Thursday, August 31, 2017
Watervliet High School
Buchanan High School
The Panther football team took to the road for the first time in 2017 to face the Bucks of Buchanan. It was the first meeting between the two schools since 1999. Things did not start out very good for the heavily favored Panthers. After turning the ball over on downs, the Watervliet defense was unable to hold the Bucks and found themselves behind 6-0. However, from there the visitors took control scoring 44 unanswered points to take a commanding 44-6 lead. The Panther defense also dominated the rest of the first half, allowing only two more first downs after the first Buchanan drive. The Bucks were able to get a pick six, which was promptly answered by the Panther offense, making the halftime score 52-14 in favor of Watervliet.
The second half saw scoring by both teams, as the Watervliet defense struggled a little. In the end though, the Panther offense proved to be too tough to stop with the final score set at 72-36.
Offensively, QB Zack Pickens again led the way. Pickens was 12/19 passing for 358 yards and 5 TD passes. Pickens also led the rushing attack with 21 rushes for 138 yards and 4 more TD’s on the ground. Senior WR Trent Boone led the receiving corps with 4 catches for 103 yards and a TD. Jakob Aldrich, Garrett Matthews, Lammarius Smith, and Bryant Kieft all had TD catches as well. Senior RB Dylan Lynch chipped in 9 carries for 47 yards, while Junior RB Kris Lenox added 5 rushes for 45 yards including his first career TD rush.
Defensively, Senior DT James Bell was a force to be reckoned with, particularly in the first half. DB, Jakob Aldrich had his second interception of the season, and Lammarius Smith had a nice game from his OLB position.
The Panthers (2-0, 0-0) return home next Friday for a showdown with Maple City Glen Lake (1-0). The Lakers were the Division 6 runner up in 2016. The evening will be unique in that there will be a JV-Varsity double header with the JV game beginning at 4:00 and the varsity game beginning at 7:00.