The Lenoir City High School Panthers were looking to pull the upset Friday on the road against the Walker Valley High School Mustangs but came up well short in a 41-0 shutout loss.

Walker Valley set the tone early in the first quarter and never looked back after blocking a punt, which set up a quick scoring drive to go up 7-0.

Lenoir City's defense responded after forcing a missed field goal attempt later in the first quarter.

"After that blocked punt, I thought, really, the first half for us went well, especially in the first quarter," Jeff Cortez, LCHS head football coach, said. "Our defense hung in there and the next drive forced a field goal attempt. We rushed it hard, the ball went wide left so that was good. We were efficient with our pass game, I thought, in the first half, but for the second region game in a row we struggled with running the football. That was a little bit of an issue for us."

Walker Valley took advantage through the air and scored two more touchdowns to lead 21-0 at halftime.

"They did get two more scores there right before half, but really we were right there with them and had opportunities but just couldn't cash in on some of them," Cortez said.

The Panthers were dealt a blow on the kickoff to open the second half when senior linebacker Silas Jarrett suffered an injury, forcing defensive coordinator Dustin Peels to start three freshmen linebackers.

The Mustangs went on to score three additional touchdowns in the second half to seal the victory.

With the loss, the Panthers move to 1-6 overall and 0-3 in Region 4-5A standings.