Warrior Run pulls away from Panthers.
By: Nate Brown | Towanda Daily Review | October 10, 2015
By: Nate Brown | Towanda Daily Review | October 10, 2015
On the evening of their homecoming celebrations, the hosting Warrior Run Defenders defeated the North Penn-Mansfield Panthers 41-28.
The Defenders outscored the Panthers 21 to 8 in the second half of the game after both teams were tied at 20-all at halftime.
Warrior Run relied heavily on the legs of senior running back Tyler Brown who had 25 carries for 103 yards as well as two touchdowns. Sophomore Ty Kirkner also contributed to the Defender rushing attack with 11 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown as well. Quarterback Gage Anzulavich and running backs Noah Showers and Anthony Null added a rushing touchdown each for the Defenders. Anzulavich went 9-for-10 throwing the football for Warrior Run for 97 yards.
The North Penn-Mansfield Panthers were led offensively by quarterback Brock Burleigh who went 17-for-28 on the evening for 178 yards and two touchdowns passing. He also turned the ball over twice, throwing two interceptions. He also added two scores running the football.
Bradley Pequignot led the rushing attack for the Panthers rushing the football eight times for 40 yards.
Joel Whitteker had three catches on the game for 73 yards and a score. Garrett Bickhart had five catches for the Panthers' offense for 55 yards and also recorded a receiving touchdown.
The Panthers received the opening kickoff but the Defender defense forced them to punt on the opening drive of the game.
Brown then ran the ball on nine of Warrior Run's 11 plays on their opening drive. Brown would cap off the 80-yard drive with a 14-yard rushing touchdown. The point after attempt was blocked by the Panthers as the Defenders jumped out to an early 6-0 lead.
Both teams would then exchange three-and-outs as the Panthers' offense would take the field with a fresh set of downs.
With good field position following a poor punt by Warrior Run, it would take the Panthers just three plays to find the end zone.
Burleigh would be flushed out of the pocket and as he stepped forward he would fire a pass over the middle into the hands of a wide open Whitteker who would turn and find the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown. Sean Giles would attempt to pound the ball into the end zone on the two-point conversion but would not be able to convert.
The score was tied at six at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers would again force the Defenders to punt and Burleigh and the Panther offense would take the field.
Burleigh would complete all five of his passing attempts on the drive. The final pass was a 20-yard strike to Bickhart who found the end zone. Pequignot would rush the ball up the middle to convert the two-point conversion as the Panthers jumped out to a 14-6 lead.
Dante Morris of Warrior Run returned the kick-off following the Panthers touchdown all the way to the Defenders’ 21-yard line.
It was soon after that when Brown and the Defenders were on their own one-yard line as Brown took the hand-off up the middle in for the score. The point-after attempt was not converted as the Panthers led the Defenders 14-12.
On their next drive, the Panthers were quick to get within their own two-yard line. It took four different attempts before Burleigh finally kept the ball himself as he followed his lineman into the end zone for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good as the Panthers took a 20-12 lead. This would be the last time that the Panthers would be in the lead for the remainder of the game.
Just like their previous drive, the Defenders would respond to the Panthers' touchdown with a score of their own to close out the first half of play.
This time it would be the Defenders' quarterback Anzulavich who would keep it himself from his own 1-yard line to score the touchdown. Anzulavich would then find Matt Truckenmiller on the two-point to tie the game at 20-all heading into the half.
Warrior Run would receive the opening kickoff of the second half and would be quick to find the end zone and take their first lead of the game since leading 6-0 in the first quarter.
Showers would cap off a drive that lasted six minutes with an eight-yard touchdown run where he would take the handoff, hit the left side and shake off a few tackles before finding the end zone. The point after attempt was good and the Defenders would find themselves up 27-20.
Giles would then receive the kickoff for North Penn-Mansfield but would put the ball on the ground as Kirkner of Warrior Run would fall on the loose football.
The Panthers' defense would force Warrior Run to turn the ball over on downs but would again turn the ball over via another fumble this time by Don Edwards.
North Penn would only run three plays during all of the third quarter.
Warrior Run led 27-20 heading into the final quarter of play.
The Defenders would capitalize on the second fumble recovery by finding the end zone, again, on a one-yard touchdown run, this time by Kirkner. The point-after was converted as the Defenders extended their lead to 34-20.
Burleigh would look to get things going for the Panther offense but would throw an interception into the hands of Showers for the Defenders.
Warrior Run would then capitalize on another Panther turnover as Null would rush the ball in from six yards out, and with the point after, Warrior Run led the Panthers 41-20 with just under six minutes left of play.
The Panthers would score another touchdown before the game's end. Burleigh would record his second touchdown of the game with a seven-yard touchdown run. Burleigh would then connect with Brendan Hill for the two-point conversion.
The final score read 41-28 in favor of the hosting Warrior Run Defenders.
North Penn-Mansfield will look to end their current four-game skid as they host Troy next Friday night. The Panthers fall to 2-4 on the season.
Warrior Run advances to 3-3 on the season and will travel to take on Southern Columbia next week.