Patriots pounce on Panthers early, hang on for win
By M. Matt Milligan
On a perfect fall night, the Page Patriots played just well enough to defeat the Lewis County Panthers 14-6 for a Homecoming victory.
“We left a lot of points and big plays on the field,” said Page coach Charles Rathbone.
The Patriots, behind Zak Mizell’s strong arm and quick legs, scored two touchdowns in the first half, and then held on as their tired defense held the Panthers scoreless until the final play of the game.
Mizell rushed nine times for 103 yards and finished the night 9-14 for 102 yards with no interceptions. In all, Mizell accounted for 205 of the team’s 222 total yards.
“He missed some reads, but he threw the ball well at times despite the windy conditions,” coach said.
The Patriot offense could have been more prolific if not for costly penalties. The Patriots were penalized eight times on the night, but each penalty served to negate big plays on offense.
“That’s something we’ll address on Monday and get better,” coach said.
The Panthers, to their credit, were persistent on offense all night, dominating time of possession as they crawled across the field with a mixture of option, toss sweeps, and double hand-offs. In fact, the Panthers’ last play of the night was their first pass completion, a touchdown from Lucas Graham.
The Panthers were perhaps too patient on offense, taking over the ball down 14-0 with 5:20 left to play while marching down the field on their only touchdown drive. The Panthers huddled on every play and showed little intent to hurry. Lewis County dominated time of possession all night, but was unable to capitalize despite their time-consuming drives.
“That’s their game plan, their M.O.,” coach said. “They want to run the wing-T and keep us off the field, and they did that.”
The Patriots will have a week off before returning to action against East Hickman on Oct. 5.
Posted on: 9/22/2012