After coming up with a big victory at home to the Cowanesque Valley Indians 34-0, the North Penn-Mansfield Panthers traveled to Wyalusing for an important matchup between 2-3 NTL teams look to climb to .500 and up in the NTL standings.
The Panthers have had a tough season, at 2-3 before their game in Wyalusing, they played two extremely difficult non-conference games, going 0-2 but have been formidable against league opponents going 2-1. This game was an opportunity to show they were much better than their record had inferred, and to matchup against a team with the same record.
The Panthers dominated the Wyalusing Rams on the road, and looked like a team on a mission in this one, cruising to a 41-20 win securing their second straight victory.
After the opening kickoff, the Panthers were the first to strike, with Colton Litzelman throwing his ninth touchdown of the year on a 16-yard pass to Logan Tokarz to start off the contest just four minutes into the game. The Panthers took a 7-0 lead going into the second quarter of play.
In the second, the Panthers started to hit stride, capping off a drive with a one-yard touchdown by Bryan Bogaczyk for his first touchdown of the evening with 7:30 left to play in the half.
The rams continued to struggle on the offensive end, but got new life when they blocked a Panthers punt, and took it all the way for their first touchdown of the night. After they converted the two-point conversion the score was 14-8 with only 3:19 left in the half. The Panthers needed to put together a strong possession if they wanted a chance to score before time expired, and did just that, with Bogaczyk scoring his second touchdown of the half on a 5-yarder with only 13 seconds remaining to give them a healthy lead of 21-8 at the halfway point.
The Panthers kept their ground game going into the second half of the play, extending their lead halfway through the third on another touchdown by Bogaczyk but this time on a 19-yarder with 5:49 remaining in the quarter to bring the score to 28-8 and close out the scoring in the third.
In the fourth, the Rams struck first on a eight-yard touchdown run but failed to convert on the two point conversion, making the score 28-14 with just under 12 minutes left to play and plenty of time to make a comeback down only two scores.
The Panthers saw an opportunity to put this one away, and executed perfectly while scoring just 40 seconds later when freshman Kohen Lehman took a 39-yard touchdown in, and just a few minutes later took in a second long touchdown run from 40-yards to give the Panthers a big cushion with only 7:43 left in the game.
The Rams were able to put together another touchdown drive capped off by a 35-yard touchdown pass, but it was too little too late, with the Panthers coming out on top by a final score of 41-20.
The Panthers ground attack came to play against the Rams, pounding the ball 50 times in route to 373 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground.
Bogaczyk lead the way for the Panthers, with 23 carries totaling 123 yards with three touchdowns on the night, he was too much to handle for the Rams defense. Junior Bogaczyk has made a big impact on the Panthers team this season, with a lot of running backs getting looks in this offense, he has been the constant throughout, rushing for 426 yards and with a little under 50 yards receiving as well as racking up seven touchdowns throughout the season.
Lehman also had a strong performance, with only eight carries he totaled 137 yards with two of those carries going for a 39-yard touchdown and a 41-yard touchdown in the fourth that helped sealed the victory for the Panthers. Litzelman threw another touchdown to go along with his 102 yards in this one, and has thrown for at least one touchdown in all but one game this season, and has only one interception to his nine touchdowns.
After starting the season 1-3, the Panthers have come alive in the last two games, scoring 75 points and winning both their matchups to claw back to 3-3. The Panthers 3-1 record in the NTL is a reflection of the tough non-league competition they have had to face early in the season, and will need to continue to string together performances as the season reaches a close. They have three of the next four games against league opponents, and after their road game next week, they have the advantage of hosting all three of their NTL matchups at home to close out the season.
The Panthers go on the road for the last time this season, traveling to Philipsburg-Osceola on Friday Oct. 4 to take on the 1-5 Mountaineers. It will be the Panthers last home and non-conference game of the season, and will have a chance to get above .500 on the season in a favorable match-up.
Team Stats: NPM WR
Total Plays: 68 43
First Downs: 21 8
Penalties: 5 1
Penalty Yards: 60 5
Passing: Colon Litzelman 11-16 102 yards 1 TD
Receiving: Logan Tokarz 4-43 1 TD; Kaelan Matczak 3-37; Koelton Roupp 2-18; Mitchael Tice 1-0; Cameron Fabian 1-4.
Rushing: Bryan Bogaczyk 23-123 3TD; Kohen Lehman 8-137 2TD; Koleton Roupp 8-61; Cameron Fabian 7-38; Porter Amaral 2-7; Colton Litzelman 1-7; Brandon Thompson 1-0.