Panther Sophomores Complete the Season Sweep
October 23, 2011Lakeville North Football
The Panther Sophomores earned a perfect record this year, battling a tough Prior Lake team to a 22-8 victory. This group of sophomores continued its dominance of the South Suburban (second conference title in as many years) and continued the string of sophomore victories at 16 and counting, giving the varsity another class of unbeaten players to add to an already well-stocked roster. In similar fashion, the Panther O-line dominated the game, blasting huge holes for Jamiah Newell. The first drive of the game proved to be the easiest...the most difficult aspect of the drive was keeping Newell fresh after each ten yard run. After plowing ahead for the touchdown, Zach Beier threw a perfect pass to Bruneau in the endzone for the 2-point conversion. Prior Lake answered with a trick play of its own, throwing a toss pass at the Panthers to tie the score; however, the Panthers answered again in the first half, running and throwing the ball down the field until a crucial third down and goal beckoned a key play. With two choices, a shift to a run or staying in formation to pass, Beier chose to keep the pass and found Lee Edwards on a quick hitch right behind the blitzing Laker linebacker. The rest of the half proved a defensive struggle, as the Lakers found the only recipe to halt the Panther attack: penalties. The Panther defense proved tough once again, though, bailing out the offense by repeatedly thwarting a talented and diverse Prior Lake offense. On the day, the defense caused multiple turnovers. Early in the fourth quarter, Beier was knocked out of the game by a late hit, but Matt Schiefelbein performed well in relief: his main job...hand the ball off to Newell and watch him leave Prior Lake defenders in the dust, as he broke the game open with a 70 yard TD run. Schiefelbein connected on the 2-point conversion, again to Bruneau, and the Panther defense held again, with Josh Wagner coming into play safety for the injured Beier. Wagner ended any Laker rally by completing the tip drill as he picked off a desperation Laker pass. The Panther tackling improved throughout the game, with Connor Hyden providing multiple instructional-type tackles, as he picked up running backs off the ground...Coach Tony Market couldn't have displayed proper form any better. The offensive line ended the game and season by plowing huge holes, even as everyone watching knew what was coming: power and lead. The Panthers were able to line up in Victory formation for the eighth time this season!
Not only did the Panther Sophomores complete an undefeated season, but they also made this one of the easiest years to coach. The guys bought into the team concept, they didn't complain, they battled for each other, and they faced adversity with a positive attitude and an intense will to win. The team was led by multiple players, some who talked more and others who just led by example...either way, the team was in good hands and followed the right people. As a coaching staff, we only hope that the guys continue to employ the same skills they displayed on the field this year in every facet of their lives: great effort, great teamwork, positive attitude, and the ability to serve the team in whatever role possible to bring success for the collective group...a skill they will use in every family, whether it be their Panther family or their own family. It was an honor to coach this group!
Thanks for the memories and good luck on Friday nights!
Coach Pothen, Coach Market, Coach Anderson, Coach Sindelir