North Penn Panthers Outlast Canton
CANTON, PA: Ultimately, this game (like so many) came down to mental mistakes… key turn-overs, dropped passes, and drive-killing penalties. They were shared by both teams on this sunny Saturday afternoon, but, unfortunately for the Canton Warriors, their mistakes came at more critical times. To their credit, the Panthers of North Penn, took full advantage of them, shutting down the Warrior offense in the second half.
The Panthers struck quickly in this contest, covering 65 yards in less than two minutes, capped by two long passes from Jason DeHaven to Marquis Delgado of 29 and 36 yards for the opening score. The two teams then traded possession twice with little or no gain before Canton put together a scoring drive of its own. After a reception by Jordan Campbell from Ben Pepper for 16 yards, and another 16 tacked on by the feet of Pepper, he then connected on a 41 yard touchdown pass to even the score.
Mid-way through the second quarter, Canton was able to put together another drive, this time completely on the ground, for 58 yards and the go-ahead score. North Penn, however, was not satisfied to go into half-time down by seven. They answered with a 58 yard drive of their own, only entirely by air. After losing a yard rushing, DeHaven hit Skye Stiner for 32 yards, and then Greg Pomarico at the goal-line for a 27 yard TD. The score remained knotted at 14 each through the end of the first half.
When the second half began, Canton was winning the battle of field-position, but losing the battle of disciplined football. After moving the ball 54 yards, despite three false start penalties, they turned it over on a fumble. Next, the Warriors squandered yardage on an illegal block, illegal formation, dropped pass, and short punt, giving North Penn new life at the Canton 44. The Panthers made quick use of it in the form of a 19 yard run by Stiner and a 41 yard TD scamper by Ryan Dinger.
Canton had the chance to tie the ball game on the next series when they drove down to a first-and-goal at the five, only to give the ball back on downs at the one yard-line. The Panthers got a few yards of breathing-room and punted the ball back into Warrior territory at the 44. Timely sacks by Nathan Stettler and Luke Berguson drove Canton back ten yards and forced a punt. From there North Penn chewed up the clock and 69 yards en route to their final score. A DeHaven pass to Austin Simpson for 24 yards and the 8 yard TD run by Dinger got it done with 5:00 remaining in the game.
If the Warriors had any chance of a come-back, they blew it on the ensuing kick-off when a squib-kick bounced off of three players on the receiving team before being recovered by North Penn. The Panthers controlled the ball on the ground and ran out the clock to put this one in the books for a 27-14 victory.
Canton(1-1) ended the game with 182 yards and a TD rushing on 39 carries, and 4/12 receiving for 65 yards and a score. 50 yards in penalties and two turn-overs did not help their cause today. They will look to regroup and prepare to host Sayre(1-1) next Saturday.
North Penn(2-0) gained 131 yards on the ground with two TD’s, and 175 through the air with another two TD’s. Coming off two strong wins, they should have a reprieve next week hosting South Williamsport(0-2) before facing Towanda(2-0) in week four.
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