Disciplinary action

Football controls game en route to Northgate shutout


Annika Pepper

Sophomore quarterback Will Yarbrough leads the huddle for the Panther offense during last week’s away game against the Northgate Vikings. The Panthers played a quiet, yet disciplined game that earned them a 10-0 victory. This is the third shutout the Panther defense has pulled off this season. The Panther offense held onto the ball for nearly half an hour of game time.

Daniel Stackhouse, Sports Editor

Valhalla, the Panthers are coming. Starr’s Mill sailed to Northgate for their second region game of the season. They were forced to play a diligent and disciplined game to earn a 10-0 victory over the Vikings.

Starr’s Mill dominated time of possession with nearly half an hour of game time, including an 11-minute drive to breeze through the first quarter.”

— Sports Editor Daniel Stackhouse

Starr’s Mill dominated time of possession with nearly half an hour of game time, including an 11-minute drive to breeze through the first quarter. Sophomore running back Greigh Joseph had another successful game with 21 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. Seniors linebacker Wes Haney and safety Cole Bishop made impacts on offense with five carries for 66 yards.

For the third time this season, the Panther defense orchestrated another offensive shutout. Sophomore quarterback James Paige and junior running back Dj Reid put up a good fight with 32 carries for a total of 109 yards. The defense racked up two recovered fumbles and two sacks.

“Our boys are becoming more and more team led,” head coach Chad Phillips said. “They’re working well together and we can kind of see the first goal in sight with the region title, and that’s in plain, clear view now. What we have got to understand is that we can’t ever stop.”

Opening the game, Starr’s Mill had the first offensive possession. Joseph led a rushing attack that took their time toward the end zone. He ended their 11-minute drive with a 2-yard touchdown to take a lead and shave nearly an entire quarter out of play.

In order to quickly cover ground for the Vikings, Paige got the ball rolling with quick shots, including a 20-yard gain to midfield. As time expired in the first quarter, Northgate made it to midfield, but the Panthers led 7-0.

Senior lineman Joseph Rampey hoists sophomore running back Greigh Joseph up in celebration. Despite a lack of overall production, Joseph had another standout game, leading the team in rushing with 21 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. (Annika Pepper)

Even though their drive started strong, the Vikings’ drive ended with a punt early in the second quarter. The Panthers went through a three and out on their next drive to give the ball back to Northgate. The Vikings drove down the field all the way to the Panther 30-yard line. Capping off a four and a half minute drive, Reid fumbled a carry, which was picked up by Haney.

“[Paige] is pretty good,” Bishop said. “He’s a young kid. I think we did a pretty good job shutting him down. Third shutout of the year for the defense. Looking good this year.”

Another three and out from the Panthers gave Northgate another opportunity to get some points on the board. The ensuing drive brought them all the way to midfield as they prepared to take on a 4th and 13. Their conversion attempt was blown up as the drive ended in a turnover on downs. 

With the ball back in the hands of Starr’s Mill, their drive began with a sweep play to Bishop. He took the ball for a 29-yard gain down to the red zone. After a few more plays, Connor Marke was set up for a 24-yard field goal. His attempt was blocked, keeping the score 7-0 at the half.

After halftime, Paige and the Vikings pushed downfield play after play. Roughly five minutes later, they were already within the red zone. Paige scrambled and made his way just outside of the end zone. He was then stripped, and the fumble was recovered by the Panthers, undoing all of the work the Vikings just did.

[Stopping Northgate from getting past us] was just about keeping our heads up and everybody playing together.”

— senior Cole Sanders

For the rest of the quarter, the Panthers held onto the ball. Slowly but surely they pushed toward the end zone. Now in the fourth quarter with nine minutes to go in the game, the lengthy Panther drive ended in a field goal by senior Connor Marke, extending the lead to 10.

“Throughout the game we were getting beat some, but all that matters is the scoreboard,” senior lineman Cole Sanders said. “[Stopping Northgate from getting past us] was just about keeping our heads up and everybody playing together.”

On the Vikings’ next drive, they kept their drive alive with three consecutive third-down conversions. Pushing past midfield, Northgate was faced with converting a fourth and 13 to keep alive any chances of a comeback. Their attempt was blown up, and they would not get another opportunity.

Haney and Bishop helped the Panther offense in converting two fourth down conversions in the final five and a half minutes. With one victory formation, the Panthers took home their second region win of the season 10-0.

Following this quiet victory, Starr’s Mill extends its overall record to 5-1 and its region record to 2-0. This week the Panthers have a bye week to prepare for the rest of the season. Following this week, they will face the Griffin Bears next Friday for their biggest game yet.

“We get a chance to kind of slow down again and everybody kind of recharge,” Phillips said. “It’s always a battle when we play [Griffin].”

The Panthers will return to Panther Stadium to play the Griffin Bears next Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.