Schuylkill Valley routs PV
LEESPORT - In the first half, the Panther Valley defense only allowed the opposing ground game to reach the end zone once.
The second half was a different story as Schuylkill Valley broke the goal plain six more times to run away with a 48-13 non-league victory.
After the Panthers' first year head coach Lon Hazlet led his team back onto the field well within reach of a victory, he soon watched his initial game plan - solidifying the defensive front - evaporate into thin air.
Schuylkill Valley turned a 7-7 first half deadlock into a 21-point lead in a matter of moments.
"We were getting the turnovers as we played a very good first half," Hazlet said. "In the second half, it was completely the opposite.
"We got a lot of work to do. We're trying to get better every day and I think we played a little better today."
After being denied a 83-yard kick-off return for a touchdown because of a Schuylkill Valley penalty, Eryk Cerankowski made up for it with a 16-yard touchdown.
Cerankowski put the finishing touches on a drive that teammate Ryan Matthews keyed with his initial run of the second half. After Matthews broke free for 37 yards, Cerankowski took the next hand-off straight into the end zone.
Panther Valley did answer back with a six-play, 43 yard drive, which was set-up after Kyle Ferryman took the kick-off for 50 yards.
PV quarterback Nick McArdle found the endzone from nine yards out to tie the game.
That's all PV could write as Schuylkill Valley scored on the very first play of three consecutive drives to blow the game wide open.
Cerankowski found wide open spaces for a 63-yard touchdown run, Kyle Beisel took advantage of another kick-off return for a five-yard TD run and Ryan Matthews finished things off with a 78-yard TD run. The hosts scored four touchdowns on only six plays throughout the entire third quarter.
"They were moving the ball on us," Hazlet said. "They ran right into the open field. We were grinding it out getting seven or eight at a crack, but we got to talk on the defensive side.
"We got to learn to tackle better, which was very evident and they took advantage of the open field tonight."
Cerankowski capped a night, in which he rattled off 245 yards on 12 carries, in the fourth with his fourth touchdown on a 31-yard run.
While teammate Ryan Matthews finished with seven carries for 133 yards, Schuylkill Valley's Edward Shuttleworth added a 16-yard touchdown to end the scoring.
While the Panthers only managed to reach the endzone twice, Richie Smith broke the century mark with 146 yards on 31 carries. Nick McArdle was close with 75 yards on 11 carries.
"We fought for two and a half quarters," Hazlet stressed. "We're sort of limited what we can do with the personnel we have.
"We got worn out and we certainly didn't tackle well either as those things were very evident. That's a pretty good football team out there. They'll win a lot of games."