Panther Vy. falls to MA
Panther Valley’s Tremaine Ervine runs for a 10-yard TD against Mahanoy Area. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Panther Valley attempted to take away Mahanoy Area’s inside running game Friday night.
The only problem was, the Golden Bears also excel on the outside.
Ben Terry ran for three touchdowns, and the visitors totaled 469 yards on the ground to cruise to a 46-13 Schuylkill League Division 2 victory over the Panthers.
“Tonight we were able to hit on the third phase of the triple option,” said Mahanoy head coach Dave Holman. “They took away our fullback and our quarterback, so we were able to hit that third phase off the pitch. That really opened things up inside. I thought we clicked on all cylinders offensively.”
“They have not pitched the ball a lot in the past,” said PV mentor Rick Jones. “Our No. 1 objective was to take the quarterback away, and we didn’t even do a great job with that. The problem with their offense is if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do and you look the wrong place, they’re very good at taking advantage of that and they’re very good at readjusting their play call.”
The Bears (5-3) scored the first four times they touched the ball, effectively getting outside with tosses on the option or with sweeps. That success helped open up lanes for quarterback Danny Lawrence, who finished with 140 rushing yards.
Terry accounted for the game’s first score on a 22-yard run, while Lawrence made it 14-0 with an 8-yard tally with 3:48 left in the opening quarter. Mahanoy needed just 11 plays combined on the two drives, with six of those plays going for more than 10 yards.
“They have a nice squad,” said Jones. “They’re well-coached and have a nice scheme. Obviously the quarterback is very, very good but they’re also strong and big up front ... They were just the better team tonight.”
The Panthers (2-6) countered that second score with a 12-play drive and reached the Bears’ 5-yard line, but an interception halted the march. PV also had another scoring threat in the first half, but gave up the ball on downs.
Meanwhile, Mahanoy Area made every drive count.
Terry reached the end zone again on an option toss, scoring from 21 yards out, while Lawrence threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Wall to give the Bears a 27-0 halftime lead.
“We did some nice things on offense,” said Jones. “We made great progress there ... We made some mistakes, though, at key times ... but I was pleased with them and that’s something we have to build on.”
“(Panther Valley) drove the field, but we kind of had that bend-don’t-break mentality,” said Holman. “We were pretty opportunistic. Our defense forced some turnovers on some of their drives. Overall, it was a great team win.”
Mahanoy Area secured the victory in the third quarter, and the option game was again a factor.
Wall took a toss and broke loose for a 42-yard run, setting up Terry’s 21-yard TD scamper off a pitch from Lawrence. Later, Lawrence scrambled for a 57-yard gain to lead to Alexis Perez’s 1-yard tally. That gave the Bears a commanding 40-0 advantage.
“We knew this wasn’t going to be easy tonight,” said Jones. “It’s still a learning process, a building process. I don’t think there’s any question that we’re considerably better than last year. But our goal is to get even better, and we’ll eventually get there.”
PV SCORES ... Panther Valley avoided the shutout midway through the fourth frame when Tremaine Ervine scored on a 10-yard touchdown run. Ervine also ran for a 50-yard score on the final play of the game.
UP AHEAD ... The Panthers travel to Schuylkill Haven Friday, while Mahanoy hosts Marian.