Panthers ready for stout Bulldog team


By William Plaster - [email protected]



NAUGATUCK – The Tug Valley Panthers are back on track after a tough loss to Sherman in week one. In week two they returned to blank Meadow Bridge 37-0 and are now ready to face the Van Bulldogs in week three in the ARH Kick-off Classic.

The Panthers have been on a two year playoff spree and are looking to make this year number three; the next obstacle is the Bulldogs. Van is fresh off of a 41-13 win over the Phelps Hornets and are now 2-0 on the season after defeating Meadow Bridge in week one. If you look at the scores from both Tug Valley and Van against Meadow Bridge you will see the Panthers handled the Wildcats better. Van won the game against the Wildcats 20-6 while Tug Valley won 37-0. This is a good indication that the Panthers may have what it takes to edge out the Bulldogs.

What the Panthers will need to watch out for is a team that runs a basic offensive formation and they run it well, the Bulldog defense is a basic 4-3 with some blitzing in time of need. This is not new information to the Panthers as they saw the same package last season in their 34-21 win over Van.

Some of the players the Panthers will need to keep an eye on this game is Strong Safety/ Running back Alexander Gibson. Gibson is very quick and is a hard hitter from the defensive backfield. Fullback/Middle linebacker Gavin Smith does most of the backfield blocking for Gibson and most of the blitzing on defense. Unless the Bulldogs decide to release defensive-end Cole Price who works the strong side. Their line is experienced except for a freshman center.

The Panthers have proved they have what it takes to handle the Bulldogs even with a 1-1 record. QB Johnathan Blankenship has proved himself as a double threat to opposing defenses with the ability to throw and run. Blankenship is joined in the backfield with speedy Dawson Elia, Levi Davis and fullback Noah Lucas.

The Panthers had some luck last game passing the ball but this year’s team looks like a running squad.

The Panthers front line has contributed greatly to their success so far this season. Carson May, Andrew Dingess, Brady Spaulding, and Josh Deboard are able to give the Panthers the edge they need up front.

The Panthers have been on the road for two games and will finally be able to bring all of that excitement home to Naugatuck. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Tug valley Athletic Complex.

The Panthers have been racking up the statistics and here is Tug Valley’s cumulative stats through two games:

Rushing

Dawson Elia – 30 carries for 158 yards (5.3 yards per carry), 3 TD

Noah Lucas – 19 carries for 133 yards (7.0 yards per carry), 2 TD

Levi Davis – 10 carries for 120 yards (12.0 yards per carry), 1 TD

Chandler Pack – 11 carries for 117 yards (10.6 yards per carry)

Jonathan Blankenship – 11 carries for 58 yards (5.3 yards per carry), 1 TD

Dustin Jarvis – 2 carries for 14 yards (7.0 yards per carry)

Chris Ellis – 1 carry for 13 yards (13.0 yards per carry)

Blake Dingess – 5 carries for 10 yards (2.0 yards per carry)

David Marcum – 2 carries for 4 yards (2.0 yards per carry)

Ethan Varney – 1 carry for 0 yards (0.0 yards per carry)

Receiving

Dawson Elia – 1 reception for 17 yards (17.0 yards per catch)

Noah Lucas – 2 reception for 16 yards (8.0 yards per catch)

Chandler Pack – 1 reception for 14 yards (14.0 yards per catch)

Blake Dingess – 1 reception for 10 yards (10.0 yards per catch), 1 TD

Passing

Jonathan Blankenship – 5-of-10 (50.0 completion percentage) for 57 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

Blake Dingess – 0-of-1 (0.0 completion percentage) for 0 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

Defense

Tackles

Dawson Elia – 15

Chandler Pack – 13

Noah Lucas – 12

Andrew Dingess – 12

Kyle Sturgell – 9

Chandler Carey – 8

Josh Deboard – 7

Jared Farley – 5

Kyle Vance – 5

Brady Spaulding – 5

Dustin Jarvis – 5

Chris Ellis – 4

Levi Davis – 4

Blake Dingess – 2

Zach Samuel – 1

Jonathan Blankenship – 1

Chris Canterbury – 1

Joshua Newsome – 1

Sacks

Brady Spaulding – 1

Tackles For Loss

Dawson Elia – 4

Andrew Dingess – 3

Brady Spaulding – 3

Kyle Sturgell – 2

Jared Farley – 1

Kyle Vance – 1

Chris Ellis – 1

Josh Deboard – 1

Levi Davis – 1

Interceptions

Dustin Jarvis – 1

Kyle Sturgell – 1

Forced Fumbles

N/A

Fumble Recoveries

Dawson Elia – 1

Defensive Touchdowns

N/A

Special Teams

Kick Returns

Levi Davis – 1 return for 9 yards (9.0 yards per kick return)

Zach Samuel – 1 return for 8 yards (8.0 yards per kick return)

Dawson Elia – 1 return for 5 yards (5.0 yards per kick return)

Punt Returns

Jonathan Blankenship – 1 return for 7 yards (7.0 yards per punt return)

Dawson Elia – 1 return for 0 yards (0.0 yards per punt return)

Punting

Levi Davis – 4 punts for 133 yards (33.3 yards per punt)

Jonathan Blankenship – 1 punt for 17 yards (17.0 yards per punt)

Scoring

Touchdowns

Dawson Elia – 3

Noah Lucas – 2

Levi Davis – 1

Jonathan Blankenship – 1

Blake Dingess – 1

Field Goals

Chandler Pack – 1-of-1

PAT Kicking

N/A

PAT 2-Point

Levi Davis – 3

Total Points

Dawson Elia – 18

Noah Lucas – 12

Levi Davis – 12

Jonathan Blankenship – 6

Blake Dingess – 6

Chandler Pack – 3

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By William Plaster

[email protected]

(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] on on twitter @sidplaster.)

(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] on on twitter @sidplaster.)

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