History Holds As Comets Down Panthers


In the past 23 years, Greenville has had the upper hand over Litchfield on the gridiron in 22 of those 23 years. On Friday night, Sept. 24, the Comets’ dominance over the Purple Panthers continued as Greenville picked up their 17 straight win against Litchfield with a 49-16 victory. 

2003 was the last time Litchfield would be able to pick up a win against their Bond County foes. It would also be the one and only win over the Comets since Litchfield and Greenville continuously played each other beginning in 1997. Not only has Greenville put together a 22-1 record against Litchfield in those 23 years, they have also outscored the Panthers by an average of 40-14. 

Even though the young Panthers have shown some signs throughout the first half of the season as making some progress on the right track, the Comets would not give the Panthers any momentum early in the contest. 

Greenville would jump out early in the contest as they put 28 points on the board in the opening quarter. The Comets would put their first points on the board less than two minutes into the contest when Ryan Jackson connected with Peyton McCullough on an eight-yard touchdown strike. 

Greenville would quickly add to their score when they intercepted the Panthers’ second play of the contest. 

Again it would be the combo of Jackson and McCullough that would add more points to the Comets’ side of the board. This touchdown would come from 10 yards out with 8:21 to play in the opening quarter. 

Trailing by two touchdowns the Panthers would look to get the ball moving on their second possession. A quick three and out would set up a punting situation for Litchfield. 

Having a hard time controlling the punt, Greenville would give the ball back to Litchfield as the Panthers would recover the Comets’ miscue on Greenville side of the field. 

Litchfield, with the momentum now, would look to put their first points on the board. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Greenville would grab their second interception of the contest. 

Less than two minutes later the Comets would strike again as Ryan Jackson would complete his third touchdown of the first quarter. 

Litchfield, who would obtain good field position throughout the opening quarter, would be rewarded with another great start as they would begin their possession on the Comet 34. 

Litchfield would struggle moving the football as the Comets would once again regain possession. And once again, Ryan Jackson put more points on the board as he would connect on 50-yard touchdown pass to Landen Moss with just over a minute to play in the first quarter. The late touchdown would give Greenville a 28-0 in the first quarter. 

Throughout the first quarter Litchfield would have success running the football through the middle of the offense line. Litchfield’s front five would be able to open up some holes in the Comet defense, allowing Litchfield to find success with the run game. 

In the opening minutes of the second quarter the Panthers would turn to their work horse, AJ Sypherd, and Sypherd would respond with a two-yard touchdown run. Litchfield would add a two point conversion, narrowing the Comets’ lead to 28-8. 

The Comets’ fast-paced offense would strike again through the air during their first possession of the second quarter. Ryan Jackson would connect on his fifth touchdown pass as Landen Moss pulled down his second touchdown of the contest. 

The touchdown would give the Comets a 35-8 lead with 6:33 left to play in the second quarter. 

On their homecoming/senior night, the Comets would not be done putting points on the board. A well-put-together drive resulted in yet another touchdown pass as time expired in the first half. 

Ryan Jackson once again hit his favorite target, Peyton McCullough. McCullough’s touchdown reception would come with zero seconds on the clock. Dieken Graber would connect on his sixth extra point in the contest as he remained flawless on his extra point attempts. The last second touchdown would allow the Comets to enter the locker room with a 42-8 lead. 

Even though the Panthers would be on the tail end of a big Comet lead, the effort would be seen on the field as they would give the Comet defense line a run as AJ Sypherd (59 yards) and Drew Hartzell (17 yards) would run through the holes created by the Litchfield offense line. 

Looking to get on the right track in the second half, the Panthers would receive the second half kickoff. A miscue on the receiving team would allow the Comets to gain possession of the football to start the third quarter. 

After success through the air in the first half, the Comets would keep the ball on the ground throughout their first possessions of the second half. The running Comets would capitalize as Grant Wilderman rushed for six yards to pay dirt, giving the Comets a 49-8 lead. 

The deficit would be greater than 40 points, resulting in the clock to be continuous throughout the remaining minutes of the contest. With a running clock, Litchfield would not quit as they would find a way to put their second touchdown on the board. 

Keenan Powell would be the target for Tate Dobrinich as he would find Powell for 23 yards with 6:47 left in the contest. Drew Hartzell would cross the goal line on the two-point conversion making the score 49-16. 

With the clock continuously running, it would be hard for the Panthers to put much more offense together. The Comets would come away with their fourth win of the year as the game would come to a close with Greenville in the lead 49-16. 

The first half air show by the Comets would control the Panthers as starting quarterback Ryan Jackson would complete 19 of his 22 attempts, throwing the ball for 311 yards and connecting on six touchdowns. The Comets would also gain over 100 yards on the ground as Grant Wilderman would rush for 146 yards. 

On Litchfield side of the field the Panthers would find some success on the ground as AJ Sypherd became Litchfield’s leading rusher as he gained 97 yards on 21 carries. Through the air, Keenan Powell would pull down two catches for 48 yards, while Martavious Jones would grab six passes for 42 yards. 

Litchfield will look to claim their first win on Friday as they welcome the 5-0 Pana Panthers to Lloyd Hill Field. 

 Sept. 24 at Greenville

Litchfield (0-5) 0 8 0 8 16 

Greenville (4-1) 26 16 7 0 49 

Scoring Summary

1st - 10:34 - (GV) - Peyton McCullough 8-yard TD reception from Ryan Jackson (Dieken Graber kick)

1st - 8:21 - (GV) - Peyton McCullough 10 yrd TD reception from Ryan Jackson (Dieken Graber kick)

1st - 3:50 - (GV) - Nick Gruell 54 yrd TD reception from Ryan Jackson (Dieken Graber kick)

1st - 1:24 - (GV) - Landen Moss 50 yrd TD reception from Ryan Jackson (Dieken Graber kick) 

2nd - 8:06 - (L) - AJ Sypherd 2 yard TD run (Tanner Saathoff 2point conversion from Tate Dobrinich) 

2nd - 6:33 - (GV) - Landen Moss 19 yard TD Reception from Ryan Jackson (Dieken Graber kick)

2nd - 0:00 - (GV) - Peyton McCullough 17 TD Reception from Ryan Jackson (Dieken Graber kick) 

3rd - 10:45 - (GV) - Grant Widlerman 10 yard rush (Dieken Graber kick) 

4th - 6:47 - (L) - Keenan Powell 23-yard TD reception from Tate Dobrinich (Drew Hartzell 2 point conversion)

Litchfield Statistics

Rushing (29-105): AJ Sypherd 21-97, Drew Hartzell 6-19, Tate Dobrinich 2-(-11).

Passing (9-19-100): Tate Dobirnich 8-18-100 Keaton Morgan 1-1-0. 

Receivng (8-100): Keenan Powell 2-48, Martavious Jones 5-42, Tanner Saathoff 1-10.


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