Pan­thers fall short in loss to War­riors

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By KEVIN PHILLIPS

Spe­cial to the Whig

—Per­ryville started each half of the Susque­hanna Bowl against host Havre de Grace with mo­men­tum, tak­ing leads both be­fore and af­ter half­time.

The Pan­thers ran out of gas at the end, al­low­ing a late touch­down pass from Mike Flosser to Kenny Sumpter to fall to the War­riors 28-21 in non-di­vi­sional foot­ball ac­tion.

“I think we came out and es­tab­lished mo­men­tum, and it car­ried over. It’s re­ally good teams trad­ing blows. We jumped out to a 12-point lead, and they have ath­letes left and right. I thought our de­fense, for the most part, did a great job con­tain­ing them,” Per­ryville head coach Chris John­son said. “I think we need to work a lit­tle harder, that’s par­tially on me, to make sure we’re con­di­tioned for four quar­ters. I don’t think that’s the rea­son we lost, I just have to make sure we’re 100 per­cent ready for over­time and dou­ble over­time.”

HAVRE DE GRACE

The Pan­thers (0-3) got the ball to start the game and cov­ered 76 yards in nine plays, cul­mi­nat­ing in a Dom- inic Gugliotta 20-yard touch­down pass to Caleb Ro­bi­son to make it 6-0.

Per­ryville made it 12-0 with 2:20 re­main­ing in the first quar­ter when Zac Zacer­ous recorded a 9-yard touch­down run, which was set up by a Billy Boyer in­ter­cep­tion that gave the Pan­thers the ball at the Havre de Grace 14.

The War­riors scored 14 unan­swered points in the sec­ond quar­ter to take the lead go­ing into half­time. The first score came on a Flosser 1-yard touch­down run. The sec­ond came when Flosser con­nected with Chris­tian Pen­row for a 20-yard touch­down pass with 37 sec­onds left be­fore half­time.

“That was one of the big­gest things we were try­ing to ac­com­plish was to try to min­i­mize his big play abil­ity, and for the most part, we did this,” John­son said of Flosser’s play­mak­ing abil­ity. “To­wards the end of the first half, he made a cou­ple of nice runs on us. He’s quick and very shifty ath­lete. He’s a very good ath­lete, very smart with his de­ci­sions and doesn’t try to force it too much.”

Per­ryville re­ceived a jolt to start the sec­ond half with a blocked punt on the War­riors’ first pos­ses­sion of the half, lead­ing to a safety and ty­ing the game at 14-14.

On the en­su­ing pos­ses­sion, Zacer­ous gave the Pan­thers the lead with a 15-yard touch­down run on fourt­hand-4. Per­ryville then made it 21-14 with a suc­cess­ful ex­tra point.

With less than a minute in the third quar­ter, the War­riors (3-0) tied the game at 21-21 af­ter Flosser kept it and raced his way to the end zone for a 26-yard touch­down run.

The game re­mained tied un­til 1:18 re­mained in the game when Flosser con­nected with Sumpter for a 30yard touch­down to give Havre de Grace the lead. The score capped a 12-play, 93-yard drive that took 2:30 off the clock.

Per­ryville went four and out on their fi­nal pos­ses­sion to lose the game. De­spite the loss, John­son sees hope in the fu­ture be­cause of how the Pan­thers have im­proved over the last three weeks.

“I think this game shows even with in­juries and ill­nesses we had and the ad­ver­sity we’ve gone through that we re­ally can be a hell of a foot­ball team. The kids un­der­stand that even though we’re 0-3,” John­son said. “We’ve grown through that and I think the kids are see­ing what I was talk­ing about in at­ten­tion to de­tail and do­ing the lit­tle things right. We’re start­ing to get there and I’m ex­cited. I’m prob­a­bly the most ex­cited 0-3 coach in the state of Mary­land right now be­cause I know how good we can be.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY KEVIN PHILLIPS

Per­ryville se­nior quar­ter­back Do­minic Gugliotta scram­bles dur­ing the first quar­ter of his team’s 28-21 loss to host Havre de Grace in non-di­vi­sional foot­ball ac­tion on Fri­day.

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