After his team's performance in week one of the high school football season, Schuylkill Valley head coach Jeff Chillot wasn't too happy with his team's effort.
However, after Friday night's come-from-behind victory over Panther Valley, he seemed to be whistling a different tune as the Panthers of Schuylkill Valley downed the Panthers of Panther Valley, 26-14.
"It feels really great," Chillot said. "We didn't play perfect, but we had to play from behind and they're a tough team. We're pretty proud of our kids' effort and happy with the win."
After trailing 7-0, Schuylkill Valley used some strong play by players on both sides of the ball throughout the remainder of the first half and third quarter to propel themselves to the win. The Panthers improve to 1-1 on the short season.
It was the locals that struck pay dirt first. The initial drive of the game, a five-play, 70-yard string, resulted in a 54-yard run by senior tailback Josh Vega. With Mike Weaver's PAT, the locals took the early advantage.
"I think it says a lot about our maturity with the way we responded," Chillot said. "We seemed to find ways to make plays and we definitely did. Like always, we played to win tonight."
Chillot was referring to how his team immediately came out and answered the call. Two possessions later, Schuylkill Valley put together a ten-play, 55-yard drive that resulted in a score to cut the locals' lead to 7-6 with 1:56 remaining in the first.
The remainder of the first half was pretty stagnant, as both teams' defenses stepped up and limited each other to scoreless football. However, with 1:10 left in the first half, senior running back Dylan Scheidt ran in from 28 yards out to give his Panthers a 13-7 lead.
"The way I started out, I was running straight ahead and left and right," Scheidt said about his slow start. "However, the linemen really started to step up and were doing really well and it's always easier for me to get through some holes when they're doing their job."
On their next possession, the Panthers scored quickly on a Derek Gaul eight-yard run to balloon his team's lead to 19-7 with 9:52 left in the third.
Panther Valley didn't quit though, as they found punched it in with seven minutes left in the game to cut the gap to 19-14. Freshman QB Lukas Damian found Weaver on a 21-yard scoring pass to make things interesting.
The victors then came back with a seven-play, 67-yard scoring drive to put the game away on a Scheidt 32-yard scoring trot.