Late touchdown pushes Towanda past North Penn-Mansfield
The North Penn-Mansfield Panthers suffered a 7-6 home loss to the Towanda Black Knights on Friday, October 6.
“It was a battle of two teams. A battle until the end,” said Panther head coach Tom Dickinson. “We didn’t make the plays when we needed to. I told the guys to keep their heads up. The defense played their buts off but offensively we need to find a way to score more than six points. We have nothing to be ashamed of, it was a heck of a battle and we have to learn from it and get better.”
Neither team had much success moving the football all night due to great defensive play. The Panthers scored midway through the game’s opening quarter as quarterback Brent Burleigh busted off a big run into Towanda territory. A bubble screen to Justin Shedd kept the drive going before Brendan Hill almost scored. Hill hit the hole up through the middle of the Black Knight defense, but was tripped up inside the 20. A few plays later Burleigh found Dylan Wesneski open in the end zone from 13 yards out to put North Penn-Mansfield up 6-0 with 6:29 remaining after the kick missed.
North Penn maintained their shutout all the way into the fourth quarter thanks to turnovers and keeping heavy pressure on quarterback Tanner Kunkle. The Black Knights eventually mounted a drive midway through the final frame as Kunkle connected with Isaac Pelka on a crossing route to setup Towanda down inside the Panther 5-yard line. A few plays later Zane Neubert plowed his way into the end zone from 2 yards out to tie it at 6-6. Towanda made the extra point and led 7-6 6:21 with remaining.
With less than two minutes to go, the Panthers looked to be putting together a game-winning drive, but Burleigh was intercepted by Matt Madigan to seal the win for the Black Knights.
Kunkle led Towanda with 110 total yards, and Neubert finished with 63 rushing yards.
Burleigh finished 8-of-18 for 98 yards and a touchdown for North Penn, while Hill racked up 56 yards on 14 carries and Wesneski caught 2 passes for 54 yards. Linebacker Garrett David led the Panther defense with 13 tackles (11 solo) and a sack. Isaac Way recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass as well.
The loss drops the Panthers to 4-3 (3-2 NTL Large School Division). The team will be back in action on Friday, October 13 at Cowanesque Valley.
Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver
Videography: Tim Crane, Ben Moss
Video Editing: Jason Fletcher
Writing: Ed Weaver
Anchor: Ed Weaver
Correspondent: Kristine Worthington
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