Panthers win defensive battle over Northwest Area

North Penn fights back and hangs on for 14-10 win

by Ed Weaver – August 28, 2017

The North Penn-Mansfield Panthers started the 2017 season off with a 14-10 win over Northwest Area on Friday, August 25.

Both teams struggled early on as both defenses were flying all over the field, but eventually the Rangers mounted a drive that found the end zone. With 2:55 remaining in the opening quarter, David Piestrak found room on the right side of his offensive line and dove to the front pylon from 9 yards out to jump out to an early lead.

The Panther offense finally found its’ groove late in the quarter.

As time expired, quarterback Brent Burleigh dumped a short swing pass off to Dylan Wesneski, who took the ball the remaining 59 yards through the Ranger defense for the score. Kipp Hillson’s extra point was good, and the score was tied at 7-7.

The Panthers would later strike with 4:13 left in the second as Burleigh threw his second touchdown pass of the night, this time to Nick Kasper in the back of the end zone near the sidelines. Hillson made his second extra point of the night for a 14-7 lead. Northwest scored once more before the end of the first half. After a solid kick return and drive inside the Panther red zone, the Panthers forced a fumble, but were unable to mount any offense and were forced to punt. With great starting field position, the Rangers were able to connect on a Sam Saxe field goal with 39 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 14-10.

That would be the rest of the scoring for the game as both defenses played tough.

The Panthers had opportunities to score in the second half, but their drives stalled.

“Its’ a win and our kids fought to the end,” said Panther head coach Tom Dickinson. “It wasn’t pretty. We had some opportunities in the second half to put it away and didn’t, so we need to learn from that.”

Dickinson was impressed with how the Panthers rebounded.

“We went down 7-0, responded and took the lead. It was nothing-nothing the entire second half and the defense came up when they needed to and we’re on to week two at 1-0.”

Burleigh completed 10-of-20 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Brendan Hill rushed for 74 yards on 19 carries, Judson Wise finished with 17 yards on two attempts, Nick Kasper caught two passes for 24 yards and a score, and Wesneski finished with 73 yards receiving and a score on 3 receptions.

Garrett David made 16 tackles and a sack on the night, Wise recorded 10 stops, and Naseer Burzak and Hunter May recorded two sacks each.

North Penn (1-0) travels to Athens (1-0) for a week two NTL Large School Division match up on Friday, September 1 at 7:00 p.m.

Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver
Videography: Kaitlyn Callahan, Drew Patrick
Video Editing: Jason Fletcher
Writing: Ed Weaver
Anchor: Ed Weaver
Correspondent: Drew Patrick

Produced by Vogt Media
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