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Saturday, September 19, 2009

South Scores 34 Points…

…but still lost against the Mississinawa Valley Black Hawks. In a night of lopsided scores in the Cross County Conference, this game was not an exception as the Black Hawks scored 55 points of their own to win by 3 scores. A 55 – 34 final is more like a basketball game and the scoring was fast and furious in the first half. Giving up big running plays was once again the bane of the Panther defense as 5 touchdowns came from runs of 40 yards or more.

The first drive of the night ended in paydirt for the Panthers. They started in their wishbone offense and made it look easy as they methodically marched down the field. Roy Wysong capped off the drive with a long run and the Panthers were up. After holding the Blackhawks to 3 plays and punt. It was looking like it may be the Panthers night. But this would be their only lead of the game. The ensuing Panther series ended with a fumble as midfield and that set the tone for the rest of the night. Mississinawa’s Gary Peace rambled 56 yards for a score on their series. They would score again in the first quarter to go up 12-7.

In the second quarter, the Black Hawks could do no wrong when the trickle became a torrent as they scored at will. 29 points were amassed and the Panthers could only score a single TD as Grant Kreitzer pulled in a Miles McCollum pass late in the quarter. At the half, it was 41-14.

The Panthers gamely tried to get some momentum in the second half. Skylar Reckers and Miles McCollum both scored. And when an onsides kick worked to the Panthers advantage, the Panther sideline woke up and made the most noise that I have heard all season. But just when it looked like there was going to be a momentum change, the Black Hawk defense stepped up and made a big play – forcing a fumble at midfield. This crushed the Panthers drive and hopes for a comeback. With a three score deficit, they just could not afford any mistakes. Roy Wysong capped the night for the Panthers with a 21 yard TD carry.

The Panthers were down several players going into the game. Notably, 2 of 3 running backs were unable to start due to injury and illness. At one point, the remaining starting running back was out with a stinger and no starters were in the backfield. However, I don’t think having all backs available would have made a difference in the outcome. Wysong, Combs, and company still managed a respectable 34 points. The team can put points on the scoreboard, they just need to find a way to keep the other team off of it. Next Friday South hosts Bethel.

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