NAUGATUCK – After two weeks of regular season football action most teams are beginning to get a feel for how the season will go.
The Tug Valley Panthers have won both of the games they have played in so far.
Friday night the Panthers (2-0) will travel to play the Van Bulldogs (2-0).
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
One common denominator between both teams is the Meadow Bridge Wildcats. The Wildcats faced off against Van for the first game of the season and lost by a score of 34-16. Next, the Wildcats traveled to Tug Valley where they lost to the Panthers 64-28.
If the scores are any indication of a preview the odds would be in favor of the Panthers, but this is Friday night high school football and anything can happen on a given night.
Tug Valley Coach Tony Clusky and the Panthers have been showing pure bravado on the football field this year.
Before the season began the entire football buzz was about Jeremy Dillon’s stellar freshman performance. Dillon earned all-state recognition and all-area recognition. Dillon has done very well so far this season, gathering 33 yards on nine carries and catching three touchdown passes over a two game span. But he’s not the only weapon that the Panthers have with them.
Quarterback Tyler Conley has been the leader of his team so far. Conley has completed 8 of his 14 pass attempts, passed for 206 yards and has thrown five touchdowns so far this season. Calvin Blankenship has been on the receiving end of most of those passing touchdowns thrown by Conley.
Blankenship has racked up 213 yards on four receptions and scored on three catches.
Corbin Oliver has led the ground game for the Panthers, with 15 carries for 283 yards, earning 18.9 yards per carry, and scoring three rushing touchdowns. Phillip Lucas is not far behind Oliver with 125 yards on 15 carries.
Defensively Ike Starr leads the way for the Panthers with 16 total tackles in two games.
So far for the Bulldogs most of the rushing work has been done by sophomore Brady Grant. Grant has rushed for 208 yards on 20 carries and has scored five rushing touchdowns. Senior Tyler Stewart leads the Bulldogs in all-purpose yards with 226 yards. Stewart has 26 rushing yards, 57 receiving yards and 143 special teams return yards.
Tug Valley currently sit in fifth place in the Gazette-Mail football poll in Class A.
(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)