WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley South and National Trail competed in a rain-soaked and penalty-saturated contest on Friday, Sept. 11, with the Panthers reigning victorious over the Blazers 23-0.
“It was a very, very ugly win but our defense played lights out. They barely got a first down. Our defense is playing great football right now,” said South head coach Tyler Cates.
South threw an interception just three plays into the game before Trail coughed the ball up two plays later.
On South’s next possession, they fumbled on the 21-yard line.
This all within the first two minutes of the game.
The first score of the game came when the Trail long-snapper sailed the ball over his punter’s head, resulting in Cade Cottingim jumping on the ball in the end zone. A successful PAT and South held a 7-0 lead.
South fumbled again with around six minutes remaining in the first quarter, but managed to get the ball back quickly. This time, they made good on their offensive possession, with Sammy Shockey racing down the left sideline for a 60-yard score.
Another successful PAT pushed the lead to 14-0.
Five minutes into the second quarter, another errant snap from Trail at their own four-yard line resulted in a safety and South’s lead increased to 16-0.
Trail’s biggest opportunity came after Ben Sullivan picked off a Jacob Bassler pass and returned it to the 23-yard line with just over a minute remaining in the half.
Trail received plenty of chances to capitalize, and were given new life when South was called for pass interference in the end zone on a fourth-and-19. The penalty moved the ball to the 11-yard line with three seconds remaining.
On the last play of the half, a pass sailed over the receivers head, though, and the Blazers ended the frame empty-handed.
“I thought we had opportunities that we didn’t cash in. They had a couple of nice defensive stands,” said Trail coach Randy Kerns. “They made the plays and we didn’t’ make the plays in a sloppy game. They deserved to win.”
The last touchdown of the day came off an option by Bassler to Shockey, who found the open field and took the pitch 20 yards to the house, bringing the score to 23-0.
South only managed two offensive touchdowns against a team that has been outscored 98-6 in their first two weeks of play.
“Our offense has to get going. We have a long way to go. A lot of missed opportunities, a lot of penalties, a lot of turnovers,” said Cates. “No excuses. I have to get better; the boys have to get better offensively.”
Michael Bane led Trail going 8-for-17 through the air for 52 yards and one interception. He also rushed 13 times for 13 yards.
Ben Sullivan added 36 yards on 16 carries and four catches for 33 yards. Corbin Hoblit had 25 yards on just five rushes.
Hobblit also led the Blazer defense with nine tackles as Sullivan chipped in seven.
The Panthers move to 2-1 on the year and will travel to Ansonia for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday, Sept. 18.
Trail falls to 0-3 on the year with an away game at Jefferson on Friday, Sept. 18. The game begins at 7:30 p.m.
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.