Layoff hampers Panthers in loss

Published 2:41 am Monday, August 30, 2021

Chesapeake Panthers’ Levi Blankenship (4) goes up in the air to intercept a pass during Saturday’s game. Despite the big defensive play, the Panthers lost to the Minford Falcons, 33-0. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker

CHESAPEAKE — There are reasons the Chesapeake Panthers had their struggles on Saturday night.
Shut down for 10 days due to COVID with no practice and missing their first game, the Panthers showed all the signs of the unfortunate happenings that affected their play as the Minford Falcons rolled to a 33-0 win.
The Panthers only trailed 6-0 at the half despite their execution woes. Minford finally took advantage of the Panthers inactivity and having played last week as they outscored Chesapeake 27-0 in the second half.
Chesapeake (0-1) got an interception from Levi Blankenship with 8:46 on the first quarter clock but couldn’t capitalize as they missed a 30-yard field goal with 3:04 to go in the quarter.
Minford then drove to the Panthers’ 38 only to have Dilen Caldwell pick off a Devin Parker pass.
The Falcons (1-1) finally converted a drive with Jeff Pica running 6 yards for the score and it was 6-0.
Chesapeake put together its own drive only to be halted at the Falcons 28 when Ethan Conally intercepted a pass.
But things changed in the second half as Minford scored on its first three possessions of the second half.
Pica – a 5-9, 200-pound sophomore – ran 17 yards for the score and Myles Montgomery kicked the conversion and it was 13-0.
The Falcons got the ball right back on an interception by Trenton Zimmerman at the Panthers’ 38 to set up a keeper by Parker for a 3-yard touchdown run and it was 19-0.
Pica ran 6 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter and Montgomery’s kick pushed the lead to 26-0.
The final Minford touchdown was apropos as another interception created a touchdown. Tysen Kingery picked off a pass and returned it 75 yards for the score and Montgomery added the conversion and it was 33-0 with 2:07 to play.
Chesapeake had only 120 total yards — all on the ground. Levi Blankenship and 31 yards on 9 carries, Marcus Burnside had 31 yards on 11 rushes and Landon Preston 29 yards on 5 attempts.
The Falcons had 260 yards rushing as Pica ran 19 times for 129 yards. Parker was 13-of-21 passing for 101 yards with two interception.
The Panthers play at Symmes Valley on Friday.
Minford 0 6 13 14 = 33
Chesapeake 0 0 0 0 = 0
Second Quarter
Mn – Jeff Pica 6 run (kick failed)
Third Quarter
Mn – Jeff Pica 17 run (Myles Montgomery kick)
Mn – Devin Parker 3 run (kick failed)
Fourth Quarter
Mn – Jeff Pica 6 run (Myles Montgomery kick)
Mn – Tysen Kingery 75 interception return (Myles Montgomery kick)
Mn Ch
First downs 16 8
Rushes-yards 34-260 42-120
Passing yards 101 0
Total yards 361 120
Cmp-Att-Int 13-21-2 0-6-3
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 4-60 5-35
Punts-average 2-30.5 5-28.6
Individual Leaders
RUSHING —Minford: Jeff Pica 19-129, Devin Parker 8-72, Randall Schreick 4-32, Tysen Kingery 3-27; Chesapeake: Levi Blankenship 9-31, Ben Bragg 9-13, Marcus Burnside 11-31, Dilen Caldwell 8-16, Landon Preston 5-29.
PASSING — Minford: Devin Parker 13-21-2 101; Chesapeake: Ben Bragg 0-6-3.
RECEIVING — Minford: Colin Parker 3-33, Jeff Pica 2-8, Trenton Zimmerman 2-18, J.D. Matiz 1-minus 1, Ethan Conally 5-43; Chesapeake: None.

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