JV Panthers clamp down on Chiefs for big win


Katie Linkner

Freshman a-back Nathan Kearns stiff arms a McIntosh player to break free and run for a touchdown. The Starr’s Mill JV team successfully used their run game to defeat the McIntosh Chiefs and remain undefeated.

Ryan Allen, Staff Writer

The Panther offensive line came ready for their matchup against region rivals McIntosh. Protecting their key players and providing space for receivers to get open resulted in the young team winning 32-12. Starr’s Mill used the run game to counter McIntosh’s defensive line, as the Panthers scored five rushing touchdowns.

“Our kids came out strong off the kickoff and really gave it what they got,” head coach Chad Walker said. “We were building off each possession’s momentum, doing what we could to put points on the board.”

Katie Linkner
Sophomore quarterback Hunter Lawson doesn’t let the pressure get to him in order to throw a complete pass. The Starr’s Mill JV team capitalized on a strong offensive line to beat rival McIntosh.

In the beginning of the first quarter the Panthers kicked it off to the Chiefs, and they scored within the first two minutes of the game. Starr’s Mill quickly came back as freshman A-back Nathan Kearns scored a touchdown tying it up 6-6. The two teams forced punts and turnovers for the rest of the quarter.

McIntosh started off the second quarter with possession but Panther defense shut them down forcing a turnover on downs. Kearns then ran for a 65-yard touchdown making the score 12-6. The Chiefs gained possession deep in their territory and moved up the field with ease. McIntosh had seven first downs in one possession and pushed the ball to the Starr’s Mill three yard line. Starr’s Mill defensive backs played tight coverage on the Chief receivers that prevented a touchdown and forced a turnover on downs. After a rough second quarter, the score remained 12-6.

“The lineman gave me a hole to run through so I ran it. Our performance goes to show we can go undefeated,” Kearns said.“This game was huge for us and this win sets the tone for tomorrow’s varsity game against our rival team.”

The Starr’s Mill offense came out strong in the third quarter and showed what they had to offer by making game-changing plays. The Panthers started off the half with possession of the ball and Kearns ran the ball for a 25-yard first down. The young squad picked up momentum and drove the ball down the field. Sophomore running back Ardit Hoti scored the third touchdown with a quick run making the score 18-6.

Starr’s Mill ‘s defense stopped McIntosh’s offense and forced a turnover on downs once again. Kearns ran his route, broke through the defensive line, and juked out two players for a rushing touchdown as Starr’s Mill took control of the third quarter and made it 24-6.

“It was the best feeling to step in their endzone on their field. The first touchdown I scored on McIntosh was the best touchdown,” Hoti said “We beat our rivals and our new record of 5-0 shows our potential.”

McIntosh started out with field position on the 50-yard line and carried out a few successful plays to score their second touchdown of the game, making it 24-12. The Chiefs then tried an onside kick and failed giving the Panthers tremendous field position.

Over the next three plays, Hoti ran for a combined 50 yards and a touchdown, increasing the lead to 30-12. Hoti then successfully ran for the two-point conversion making the final score 32-12. With only a couple minutes left in the game, the Panther defense shut down the Chief offense one last time to end the game.

“We need to get better at tackling and being physical to prepare for games to come,” Walker said.

The Starr’s Mill JV football team maintained their unblemished record beating their biggest rival, the McIntosh Chiefs. The JV Panther squad finishes its season on Oct. 26 in Panther Stadium against Whitewater.