Long Drive Home
J. C. Tilton
It was a long drive home for the Twin Valley South Panthers. They were dominated by a tough Anna Rocket team -(60 players!). Each teams first possession set the tone for the night. Anna received the kickoff and began their offense from the 27 yard line. They advanced to midfield where TJ Marks pealed off a 45 yard TD run to put Anna up 7-0. On South's first possession on the ensuing kickoff, they first had to move backwards as an illegal block by the Panthers on the kick return moved the ball back to their own 10 yard line. They lost yardage and finally the Panthers were looking at 4th and 19 on their own 1 yard line.
Anna mainly kept the ball on the ground as they used counters, sweeps, and options to move the ball against the Panthers. South had their backs against the wall most of the game. The offense had a tough time moving the ball even to midfield. A Jobe Hickey interception moved the ball to the Anna 31, but the Panthers went backwards from that spot as a 15 yard unsportsmanship penalty moved the ball back. Then later in that possession, the quarterback was sacked and fumbled - Anna recovered. A bright spot in the first half for South was Brad Unger. He had a nice kickoff return to the TVS 41, and later an interception to halt an Anna drive.
Later in the second half both teams had reserves in the game. Anthony Armstrong ran quarterback for South and had the best drive of the night. It was aided by a couple of blatant pass interference calls against Anna - but he had several nice completions on this drive one to Wes Rehmert, another to Justin Flynn for 20 yards, and Will Nelson for 9 yards. The Panthers were knocking on the door - having advanced to about the 20 yard line of Anna, but Anna slammed it shut by intercepting an errant pass. Still Armstrong showed poise and a quick release, as he gets more experience he should gain consistency. The game ended in an Anna victory 49-0.
The Panthers have had a tough 3 game stretch - they have probably played the three toughest teams in the CCC. Well OK, they still have Arcanum to deal with - but they have Bradford coming up next. This is a chance for the team to get back on the winning path and finish strong. But as the team approaches midseason they still need to get rid of the nagging penalties - illegal blocks, unsportsmanlikes, etc. that constantly make the game easier for the other team. Also Injuries are starting to be a factor. Artz was out this week and Hickey was out during the second half of the Anna game. There were a few other players on the lean Panther roster (29 players) that were not in uniform this week. Hopefully, all will be healed and ready to play next Friday.