NEW MADISON — It was an offensive shootout between Twin Valley South and Tri-Village’s football teams on Friday, Oct. 6. When the night concluded the Panthers made a few more plays than the Patriots for a 48-34 Cross County Conference victory.
And it didn’t take long for the fireworks to begin.
Tri-Village’s Austin Bruner received the opening kickoff at the 10-yard line, ran to the middle of the field, avoided a few tackles, then bounced it to the outside on the near-side of the field where he picked up a couple blockers, and 90 yards later he was in the end zone to give the Patriots a quick strike 6-0 lead.
But before the celebration had a chance to subside, Twin Valley South’s Cade Cottingim received the ensuing kickoff and ran 85 yards up the middle untouched to the end zone, quickly quieting the home crowd. The Panthers added the extra point kick to go up 7-6.
Tri-Village, on its next possession, moved the ball just past midfield before Bruner aired out a 25-yard pass to Trey Frech on a post route. The ball was a little under thrown but Frech adjusted, jumped high, and reached back over the defender to bring it in for a great catch.
Moments later, Jared Buckley crossed the goal line from 1-yard out and the Patriots were back on top 12-7.
Just when the Patriots looked like they had momentum they gave up another big play — this time on the first play from scrimmage as Cottingim tossed a 65-yard pass to Chandler Napier for the score and South led 14-12.
On Tri-Village’s next possession, the Patriots utilized their ground game with Buckley doing the legwork. Buckley ripped off a 52-yard run that was culminated by Bruner with a 6-yard TD run. Buckley added the two-point conversion, and the Patriots led 20-14 at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers answered the score. Facing fourth down and 1, Ryan Bassler broke free in the middle on a 3-yard run to tie the game at 20 with two minutes to go in the first half.
After a Patriot turnover, the Panthers struck one more time before the close of the first half. It was Bassler again doing the damage to go up 26-20 at the half.
South went up 34-20 midway through the third quarter on an Isaac Clark 6-yard TD run.
Buckley helped keep the Patriots close when he made his way into the end zone from 20 yards out to make the score 34-26 with just under a minute to play in the third quarter.
On this night, Tri-Village was just unable to slow down or make the big stop and Bassler ran it in from 27 yards out to put the Panthers up 42-26.
The Patriots, however, weren’t giving up with Noah Burns scoring on a 4-yard run to the outside and then he caught a jump pass from Bruner to keep the Patriots in the game, now trailing 42-34.
Twin Valley South would put the game on ice, using the clock to its advantage and running it down on each possession as the Panthers slowly moved the ball down the field.
The drive was culminated with 6-foot 3-inch, 320 pound lineman Nick Stacy, who took half the Patriots defensive line with him into the end zone — a run reminiscent to the days of Refrigerator Perry for the Chicago Bears.
The score sealed the victory for the Panthers and improved their record to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
Tri-Village fell to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
South will host Ansonia on Friday, Oct. 13 and Tri-Village will travel to Fort Loramie.
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