7th Grade Bashes Buffaloes in Opener
By Paul Elrod
What was supposed to be the opening game of the season turned into a scrimmage at the request of Florence, but the outcome either way was clear. The Panther defense held Florence to minus 14 yards of offense on the day, and was highlighted by an interception from Logan Dodd and QB sacks from Grant Calzoncit and Alex Juarez. The Panther offense was explosive, with Carson Kipp carrying six times for 82 yards, featuring a great 53-yard TD run, breaking numerous tackles along the way. Aikman Elrod scored on 30- and 70-yard TD runs, finishing with five carries for 132 yards. Devlin Moore highlighted the final offensive series, running for 45 yards on three carries, with a 35-yard TD run to cap off the scoring. Dru Ramirez rushed twice for 44 yards, with the final carry of the day being a 37-yard run, breaking five tackles, and nearly scoring a fifth TD for the Panthers.
8th Grade Tops Florence in a Thriller
The Panthers faced an equally matched Buffalo team in the season opener, and both sides struggled in the first half. The Buffaloes capitalized on a fumbled punt return in the second quarter, and drove in the short field for a TD. The two-point attempt was stopped, and, at halftime, Florence led 6-0.
In the third quarter, the Panther defense shut down Florence, with Mason LeBlanc recording several solo tackles for losses. David Ramirez ignited the Panther offense with a 62-yard TD run right up the middle of the Buffalo defense. Kyle Sauceda passed to Phillip Alvarado for the two-point conversion, and Blanco took the lead 8-6. The Panthers again forced the Buffaloes to punt, and behind spectacular running from Alex Palos, the Panthers drove to the Florence one yard line. Grant Eickenloff punched in the TD, and though the conversion failed, Blanco appeared to be in control, leading 14-6 late in the game. On the ensuing kick-off, however, the Buffaloes raced 75 yards for the score and attempted to tie the game with the two-point try. The Panther defense swarmed the attempt, kept the Buffaloes from scoring, and stayed on top at 14-12. Florence attempted an on-side kick that failed, and Blanco again drove the field behind great runs from Palos and Eickenloff. Kyle Sauceda passed to Dakota Perkins down to the goal line that nearly scored another TD. Florence took over on downs, and the Panther defense almost recorded a safety to end the game, sacking the Buffalo QB at the goal line.