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Shenadoah comeback downs Panthers

SHENANDOAH - Panther Valley had more than one opportunity to win its first game of the season last night, but in the end, its 28-21 loss to Shenandoah Valley could be summarized in two words.

“Mistakes, discipline,” said Panther Valley head coach Rick Jones.

The Panthers were flagged for 107 yards in penalties and had several missed defensive assignments during the game and one in particular that led to the winning score by the Blue Devils with 26 seconds to go in the game.

Despite the mental miscues, the Panthers were primed to come away with a victory when the PV’s De’Antay Alston blocked a punt late in the fourth quarter that was returned by Shyiem Ervine for 39 yards to the Blue Devil 3-yard line.

On the first play from scrimmage, Michael Pascoe bolted into the end zone. Pascoe’s extra point knuckle balled through the uprights and Panther Valley led 21-20 with 7:51 left to play.

The Panthers’ defense held on Shenandoah’s next possession, but the home team got the ball back with 2:00 to go on their own 49-yard line. On first down, PV’s Austin Hadley, who had a monster game from his linebacker position, sacked SV quarterback, Owen Kosar for a 10 yard loss.

With 1:18 on the clock and a third-and-long, Kosar hit Joey Vevasis over the middle for 20 yards and on fourth down, Kosar ran up the middle for a first and goal to the Panther four-yard line. He scored on the next play.

“We made too many mistakes and we’re just not disciplined,” said Jones. “They made plays when they had to make them so give credit where it’s due.”

The Blue Devils struck pay dirt first on a four-minute drive highlighted by the pass and run combination of Kosar to Vevasis, who caught 15 balls for 210 yards in the game.

The Panthers missed a golden opportunity when Shyiem Irvine intercepted a pass at the Blue Devil 29-yard line, but two penalties set PV back and the Panthers failed to capitalize on the turnover.

Near the end of the first, the Panthers, on runs from Pascoe and Alston, finished a three minute drive to take a 7-6 which held up into the intermission.

After forcing a punt with under nine minutes left in the third quarter, Pascoe found Mergim Bushati in the left corner of the end zone and the Panthers took a 14-6 lead.

Shenandoah scored on a Kosar-to-Vevasis pass, but the two-point conversion try failed, sending the game into the fourth quarter with the Panther Valley holding a slim two point lead at 14-12.

After Shenandoah had taken a 20-14 lead on a one yard Kosar run, then came the blocked punt that led to a 21-20 lead before the Blue Devils came back to win in the waning seconds of the game.

“Our kids played hard,” said Jones, “but this was a tough one to lose and we’ll just have to deal with it.”

SACK PACK ... Along with Hadley’s 10-yard sack, the Panthers’ Riley Hoben tackled Kosar for a five-yard loss in the first quarter.

LINE TRAPS ... Panther Valley’s running game was enhanced by several trapping linemen who opened big holes for Pascoe and Alston all game long.