Jim Thorpe head coach Mark Rosenberger had to make some offensive changes this week due to injuries and it affected his game plan.
Sean Green, a wide receiver, was moved to quarterback to replace injured Terry Moll so the Olympians improvised a bit with the running game and Shane Edwards answered the call.
The senior running back carried the ball 29 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns to help Jim Thorpe get by a stubborn Panther Valley squad by a 14-0 score at JT High Stadium.
"I thought Sean did a nice job tonight running our offense and kept things together," said Rosenberger. "We usually run our quarterback a lot more but put an offense in for Sean to run this week and he did what we asked him to do."
Edwards did the brunt of the work and gave the Olympians enough to overcome some first half miscues in the red zone and six penalties, all holding calls.
"Shane had a big game for us," said Rosenberger afterwards. "He made some big plays and some big runs in the second half for us. He's a a hard-nosed kid and a big strong kid."
"We had a couple of fumbles early on which really hurt us. We should have had more points in the first half. But I think our offensive line did some things coming together and made some plays for us."
The first Jim Thorpe fumble came with the Olympians inside the Panther 10 on their first offensive series when Paul Mika recovered for PV at his own eight.
Then with the Olympians driving again, Devon Dillard intercepted a pass for the Panthers near the end zone and took it out to his own 12 with 6:12 left in the opening quarter.
On the second play of the second quarter, Dillard recovered the second Thorpe fumble of the half and PV took over again on its own eight.
Bad field position finally caught up with the Panthers as the Olympians took over on the PV 44 with less than six minutes to go in the half. On the second play from scrimmage, Edwards broke loose down the right sideline for a 30-yard touchdown. James Denny booted the PAT to make it 7-0.
Neither team managed to put up any points in the third quarter, then Edwards, who had a touchdown called back, ran it in for a 10-yard TD two plays later and with 5:36 left in the game, Denny split the uprights again to make it 14-0.
The Panthers managed to drive down to the Jim Thorpe 35, but fumbled and Dante Lynch recovered giving the Olympians the ball and they ran out the clock.
"Our defense played great tonight," said Rosenberger. "I think we did an excellent job. To shut a team out is always a feather in your cap. We have some room for improvement on both sides of the ball, but our defense carried us tonight.
"Give Panther Valley credit. They had a great game plan and they did some nice things against us. We had a poor week of practice since we are banged up a bit and it showed here tonight."
Panther Valley head coach Frank Damian was proud of the effort from his team.
"We were 0-3 and we could have packed it in," Damian said. "Jim Thorpe is a big physical football team. They do things well, they run the ball hard, but we came out fightin'.
"This is one of those games where you can look back and say it's a 'weight room' game. We've got to get a little bigger, stronger to be able to match up with some of these teams with this size.
"The other thing is, we've got to find a way to score points. We've started working Mike (Weaver) in there at quarterback and he gave us a little bit of different things. That's something we're going to start building off of. We had opportunities, but we just didn't cash in on any of them."