By Allen Hamrick
It was a perfect night for the Panther’s season opening game this past Friday against the Colts of Philip Barbour. With the threat of Covid-19 still looming over the season and getting to play each week is questionable, this game on this night was all Panthers. The Panthers went down the middle, ran the perimeters, passed, caught, blocked, tackled and defended all the while schooling the Colts on their own real estate and taking home first game of the season bragging rights. The Panther defense defended their end zone so well that a Colt first down was as hard to get as a fall day in July. One arm chair coach from the Colt’s sideline said, “Just get a first down; let’s start there,” and that was in the third quarter.
The Panther defense was tough as nails and closed down the running game of the Colts as well as the passing game. Also, the defense added a couple of touchdowns of their own when Phillip Brown recovered a fumble and took it to the house. Elijah Payton intercepted a pass, and rumbled his way into the zone. The CCHS line backers were in the back field as much as their quarterback stirring up trouble for the Colts QB on almost every play. The Panther defense was on a feeding frenzy, and it was belly up at the barbecue buffet with the night’s special being Colt.
The offense was a juggernaut that stomped some egos into the ground for sure. The offense picked apart the Colt defense on their own million dollar field and claimed their piece of the turf one pass and one run at a time. Their success was due largely in part to the front grunts on the line that opened holes you could put a draft horse through and giving Grant Krajeski the time he needed to get his air show off and running. The Panthers controlled the grid iron, and in the end, it was the Panthers over the Colts 54-0. The bar is set for the rest of the season by the offense and only time will tell if they get the chance to do it all over again this Friday for the game against the Roane Raiders.
Grabbing the player of the game award was Grant Krajeski on offense who went 16 for 25 in passing, totaling 282 yards with four TD passes. Also, on offense it was Caleb Atha with the glue hands dragging down six catches for 131 yards and two TD’s and also bringing home one of the extra points. On defense, it was Phillip Brown taking home the defensive player award by racking up nine tackles, four of which were for losses, and for the icing on the cake, Brown added the the defense’s first TD of the season. Others to mention were Elijah Payton who trucked down the field carrying the ball 11 times for 71 yards, three catches for 37 yards and had the second defensive TD coming off an interception. Andrew Adkins had 57 yards totaled up in catches with one TD from passing and one TD from running. On defense, Colton Casto had seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Panthers have some strong momentum going into next week’s matchup, which should be a good one. Last year, due to an unfortunate event, the game was cancelled and never rescheduled. This game should be a good one. Congratulations to the CCHS Panthers on a great win – let’s keep them coming!