Whitehall Dominates in EPC Opener Over Pocono Mountain West 45-8
They say turnovers kill. No more was that evident tonight in Pocono Summit as Whitehall forced three miscues by the Panthers in the opening quarter to jump out to a 20-0 lead. The Zephyrs cruised to a 45-8 opening night victory in the newly formed Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
Mustaffa Mitchell got it started by picking off a Qmac Quiteh pass at the Panther 32 yard line returning it the four. On the next play, Penn State commit Saquon Barkley ran it in for the first score of the night. With the PAT, Whitehall led 7-0 with just 1:05 gone in the first quarter. Chad Rex was next to get an errant Quiteh pass, which led to a Jake Buskirk three-yard scoring run. The PAT was blocked. Mitchell then picked up a PMW fumble and returned it to the Panther 16. Jr quarterback Gianni Sinatore hit Conor Sulivan for a10 yard TD pass to extend the lead to 20-0.
In the second quarter, Sinatore again connected with a 20 yard scoring strike to Sullivan for a 27-point lead with 5:24 left. PMW did manage to move the ball inside the Whitehall 10-yard line, but another fumble ended the drive. With just seconds before halftime, the Zephs did not take a knee, but instead Sinatore handed the ball to Barkley, who ripped it down the visitor sidelines for a 92-yard romp. The two-point conversion was good giving the Zephyrs a 35-0 lead.
“We just wanted to run the clock out,” stated Whitehall coach Brian Gilbert stated. “I was glad for Saquon, for he had a 52 yard score called back on a hold earlier in the half,” He concluded.
The second half began with the mercy rule in effect. Sinatore again threw a scoring pass of 18 yards with 6:46 left in the third. Connor Ilgenfritz completed the scoring for Whitehall with a 32-yard FG. “He (Sinatore) was very composed tonight. He made some great throws.” Gilbert added about his signal caller. “We need to clean some stuff up going forward, but I was pleased with the way our line played tonight.” He added.
The Panthers avoided the shutout with a 40-yard pass late in the game and they were successful on two-point conversions. Whitehall will be at home next week versus Allentown Central Catholic. Pocono Mountain west will travel to Stroudsburg next Friday.
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