Darby “Powers” victory over Davidson
The long-standing cross-town rivalry between the Panthers and the Wildcats heated up last week when the two Hilliard teams battled it out under the Friday night lights. The highly anticipated Darby versus Davidson match up began under stormy skies and a thunderstorm delay, but that didn’t stop huge crowds of fans from filling up the stands.
This athletic contest was a forceful fight during all four quarters, but the Panthers emerged victorious with a final score of 15-10.
At kick off, Davidson fumbled the ball, followed by a Panther recovery. As the Panthers offense failed to get yardage, the Wildcats were back on offense in the blink of an eye. The Wildcat offense broke through Panther defense for the first down. Soon after, the Wildcats scored a touchdown. The Panthers refused to back down, making a huge punt return, accompanied by outstanding tackles by linebacker Mason Schmeling, and defensive back Noah Li. The first quarter ended with a score 7-0.
The second quarter started with Panther defense holding strong against Wildcat runs. Next, with Panthers on offense, Blake Sawicki made a 45 yard field goal making the score 7-3. The first half ended with Wildcats making a field goal, leaving the score at 7-3.
Head Coach John Santagata commented on the tough competition the Panthers faced in the first two quarters.
“We struggled a little bit early in that first half. [Davidson] has some good football players, their defense is very good. We obviously wanted to establish Nick Powers, and they were doing a nice job with containing him,” Santagata stated.
While Davidson scored a 30 yard field goal in the third quarter making the score 10-3, the Panthers made their big comeback in the 4th quarter.
With about 9 minutes left in the game. Nick Powers ran 8 yards for a touchdown. Panther fans couldn’t control their excitement because they had a better chance of winning the game. Powers ran more than half the field for a 55 yard touchdown making the final score 15-10.
Powers described the play that turned the game around.
“The turning point was when we scored to take the lead. Defense did a great job of not letting them score the second half. So we’re really happy,” said Powers.
Santagata described how Powers’ leadership contributed to a Panther victory.
“Nick is a tremendous athlete, and leader, he’s the captain of his football team and that’s what you would expect out of guys like that,” Santagata said.
Offensive line Coach Shawn Papp agreed that Powers is a standout player.
“Nick put the team on his shoulders, and came up like a senior player should. It was awesome,” Papp said.
Assistant coach Nick Crawford expressed how the Panther defense played well.
“Defense stepped up. We held them when we needed to, they were disciplined, they did everything they needed to do, and they showed up in the second half,” said Crawford.
Santagata said he is proud of how the Panthers played as a team.
“Our kids played really hard for four quarters, we faced a little adversity early on, but they rallied. Obviously, different kids stepped up at different points, and they did a tremendous job.” said Santagata.
“We overcame, we did it. It’s a feeling like no other,” said Colvin.
Offensive line coach Adam Olsheski said that Panther victories won’t end with defeating their Hilliard rival.
“We’re not happy with just being 2-0. We’re going to keep it going,” said Olcheski.
Principal Joyce Brickley declared that the Panthers will continue their winning streak this season.
“We’re not done. We’ve got eight more weeks, ladies and gentlemen.”
The Panthers look forward to the many Powers of their quarterback in the coming weeks.
Lindsey Murgatroyd-Staff Writer
Taylor Shook-Senior Editor