Panthers move to 7-0, beat Morrow 58-0

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Dylan Hynson

Sophomore running back breaks off a defender on his way to a three touchdown performance against Morrow. Frye has 11 touchdowns in three games.

Dylan Hynson, Sports co-Editor

The Panthers took care of business last Friday night at Twelve Oaks Stadium, as they defeated Morrow, 58-0. It’s the Panthers biggest margin of win of the season.

“When you look at the film, there are some things we have to correct if we are going to beat better teams down the road,” head coach Chad Phillips said. “But we got to play everyone on the roster, and it’s good morale when everyone on the roster plays.”

The offense was a dominant factor, as they racked up 394 total yards, 338 coming on the ground. Sophomore running back Rico Frye ran for 202 yards and three touchdowns. Frye currently has 11 touchdowns in his last three games.

We hit some explosive plays. It’s 11 people doing the right thing, not just one player making a great play.”

— Chad Phillips

“I always got to credit my offensive lineman,” Frye said. “I’ve been executing my routes, but all-in-all, it has been fun lately.”

The passing game got more looks than normal, as sophomore quarterback Joey DeLuca threw for two completions on six passes, including a career-high two touchdowns.

“We started out kind of slow,” DeLuca said. “We really picked it up after the first quarter. The offensive linemen blocked really well tonight and gave me time to throw those two touchdowns.”

The Panthers offense was held to a punt on the first drive. The defense then held Morrow to a three-and-out on the next series, forcing a Morrow punt. Senior safety Matt Mullins returned the punt 33 yards to the Morrow 21-yard line to set up the next Panther drive.The Panthers scored this time, as Frye ran in for an 11-yard touchdown with 6:26 left in the first quarter.

Morrow began to move the ball on their next drive, getting all the way to the Panther 26-yard line. However, on 4th and 25, senior linebacker Melvin Broomfield intercepted a jump ball and ran it 70 yards for a touchdown. The score was 14-0 with 3:12 to go in the first quarter.

“It was my first pick six of my career,” Broomfield said. “It was my second touchdown as well. It was just awesome.”

The Panthers were not done scoring in the first quarter. After another interception by the Panther defense from sophomore linebacker and punter Ryan Cockes, Frye scored on the next play from scrimmage, a 15-yard touchdown run with 1:13 left in the first quarter, his second touchdown of the game. The score was 20-0 after senior kicker Whitaker Chu missed his first extra point of the year.

Sophomore running back runs away from defenders with great blocking help as he ran for 202 yards and scored three times.
Dylan Hynson
Sophomore running back Rico Frye runs away from defenders with great blocking help as he ran for 202 yards and scored three times.

Morrow began to move the ball again on their next series. A third down conversion and a Panther penalty kept the drive alive, but a third down stop forced a Morrow punt. A 41-yard run by sophomore running back Nick Brown on the next series set the Panthers up for another score. On third down from the Morrow 17-yard line, DeLuca found senior running back Dion Munerlyn for a touchdown to increase the Panther lead to 27-0.

Morrow had a big return on the ensuing kickoff, running it back 33 yards to the Starr’s Mill 38. On the next play, senior cornerback Satchel Goodrich, who was playing in his first game back from injury, looked like he had his first interception of the season. However, the referees whistled the play dead after a late timeout call from Morrow.

“They blew the play dead in the middle of the play,” Phillips said. “The official claims Morrow called timeout before the play was dead, and it took him a minute to blow the whistle. The whistle actually blew when the ball was in the air. I don’t know what to think about that, but that’s what the official claimed, and we can’t change that.”

Morrow marched down to the 13-yard line, setting up one of their few attempts of the night. The Panthers stopped Morrow on third-and-two, and forced a field goal, which was missed to keep the score 27-0.

Senior linebacker makes a tackle in the open field. He also scored his first pick-six of the season early in the game.
Dylan Hynson
Senior linebacker Melvin Broomfield makes a tackle in the open field. He also scored his first pick-six of the season early in the game.

On the Panthers next drive, Frye pulled off another big run, taking it 56 yards to the Morrow 10-yard line. Munerlyn finished off the drive with a touchdown run on the next play to make the score 34-0 with 3:31 left in the half.

It didn’t take long for the Panthers to score again. After an onside kick recovery, sophomore wide out Brandon Rew caught his first touchdown of the season, a 39-yard touchdown reception to add on to the Panther lead.

After another defensive stop from Starr’s Mill, Frye added his third touchdown of the game on an 86-yard run to increase the score to 48-0 Panthers. This would be the last play that Frye and most of the starters would play on the night.

“We challenged them to put the game away at halftime and have the clock running after the half,” Phillips said. “We made it happen right near the end of the half, and it gave us an opportunity to play a lot of people.”

With a running clock in the second half, the half went by quickly. After another three-and-out from the Morrow offense and a bad snap on the punt, the Panthers went to work in Morrow territory. They got it down to the 6-yard line but failed to score a touchdown. Chu made the field goal, and the Panther lead increased to 51-0.

The next couple of series by both teams were stopped by the opposing defense early in the drive. However, with 2:43 left in the fourth quarter, the Panthers junior varsity running back Austin Schriver ran for a 20-yard touchdown to score the final points of the ball game. The Panthers were victorious and kept their winning streak alive with a 58-0 beating of Morrow.

“Hopefully, looking towards next year, you have some guys that can fill some spots that seniors occupy right now,” Phillips said. “It gets these young guys some game experience so they aren’t like deer in headlights come next year.”

In the second quarter alone, the Panthers tallied more yards than Morrow gained all game. The Panthers had 273 yards in the second quarter, while the defense held Morrow to 124 yards in the entire game.

“We hit some explosive plays,” Phillips said. “It’s 11 people doing the right thing, not just one player making a great play.”

The Panthers are about to play some of the best talent they have seen all year long. This week, they play at home against Mundy’s Mill for the Panthers’ Senior Night. Then the team travels to Northgate to play the currently undefeated Vikings. Northgate plays Drew this week, a matchup that will have definite playoff implications.

“The players have written their own story book this year,” Phillips said. “Now we are to the last few pages, and it is their challenge to write the ending. It’s however they want this thing to finish out. Do they want to be the team that everyone talks about from now on and replace that 2010 team? You don’t get this many opportunities in your life, so you need to seize the moment.”