CARNESVILLE — Jackson County football players felt the adversity piling up yet again on Friday.
But this time the Panthers answered the bell.
Jackson County saw its star tailback leave the game in the second quarter but still fought back from a 21-14 second half deficit to push past Franklin County 28-21 in Carnesville.
"We showed that our kids can still win as a team; Noah's a great player obviously, but we showed we're bigger than one player tonight," said Jackson County coach Brandon Worley, who watched his team halt a three-game losing skid and claimed its first Region 8-AAA scalp of the season.
"That was huge, getting off the skid was big motivation for us. And getting a region win in this region is big because of the way it's set up."
Venable, one of the state's leading rushers, had 158 yards when he went out with an ankle injury -- though Worley says he expects him back soon, perhaps as early as next week's contest against Hart County.
Venable, Collin Lewis, Grey Akins and Len Hilbert each scored touchdowns for the Panthers (4-3, 1-0 Region 8-AAA), who fought back from a touchdown deficit after the Lions scooped and scored a fumble in the second half to take a 21-14 lead.
Jackson County travels to face Hart County next week.