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Gameday Takeaways, Week 2

Three notes from dominant Panther win

September 10, 2019


Chris Dunn

Senior Ben Bodne celebrates with junior Joseph Rampey after a touchdown. Bodne was the driving force in the 28-0 win over Northgate, totaling 140 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns.

Last Friday, the Panthers traveled to Newnan to take on the Northgate High School Vikings. The Vikings stood no chance against the combined assault of the Panther offense and defense, giving Starr’s Mill their first shutout win of the season, 28-0. Here are three notes from the game.

  1. Run game is back in full form

After being held to only 179 rushing yards against Mt. Zion, the Mill broke out, rushing for 378 total yards. 

Senior Ben Bodne led the way once again, totaling 348 yards on 21 carries for three touchdowns. 

Sophomore Brandon Mathis had a big game, rushing for 108 yards on only five carries. This performance by Mathis adds a new weapon to the Panther run game that also includes senior Kalen Sims. 

If Sims can get back to producing the way he did last season, then the Panther run game could reach new, even greater heights this season.

  1. Haney left game with injury and didn’t return

A key cog that makes the Starr’s Mill defensive engine roar, junior Wes Haney, who had a handful of tackles and a sack in the win, left the game in the second quarter with a foot injury and didn’t return. 

Despite this setback, the Panther defense was still able to shut out Northgate, smothering their run game, and not allowing many passing yards. 

We’ll have to see how the defense can do without Haney in a full game if he doesn’t return this week, but so far, not a bad performance without an elite defender.

  1. Young Panthers showing up big under the lights

This game saw many of the young Panthers break out for big performances both offensively and defensively. 

Mathis and freshman Greigh Joseph, who ran for 19 yards on five carries and a touchdown, each had big days on the ground. Fellow freshman William Yarbrough forced an interception and had a kickoff return for 53 yards. 

With more performances like these from the underclassmen, the Panthers are looking at a bright future.

What to watch for this week:

Despite an excellent run game that can easily win games for the Panthers, why not try to throw the ball more often than normal? 

They have the talent at wide receiver with sophomore Malachi Townsend and at tight end with senior Owen Phillips. 

That’s two big, tall targets for senior Hunter Lawson to throw to. 

If that starts to happen on a more consistent basis, Starr’s Mill could possibly double their points per game total, making the offense just as dominant as the defense.

The Mill takes the field this Friday at Panther Stadium against Chapel Hill. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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