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Panthers' Fast Start Blasts Rockets, 41-20


September 5, 2019

Northern Bedford coach Garry Black has a lot of weapons in his arsenal with this season’s Black Panther football squad. That arsenal, which included a lot of speed and electrifying plays, was on full display last Thursday night, Aug. 29, at Panther Community Stadium. NB moved to 1-1 on the season with an easier-than-expected 41-20 blasting of visiting Southern Huntingdon.

The Panthers took the opening kickoff to the 12 yard line before a penalty marched them backward. Facing a fourth-and-10 play, junior quarterback Thad Leidy buzzed a pass to Colby Imler who had split two defenders for not only a first down, but the first Panther touchdown and an early lead.

On the Rockets’ first possession, the NB defense forced a fumble that was recovered by Luke Welsh. Leidy, on NB’s very first play after the turnover, hit Brady Clark in full stride down the left sideline for a 36-yard touchdown pass.

The third early “strike” for the Panthers came on their next possession when speedy junior Cadin Ebersole outraced several Rockets on a sweep that went 65 yards for a score. Kyler States hit on two of the three Panther PAT kicks and NB had distanced itself from the Rockets by a 20-0 count by the end of the first quarter.

“We have a lot of guys with speed who are dangerous from anywhere on the field and we showed it last night,” Black said. “We did a good job of shutting down their running back and got off to a good start offensively.”

After SH answered with a drive and touchdown pass of its own, lightning struck again in the form of Brady Clark, who raced 68 yards with the ensuing kickoff to paydirt. States kick was good and the first half would end with a 27-6 Panther lead.

The second half saw the teams trade touchdowns in each quarter to set the 41-20 final.

NB took its first drive of the second half 88 yards in 10 plays, culminated by a Leidy-to-Thad Kraucz touchdown pass from 16 yards out, to thwart any hopes the Rockets may have had regarding a comeback.

Dalton Smith, who rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries, scored on a 2-yard burst early in the fourth quarter for the final Panther touchdown. Evan Coffey tacked on both second-half PAT kicks for the Panthers.

Leidy finished the game with a solid 7-of-11 passing effort for 146 yards and three touchdowns. Ebersole had 97 yards on seven carries and Clark had two big play touchdowns for the Panthers.

NB will travel to Moshannon Valley on Friday night, Sept. 6, to try and improve on its 1-1 record. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.


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