ANSONIA – Tri-County North found redemption this week, washing out their Brookville loss with a 48-16 victory over Ansonia in their Cross County Conference opener Friday, Sept. 4.
The game was delayed for over two hours, with kickoff occurring around 9:30 and the final play happening just before midnight.
North and Ansonia played even throughout the first quarter, with the period ending in a 0-0 draw.
“With all the delays, I think we really came out flat. I think that’s understandable. Both teams did,” said North head coach Bill Derringer.
The second quarter was where the ball got rolling for the Panthers though, as they put in a four-touchdown frame.
It all started with Logan Elmore just 23 seconds into the quarter, when he returned a kick 88-yards for a touchdown, giving North the 7-0 advantage.
Elmore then returned the ensuing punt to Ansonia’s 29-yard line. A big pass from Panther quarterback Lane Gunder to Gavin Overholtz set up a one yard touchdown run by Josh Heindl. The PAT was good and North led 14-0.
On their next drive, Gunder showed his running ability, scoring on a 41-yard run and putting the Panthers up 21-0.
With a minute left in the half, Elmore returned another punt for a score to give North a four-touchdown lead.
Ansonia used a big kick return to punch one in right before half, however, and North went into the break up 28-8.
“I think once the first quarter was over and we settled into the game, our kids did pretty well. Obviously going into our next game, we have to shore up our kickoff return team,” said Derringer.
After beginning the half with a punt, North put in a five-play, 84 yard drive that was capped off by Gunder connecting with Elmore for an 18-yard touchdown pass to put the Panthers up 35-8 midway through the third quarter.
On the next drive, Gunder and Elmore found success through the air once more, connecting on a 27-yard touchdown pass, taking their lead to 42-8.
Ansonia responded quickly off that score, returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. After a success two-point conversion, the Tigers cut the lead to 42-16. That was the closest they’d get on the night
North capped the game off with a four-yard touchdown run by Alex Kerby to make it 48-16.
“It was really important as far as getting us back on the right track. We performed well in our scrimmages. We performed well in the first half against Brookville. This is a big win to get our kids back and feeling confident,” said Derringer.
The Panthers ended the night with 362 total yards, gaining 252 yards on the ground.
Gunder led all rushers, earning 106 yards and a score on five attempts. He was also 7-9 through the air with 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Kerby chipped in with 75 yards on six carries and a score as well while Heindl ran the ball seven times of 51 yards and a score.
Elmore hauled in three receptions for the night for 54 yards and two scores. He finished with over 300 all-purpose yards.
On the defensive end, Clay Finney had four solo tackles and two assisted while Tanner Booth added three solos and six assisted. Chase Gunder also chipped in three solo tackles and four assisted.
North is scheduled to play host to Arcanum on Friday, Sept. 11.
Jeremy Erskine may be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH