NAUGATUCK – The Tug Valley Panthers hosted the Calhoun County Red Devils during homecoming night on Friday. The Panthers pulled off a big win with a score of 44-0.
The Panthers looked fierce in their black jerseys, blending in with the night sky. The Panthers seemed to jump out of the shadows against Calhoun.
Tug Valley wasted no time in proving they were there to play ball. Tyler Conley connected with Calvin Blankenship with 8:41 left to play in the first quarter on a long 52-yard pass completion for the first score of the ball game. Jeremy Dillon rushed into the end zone to add the two-point conversion and put the Panthers ahead quickly 8-0.
Corbin Oliver rushed into the end zone with 1:12 left to play in the first quarter and Phillip Lucas barreled into the end zone and added the two-point conversion.
With 11:36 left to play in the second quarter the Red Devils were forced to punt. They punted the ball down field right into the hands of Dillon who returned the kick 75-yards downfield through almost every defender Calhoun had to score another touchdown for the Panthers. The Panthers failed to add the two-point conversion.
Dillon jumped out of the shadows with 4:37 left to play in the second quarter and intercepted a Red Devils pass and scampered 27-yards the other way to add another score for the Panthers. The two-point conversion failed but the Panthers held onto a big 28-0 lead.
With :27 seconds left to go before halftime Dillon lined up in in the backfield as the quarterback in the shotgun formation. The Red devils backed off their coverage expecting the Panthers to try for a long pass before halftime. Instead Dillon dropped back and then took off on a keeper and ran 73-yards to the end zone. Lucas added the two-point conversion and the Panthers led 36-0 at the half.
Lucas scored the final touchdown of the game with 8:16 left to go in the third quarter when he steam rolled into the end zone from 3-yards out. Dawson Elia rushed in the two-point conversion and the score 44-0 would prove to be the final.
To the Red Devils credit they never gave up. Calhoun worked diligently to save some pride and light up the score board but the Panthers always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. The Red Devils finished the game with 328-yards rushing and 98-yards passing.
Oliver led the way for the Panthers ground game with 107-yards on six carries, averaging 17.8 yards per carry and found the end zone once during the game. Dillon had 69-yards on three rushes averaging 23 yards per carry and added one rushing touchdown, one interception return for a touchdown, and one punt return for touchdown. Lucas carried the ball nine times for 55-yards and one rushing touchdown.
Conley passed for 98-yards on three passes with one touchdown and one interception. Blankenship caught Conley’s one touchdown pass.
Noah Lucas led the panthers on defense with 11 tackles, one of them for a loss of yardage, and added one sack. Conley had 10 tackles, Dillon had seven tackles and one interception. P. Lucas had seven tackles and one fumble recovery, Ike Starr had seven tackles and one sack. Johnathan Blankenship had seven tackles and one interception, Oliver had six tackles and one interception.
The Panthers step up into a record of 6-2 and Calhoun drops to 4-4 on the season.
TV: 16 20 8 0 44
C: 0 0 0 0 0
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)