turnovers during its season-opening loss to Cato-Meridian Friday night.
The Firebirds trailed by 13 points by the end of the first quarter. Though the Firebirds fought valiantly, they were unable to cut into the early lead Cato-Meridian established.
Assisted in large part by Phoenix turnovers, Cato-Meridian came away with a 41-21 season opening win.
Cato-Meridian wasted little time getting into gear against the Firebirds. C-M took a 7-0 lead when Kyle Mapley found Joe Schneider for an 80-yard touchdown pass. Phoenix answered right back when Avery Chisolm tied the game following an 11-yard touchdown run.
Schneider was poised to strike again for C-M. He returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for the score. Schneider’s kickoff return gave Cato-Meridian a 14-7 lead.
Before the first quarter concluded, Kyle Mapley used his feet to stiffle the Firebirds. Mapley scored on a run from 30 yards out to give Cato-Meridian a 20-7 lead.
The score remained the same until the third quarter. Schneider increased Cato-Meridian’s lead to 27-7 following a 31-yard touchdown run.
Cato-Meridian then took a 34-7 when Austin Bierce scored on a 2-yard touchdown run.
Though overcome by turnovers, Phoenix refused to quit. Before the third quarter concluded, Phoenix’s Avery Chisolm scored on a 70-yard run to cut Cato-Meridian’s lead down to 21 points at 34-13.
During the fourth quarter, Cato-Meridian tacked on one more touchdown; this time, a one-yard run by Colin Richards.
Before the game ended, The Firebirds tallied another touchdown. Chisolm scored run from 6 yards out.