ARCANUM — Tri-County North came up with several key stops Friday (Oct. 5), at Arcanum, as the Panthers turned away the Trojans on a couple of scoring opportunities early en route to a 30-6 win.
The win was the third straight for North, which improved to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the Cross County Conference.
Arcanum punted on its first possession and Dane Craport put North in a big hole with a punt that rolled out at the 1-yard line.
TCN coughed up the football at the 10-yard line with Craport being the man at the right place to recover it for Arcanum and the Trojans were in the red zone in great scoring position.
Facing fourth down inside the 5-yard line, sophomore quarterback Nick Fry rolled out to his left, made a dash for the goal line and was met by a wall of North defenders that he couldn’t penetrate, denying Arcanum a golden opportunity to get on the scoreboard first.
The Trojans had one more opportunity in the first half, when they had a receiver in the clear and nothing but green grass out front but left the ball behind negating a second scoring chance.
It looked like the first half was going to end up a 0-0 tie, but the Panthers made some big plays late and got inside the 10-yard line with 8 seconds left in the first half. North wasn’t going to be denied as quarterback Brian Stinson weaved his way through the middle of the defense and into the end zone and then added a two-point conversion to give the Panthers and 8-0 lead at the half.
The Panthers momentum carried over into the second half as they scored on their opening drive with Stinson getting the job done again from 6 yards out and another two-point conversion gave North a 16-0 advantage at 7:54 in the third quarter. North added a third score on a 65-yard middle screen to go up 24-0.
Just under a minute into the final stanza, Arcanum finally put points on the board.
Freshman end Ian Baker made a great catch on a throw from Fry around the 30-yard line. Baker was sandwiched by two defenders and somehow, he remained on his feet, regained his balance, and then tip-toed up the sideline untouched for a 50-yard score.
North still has hopes of making the Division VI playoffs and the next three weeks will be key.
North returns home for its next two games as they host Bethel (4-3) and Miami East (5-2). The Panthers will close out the season at Fort Loramie (6-1) in Week 10.