BROOKVILLE — Tri-County North opened up the season with a loss on the road to Brookville, falling 35-14 in their opening game of the season on Friday, Aug. 28.
The Panthers held their own in the first half, heading into the break knotted at a 7-7 tie with the Blue Devils.
But North only mustered 55 rushing yards on the night as they gave up 344 yards on the ground.
“We just have to shore up our running game,” said North head coach Bill Derringer. “We watched the film and showed the kids some things that we have to work on and make sure we do better. We did lose a lot of seniors last year but we have a lot of good kids coming up.”
Brookville scored first after their punt pinned North inside the five yard line. The Panthers fumbled the ball on the three yard line and it was recovered by the Blue Devils. One play later, they punched it in for the early lead.
TCN responded quickly though, as they drove the ball the length of the field and punched it in via a Lane Gunder one-yard quarterback sneak.
The Panthers put together a drive at the end of the half, but missed their 47-yard field goal attempt.
After the half, North ran into some cramping issues that placed five of their starters on the sideline at one point. Brookville took full advantage and scored three touchdowns in the third.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Brookville. I think they are a very good football team. They are extremely fast off the line and their linebackers and running backs are good sized. They did a number on us. They really hit us and beat us up,” said Derringer. “The better team won that night.”
North tried to recover, with Garrett Woodyard scoring off a three-yard pass and catch from Gunder at the beginning of the fourth. Brookville iced the game on the ensuing drive though, with a 14-yard touchdown run from their running back.
The Panthers did find a bright spot in the play out of their quarterback, said Derringer. Gunder finished the game 15-29 with 193 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Miller led the team in rushing with 47 yards on eight carries.
Woodyard finished with nine carries and 17 yards. He also had seven receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Logan Elmore chipped in three receptions for 54 yards and Colton Scott added three catches for 38 yards. Elmore also led the team in tackles, racking up 10 solos and three assists on the night.
North opens up league play on Friday, Sept. 4 as they travel to Ansonia for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Jeremy Erskine may be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH