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Canton Area soars over North Penn-Mansfield, 48-7

Written by: on Sunday, August 29th, 2021. Follow Matt Beltz on Twitter.


CANTON – Canton has come up just shy of a district title in each of the last three years, losing to Muncy in the district championship game all three seasons. So, as the Warriors kicked off their 2021 season on Saturday afternoon with another veteran squad, getting over that hump is always on their minds.

And although like any team, they can’t afford to look ahead, it’s always in the back of their minds, and if they can turn in more performances like Saturday, particularly when they take on Muncy later this year and potentially in the postseason, the Warriors may finally be able to get over the finish line.

Canton outgained North Penn Mansfield Panthers 201-7 in the first half and scored five first-half touchdowns, including four in the second quarter alone, as the Warriors opened their season with a dominating 48-7 win over NPM.

“That’s always in the back of our mind since it’s been us and them the last couple of years but we’re preaching just one game at a time, which is all we can control,” said Canton coach Tyler Sechrist. I’m proud of the way our offensive and defensive lines played. Our backs are a big part of it but without those guys, upfront they aren’t going to be able to do what they did today. We were a little sloppy at the beginning, it took us a little while to get our footing and I’d like to start better but overall very pleased.

“We’ve got a smart bunch of kids defensively and we can do a lot more with them. We can throw a lot at them and get a good plan for different teams and have some different stuff to show them so it’s not easy for anyone.”

Canton amassed 303 rushing yards as its deep stable of backs outlasted the Panthers, who had several players playing both ways in near 90-degree heat, as well as 18 new starters on a very young and inexperienced team. Canton did this despite no single back having more than 63 yards rushing. Four different players scored rushing touchdowns for Canton, and five overall.

“We’re got probably five guys that can run back there so that sure helps on days like this when it’s hot, we can rotate guys in. They all have different strengths, so we’re blessed right now to have a good running core,” said Sechrist.

“They’re a veteran team and return a lot of guys and today it showed,” said NPM coach Tom Dickinson. “They outplayed us and outhit us. We’re young so there’s going to be growing pains but I’ve got to them better prepared.”

After being held scoreless on their first two possessions, Canton scored on its final six drives of the game, not included two kneel downs at the end, and also mixed in a punt return for a touchdown.

The Warriors’ first score of the game was also set up by a punt return as Riley Parker returned a punt 27 yards to the NPM 1-yard line after the Panthers punted out of their own end zone. One play later, Michael Davis punched it in from four yards out for the first of what would be two touchdowns for him on the afternoon.

Another NPM punt on its next possession gave them better field position as Canton started from its own 24, but then proceeded to put together a 10-play, 76-yard drive capped by a Cooper Kitchen two-yard touchdown on a keeper about three minutes into the second quarter. Parker had a big 27-yard pickup while Davis added a 13-yard run on that drive.

Canton started with great field position again on its next drive, as the Warriors needed just five plays to go 35 yards, and Bailey Ferguson was the one to take it into the end zone this time on a seven-yard run to put Canton up 21-0.

The Panthers went three-and-out on their next drive, and Parker took the punt 53 yards for a touchdown to open the game up at 28-0. After another NPM three-and-out, the Warriors made sure it would be a running clock in the second half as Kitchen found Austin Allen for a 31-yard touchdown reception with :39 left in the half.

Parker would add another touchdown of the rushing variety and Davis got his second score of the game in the second half to put Canton up 48-0 before NPM was able to score on its final drive of the game to avoid the shutout as Eli Shaw caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Karson Dominick. That capped a decent first varsity start from Dominick, who managed to complete 19-of-24 passes for 157 yards despite the Panthers not being able to muster up much in their running game, which was held to -6 yards on the afternoon. Although the bulk of those yards came in the second half with a running clock, Dominick showed some athleticism and promise for NPM.

Canton 48, North Penn-Mansfield 7
North Penn-Mansfield (0-1)      0      0     0     7   –   7
Canton (1-0)                                 7     28    6     7   –  48

4:57 – (C) Michael Davis 4-yard run (Ferguson kick), 1-4, :05

9:12 – (C) Cooper Kitchen 2-yard run (Ferguson kick), 10-76, 2:58
5:37 – (C) Bailey Ferguson 7-yard run (Ferguson kick), 5-35, 1:25
4:01 – (C) Riley Parker 53-yard punt return (Ferguson kick)
:39 – (C) Austin Allen 31-yard pass from Cooper Kitchen (Ferguson kick), 6-52, 1:28

5:58 – (C) Riley Parker 13-yard run (kick failed), 5-65, 3:23

6:20 – (C) Michael Davis 2-yard run (Ferguson kick), 8-71, 5:56
1:45 – (NPM) Eli Shaw 8-yard pass from Karson Dominick (Alexander kick), 9-81, 4:35

                                         NPM                         C

First downs                        12                           20

Rushes-net yards           24-(-6)                    40-303

Passing yardage               157                          37

Passing                        19-24-1-0                 2-6-1-0

Fumbles-lost                     2-1                         1-0

Penalties-yards                5-40                       6-40

RUSHING — North Penn-Mansfield: Kohen Lehman (9-26), Cameron Fabian (7-4), Karson Dominick (7-(-32)), Talon Kolb (1-(-4)); Canton: Riley Parker (8-35-1), Cooper Kitchen (6-39-1), Weston Bellows (6-63), Michael Davis (5-51-2), Bailey Ferguson (4-34-1), Hudson Ward (4-33), Holden Ward (3-33), Austin Allen (1-14), Ryland Sakers (1-3), TEAM (1-(-2))

PASSING — North Penn-Mansfield: Karson Dominick (19-24-157-1-0); Canton: Cooper Kitchen (2-6-37-1-0)

RECEIVING — North Penn-Mansfield: Sammy Lawrence (6-62), Cameron Fabian (6-33), Eli Shaw (5-44-1), Wyatt Wesneski (1-17), Talon Kolb (1-1); Canton: Austin Allen (1-31-1), Weston Bellows (1-6)

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