In the college football ranks most teams like to have tune-up games before they head into the meat of their conference schedule. With the Panthers being 1-8 and Minersville being 8-1 on the season that's exactly what this match-up looked like heading into Friday night.
A game that Miners star quarterback Cole Weachock and running back Billy Powanda could maybe get some rest in before heading to District 11 playoffs next weekend.
However, Panther Valley did not go quietly into the night and Cole Weachock and Billy Powanda had to see things through as Minersville defeated the Panthers 56-33 in a shootout at Panther Valley Stadium.
The second quarter is where the scoring began for the two squads.
After scoring a touchdown in the first, Minersville poured it on in the second scoring 28 points in the frame. The Miners started the barrage with a Billy Powanda plunge from one-yard out to go up 14-0 on the Panthers.
Then the Miners did what any good team does when they take the ball away. They took advantage. Three Mike Weaver interceptions converted into three touchdowns for the Miners, which gave them a 35-14 edge at the half.
Panther Valley got things rolling in the second when Mike Weaver took a kickoff 82 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown.
Panther Valley then added another score before the half on two-yard pass from Weaver to Nick McArdle.
The third started off with a Panthers onside kick that didn't even go 10 yards, but a Minersville player tried to scoop the ball up. Panther Valley immediately pounced on the Miner forcing him to fumble the football, which set the Panthers up with good field position.
The Panthers couldn't get anything going however, and didn't score again until 3:30 left in the third.
From then on Panther Valley scored two more touchdowns, but everytime the Panthers seemed to gain momentum the Miners would shut the door.
The Miners matched every score the Panthers put up in the second-half and finished off the contest with a 66-yard touchdown run by Billy Powanda at the 5:48 mark in the fourth.
"We didn't have much success as far as wins and losses go this season, but I feel like we built some better young men," said Panther Valley Head Coach Lon Hazlet. "Football is a lot like life and things aren't always going to go the way you want them to. We have to bounce back and make sure were not in the same position this time next year."
The Miners Billy Powanda and Cole Weachock once again showed why they're probably the best running tandem in the Anthracite League this season. The two 1,000 yard plus rushers combined for 234 yards and four touchdowns and will lead the Miners into District 11 Class A playoffs next week.