The momentum carried over briefly as the Panthers' defense threw Harris for minus-9 yards on his first-two carries. But it didn't last. Harris sliced through the defense on his third carry for a 47-yard TD run; Rolf added a two-point conversion run, and the Tigers took the lead for good, 8-7 with 8:16 left in the first quarter.
Laverne added a TD just under three minutes later, when the bruising Birch popped through the middle and showed excellent speed for a 65-yard run.
The Tigers had a chance for more, reaching the Pond Creek-Hunter 1 with 11:12 left in the first half. But on fourth-and-goal, Rolf tried to find a hole behind the left guard but was stopped a half-yard shy of the end zone.
Rolf said Allen told the Laverne crew at halftime “not to let up. Keep going hard. No doubt, those two (quick) touchdowns made a difference.”
Rolf set the tone on the first play of the third quarter. He rolled right and breezed down the sideline, in front of the Laverne side of the stadium, for a 70-yard TD run.
“The line kept blocking, and I kept running,” Rolf said.