Entering their contest on Friday, Oct. 1, the 0-5 Litchfield Purple Panthers would be considered the underdogs against the heavily favored 5-0 Pana Panthers.
Pana would enter the contest with a potent offense averaging 44 points a game, while the Purple Panthers would enter week six giving up 57 points a game, not including the 1-0 forfeit against Staunton in week two.
On top of all other factors Litchfield would hit the field with only 19 players dressed, as the injury bug would hit the Purple Panthers. Pana would show no mercy for the shorthanded Litchfield squad as they piled on 55 points in the first half and cruised to a 55-8 victory.
Litchfield would not allow the negative factors to influence their play early in the contest. After Pana received the opening kickoff, the Panthers offense would stumble on their first play from scrimmage. A miscue between the Pana quarterback and running back found the ball laying on the carpet.
Litchfield would not allow the ball to bounce around, pouncing on the loose ball to recover the fumble. Litchfield’s defense would set up the Purple Panthers’ offense with great field position as they began their first possession on Pana’s 29-yard line.
Pana’s defense would respond to the opening challenge as they would prevent Litchfield from gaining a first down and forced the ball to be turned over on downs.
Pana’s offense would not allow the early miscue to dampen their high powered offense as they would put the first points on the board during their second possession.
The possession would last just under one minute and would end with a 23-yard touchdown run by quarterback Max Lynch. The extra point attempt would fail and Pana would control a 6-0 lead with 9:06 to play in the opening quarter.
Pana would add their second touchdown of the contest shortly after as they recovered a Litchfield fumble on the Purple Panthers’ 29-yard line, giving the Pana Panthers great field possession.
Brendan Schnoover would get the second touchdown of the contest for Pana as he jammed the ball into the endzone from one yard out. Lynch would follow the touchdown with a successful two-point conversion, giving Pana a 14-0 lead with 7:21 on the clock in the first quarter.
Schnoover would not be finished putting points on the board for Pana as he would grab his second touchdown of the game on a 23 yard scamper to pay dirt. Bo Christer would add the extra point, giving Pana a 21-0 lead with 5:32 left in the opening quarter.
Pana’s offense has been a force to be reckoned with throughout the season and the Panthers would show how potent and quick their offense was early in the contest.
After putting up three touchdowns in just over three and a half minutes, Pana would add two more touchdowns in two minutes and 28 seconds as the man behind the center took control of the contest. Max Lynch would get his second and third touchdowns with a 31-yard touchdown run and a 61-yard touchdown run. Lynch’s three touchdowns totaled 115 yards as Pana controlled a 34-0 lead 15 seconds into the second quarter.
Even though Pana would control the spotlight throughout the first half, Litchfield would have a few highlight reel plays in the opening two quarters.
Carson Saathoff would lead the Purple Panthers in the rushing column from underneath the center in his first appearance at the quarterback position this season.
Saathoff would step away from his receiving and blocking role in this contest and would show the Purple Panthers that he can also run the ball. He would also complete two of his six pass attempts in the first half.
Pana would put a nail in their first half performance with three more touchdowns before it would come to a close. The late second quarter touchdowns would put the Pana Panthers’ lead above 40 points, as Pana would hold a 55-0 lead at half.
Even though Litchfield would control the time of possession in the first half, they would only be able to put together seven total yards of offense in the first half. Pana’s offense on the other hand would put together over 200 total yards. Pana’s lead would also put the clock in continuous motion when the second half would begin.
Trailing by eight touchdowns, the Purple Panthers would stand strong and put together a solid drive in the opening minutes of the second half. Litchfield would take their opening drive 80 yards to the endzone for their first points of the contest.
They would light up their side of the scoreboard for the first time in the contest when Carson Saathoff connected on a 11-yard touchdown pass to Matavious Jones. Emiliano McGill would compete the two-point conversion following Jones’ touchdown. Litchfield would now trail 55-8 after the well-oiled touchdown drive.
With a running clock neither team would be able to add any more points to the board, but both teams would be able to get some players in the contest in key moments. Pana would work through three quarterbacks during the contest, while Litchfield would see their second first-time quarterback. After Saathoff made his first start under center, Easton Grammer would grab some experience at QB as well.
After only putting up seven first half yards of offense, Litchfield would turn the tables in the second half as they would put over 100 yards of offense in the stat book.
Saathoff would have 70 of those total yards, 35 rushing and 35 passing. Even though Litchfield would struggle in the opening half, the young Purple Panthers would put up a solid attempt against Pana in the second half, outscoring Pana 8-0 in the second half. The end result, though, would see Pana walking away with a commanding 55-8 victory.
The schedule will not get any easier next week for the Purple Panthers as they face their fifth straight opponent with a winning record. Litchfield will be on the road next Friday, Oct. 8, against the 5-1 Carlinville Cavaliers.
October 1 at Litchfield
Pana (6-0) 28 27 0 0 55
Litchfield (0-6) 0 0 8 0 8
1st - 9:06 - (P) - Max Lynch 23-yard TD run (kick failed)
1st - 7:21 - (P) - Brenden Schnoover 1-yard TD run (Max Lynch 2-pt conversion)
1st - 5:32 - (P) - Brenden Schnoover 23-yard TD run (Bo Christer kick)
1st - 2:13 - (P) - Max Lynch 31-yard TD run (Bo Christer kick)
2nd - 11:45 - (P) - Max Lynch 61-yard TD run (kick failed)
2nd - 8:50 - (P) - Austin Henschen 42-yard TD run (Bo Christer kick)
2nd - 4:54 - (P) - Carter Hocq 5-yard TD run (Bo Christer kick)
2nd - 1:38 - (P) - Devon Peebles 40 yrd TD Reception from Carter Hocq Christer XP (0-55) -
3rd - 1:25 - (L) - Martavious Jones 11-yard TD reception from Carson Saathoff (Emiliano McGill 2-pt conversion)
Passing:(6-13-36): Carson Saathoff 6-13-36.
Rushing (38-74): Carson Saathoff 8-40; #17 8-15; AJ Sypherd 11-13; Easton Grammer 8-5; Nick Hawley 2-1; Mitchell Floyd 1-0.
Receivng (6-36): Martavious Jones 4-28, Keenan Powell 2-8.