Panthers improve to 3-1 with win over Cards

By William Plaster - [email protected]

NAUGATUCK, W.Va. — The Tug Valley High School football team improved to 3-1 on the season with a 46-12 victory over the Sheldon Clark (Ky.) Cardinals on Friday night in Naugatuck.

Tug Valley’s ground game has been putting up some big numbers this season and Dawson Elia led the show once again with 110 yards on nine carries with two TD’s. Although Elia was not the only Panther to get into the end zone this round as three other Panthers rushed into the end zone during the game.

Noah Lucas got the ball rolling when the Panthers marched down to the lip of the cup and Lucas rolled into the end zone from 2 yards out with 11:01 left to play in the first quarter. QB Johnathan Blankenship completed a pass to Elia to add the 2-point conversion and the Panthers jumped ahead 8-0 early in the first quarter.

The Panthers returned in the first quarter with 6:45 left to play when Elia jumped into the end zone from 1 yard out and also added the 2-point conversion run to put the Panthers ahead 16-0.

The Panthers were not through in the first quarter of play because with 3:07 left to play Blankenship connected with Blake Dingess on an 11-yard TD reception to add more points to the score. The 2-point conversion failed but the Panthers still jumped ahead 22-0.

With only seconds remaining in the first quarter Zach Samuel was able to intercept a Sheldon Clark pass and return the ball 70 yards to the Panthers end zone to make the score 28-0.

Elia returned in the second quarter with his second rushing TD at the 5:37 mark from 8 yards out. The Panthers attempted an extra point kick but the kick was no good and the score stood at 34-0.

With 1:14 left to play before halftime Levi Davis found some room and dashed into the Panthers end zone from 17 yards out. The Panthers’ extra point kick failed but the score stood at 40-0 in favor of Tug Valley.

The third quarter was all Sheldon Clark as Mike Mullins crossed the goal line twice in the third to make the score 40-12.

Blake Dingess added the final points for the Panthers with 8:43 left to play in the game on a 21-yard foot race to the goal line.

The Panthers defense did well by holding Sheldon Clark to 222 yards of rushing on 47 carries and only 60 yards passing on four completions. Chris Ellis led the Panthers on defense with 12 tackles, five of which were for a loss of yardage. Chandler Carey had nine tackles, Lucas had eight, and Kyle Vance finished the night with six tackles.

On offense the Panthers stacked up 399 yards of total offense with 353 yards on the ground and 46 yards through the air. Elia led the way in rushing but was followed by Lucas who had 81 yards on only three carries and one TD, Davis who had 50 yards on four carries and one score, and Chandler Pack who finished with 26 yards on four carries. Blake Dingess added the last score for the Panthers.

Blankenship was 2-for-4 through the air with 46-yards and a TD throw. Lucas had one reception for 35-yards and Dingess hauled in one reception for 11 yards and a score.

The Panthers host the Tolsia Rebels this Friday night.

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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