Big second half pushes North Penn past Troy, 36-15
Senior Brendan Hill had a career night as he rushed for 279 yards and two touchdowns as the North Penn-Mansfield Panthers topped Troy, 36-15 on Friday, October 20.
“The line did great and opened up holes,” Hill said afterwards. “We had a lot of penalties which hurt us a lot, but I think brought us together as a team and that’s by far the best we’ve played, especially our line.”
The Panthers scored on their very first drive of the game as Brent Burleigh connected with Nick Kasper near the Panther sideline on a big pass to set the visitors up with a first-and-goal. A play later, Hill rushed in to give the Panthers an early 7-0 with 8:31 remaining after Justin Kriner’s extra point.
Troy answered back on their first drive as they moved into Panther territory, but had to settle for a Seldon Rogers field goal to trail 7-3 with 5:49 left in the opening frame. The Trojans would take the lead, however, as the quarter came to a close as Clark Jackson ran the option to perfection and scored from three yards out, putting Troy on top, 9-7.
North Penn would retake the lead as they marched for 60 yards in 12 plays, highlighted by a 25-yard completion from Burleigh to Justin Shedd. Burleigh finished the drive by connecting with Hunter May from 10 yards out. Kriner then made the extra point, putting the Panthers back up 14-9 with 7:51 left in the half.
The Trojans again answered back with 4:24 remaining as Jackson called his own number from two yards out. Troy went for two to try and make it a three point game, but Panther linebacker Garrett David picked the ball off, keeping the score at 15-14.
North Penn came alive in the second and shutout the Trojans the rest of the game. The Panther defense forced a Troy fumble at the Troy 33-yard line, then ran 8 plays to retake the lead. Kipp Hillson finished the drive on a 4-yard run on a toss sweep, then Burleigh found Shedd for the two-point conversion, bringing the score to 22-15.
The Panthers started the fourth quarter on a 17-yard run by Hill to increase their lead to 29-15, then scored again with 1:29 on a 3-yard run by Isaac Way for the win, improving the Panthers to 6-3 (5-2 NTL Large School Division).
The win also moved the Panthers up to the 8th spot in the PIAA District IV Class AA standings with 740 points. They currently trail Mount Carmel (800) for 7th.
“I was thrilled the way our offensive line took over the second half,” said Panther head coach Tom Dickinson. “We finished on a 95-yard drive. We need to just take that into next week. We need to be able to handle them (Wellsboro) up front on both sides of the ball. We’ll work to do it.”
Burleigh finished the night 15-for-23 for 121 yards and a touchdown. After Hill’s career night, rushed 3 times for 22 yards and caught 5 passes for 30 yards. Shedd led all Panther receivers with 60 yards on 5 grabs.
Defensively, David had 20 tackles (13 solo). Ian Lisowski was also in double-digits with 10 tackles, Naseer Burzak made 9 tackles, and Judson Wise pitched in with 8 stops. In addition to his game-ending touchdown, Way also intercepted a pass to set up that scoring drive.
Next up for the Panthers is the annual Morton F. Jones Trophy Game against rival Wellsboro on Friday, October 27 at Island Park.
“They’re the best team in the NTL and their record shows it,” added Hill on next week’s rivalry matchup. “We have to go in and make plays. This was a huge game for us because it brought us together and this is the momentum we need going into this game.”
“Both teams could be 0-9 going into it and it’s still a rivalry,” said Dickinson about next week. “There’s nothing to lose, they have it all. They’re going to be undefeated. Nobody’s going to be picking us. I was thrilled the way the kids reacted the second half and hopefully its carries over to next week.”
Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver
Videography: Andrew Moore, Sam Moss
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Ed Weaver
Anchor: Ed Weaver
Correspondent: Sam Moss
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