NAUGATUCK – The Tug Valley Panthers will be looking to bounce back this week after losing to Sherman 25-20 in the final seconds of a very close game.
Football season is underway and the weeks will be rolling by. This means the Panthers will be looking to shake off the loss to Sherman and focus on the Meadow Bridge Wildcats. Both the Panthers and the Wildcats will be entering the game with a record of 0-1, the Wildcats lost in their first week to Van 20-6.
Meadow Bridge is a team that went 7-4 last season and ultimately lost to Moorefield in the opening round of the Class-A playoffs, 42-20.
The Wildcats have a little bit of last year’s success returning in William Woods, the QB. Woods had a good season last year and utilized his offensive weapons well. Woods and the Wildcats will be missing the use of split-end Dylan Walker, but will have Chris Sims returning. Sims is a player that the Panthers know well.
Last season in Tug Valley’s 64-28 win over the Wildcats at Naugatuck. The Panthers saw Sims give a great offensive effort and defensive effort.
The Panthers will be looking to improve on some of last week’s mistakes. The Panthers did well in the first three quarters but let the Sherman Tide slip back in during the fourth quarter to stage a comeback. The Panthers were not efficient through the air as QB Johnathan Blankenship only had one completion for 5-yards.
The Panthers ground game was strong, on the other hand. Dawson Elia led the pack with 21 carries for 94-yards with two rushing TD’s. Elia also led the Panthers on defense with seven tackles, two of which for a loss of yardage.
Tug Valley has the talent but has a few tough games early in the season. With the Class-A circuit as tough as it is the Panthers will surely be working out the kinks before heading into Friday’s game. Kick-off starts at 7:30 p.m. at Meadow Bridge High School.