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Panthers rout Raiders

CHESAPEAKE – Sometimes, figures don’t like but liars figure.

This time, the figures told the truth.

The Chesapeake Panthers used the 100-yard running of Mike Stapleton and Jaran Bartoe to rack up 387 rushing yards as a team and breeze past the River Valley Raiders 42-8 Friday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

“We played well on both sides,” Panthers coach Phil Davis said. “The stats kind of tell the story.”

Stapleton and Bartoe were quite the storytellers. Stapleton amassed 180 yards on just six carries and Bartoe had 109 yards on only five attempts.

Chesapeake built a 42-0 halftime lead before Davis pulled his starters and played his backups in the second half.

“I did tell our kids sometimes it’s the other team that makes the difference and sometimes it’s you. Tonight, it was our guys. We went out the first half and played well,” Davis said.

Chesapeake wasted little time getting the scoring underway.

After a River Valley punt, quarterback Aaron Donohoe ran 60 yards on the first play and it was 6-0.

Stapleton then intercepted a pass on first down following the ensuing kickoff and Jaran Bartoe scored on a 1-yard run. Donohoe passed to Aaron Ross for the conversion and a 14-0 lead.

Getting the ball back, Stapleton made quick work of the Raiders defense with a 41-yard gallop for a touchdown. Kersten Harris ran for the two-point conversion and a 22-0 lead.

Chesapeake returned a shanked punt to the 4-yard line and two plays later Harris plowed into the end zone for the score. Bartoe ran for the conversion and it was 30-0 with just 3:37 left in the first quarter.

Stapleton took over in the second quarter with two long touchdown runs covering 70 and 53 yards and it was 42-0 at the break.

River Valley (1-8, 0-4) avoided the shutout on a 35-yard run by Clayton Curnutte with 3:03 left in the game.

The Panthers are now 4-5 on the season and 3-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference. A win over rival Fairland next Friday would clinch at least a share of the league title and give them a .500 season.

“This gives us something else to play for. We told the kids last week this wasn’t decided unless they thought it was,” Davis said.