Soph Game Highlights
Lakeville North Breaks Eastview’s Streak over the South Suburban!
Before the clock started, the sophomore Panthers heard Eastview break down as a team with one word: Unbroken…The Panthers did not heed the warning, as they broke Eastview’s 10 game winning streak, including last week’s victory over Wayzata, with a 16-0 victory on Thursday. The hero of the day was the defense. As Jesse Cardenas stepped up to varsity to start on Friday night, a host of Panther defenders filled the void in shutting down the 2011 conference champions. Dakota Toedter and Jordan Cardenas stepped onto the field for the first time this season, adding more depth to a defense that has now shutout opponents for 11 straight quarters. Through a variety of new defensive looks, the Panthers were stout against the run and pass, stifling all attempts by the Lightning to reach the end zone. The Panther offense moved the ball well on the first drive, using the air and ground; however, the Eastview defense provided tougher sledding the rest of the game as the Panther O was thwarted multiple times in the red zone. With the game still in reach at 9-0, Drew Stewart connected with Connor Flack on a pass play to push the lead to 16-0. The second best drive of the game may have been the last, as the Panther offensive line took over, plowing through the Eastview defenders on the ground, and North was able to keep the ball with the last few kneel downs.
On Friday, the Panthers had a bit of trouble getting out of the gate but surged ahead of the Lightning 16-6. Once again the Panther O imposed a balanced attack (Grant Gunderson hit Kyle Rhodus with a seam pattern for a long TD, and Lucas Westrich stretched the field with another long TD run) but could not capitalize on a few drives late in the game. Eastview provided the heroics in this game, as a long TD run and pass were employed in the comeback with a 20-16 win at North.
This week the Panthers travel to Bloomington Jefferson to take on the Jaguars.
Fast Start for North Propels Team to Victory in Week 2!
The sophomore Panthers learned from last week’s slow start against South, pouncing on Kennedy with three quick touchdowns in the first half. After two stalled drives before half, the Panther offense roared to life again in the second half, scoring three more TDs in route to a 40-0 shutout of the Eagles. The offensive line provided the lift for the Panthers, as the running backs, receivers, and QBs were kept clean throughout the day. Six different players scored touchdowns for the Panthers: Drew Stewart, Connor Flack, Austin Hegseth, Lucas Westrich, Noah Peterson, Brett Herber. The Panther D delivered a bagel, holding Kennedy to zero first downs until Kennedy’s final drive, which was thwarted in Panther territory to preserve the shutout.
The Panthers also traveled to South on Friday, having already earned a 30-0 victory over South in the previous week. The Panthers struggled out of the gate, as the Cougars were ready for the rematch. After falling behind 8-0, the Panthers clawed their way back, opening up the game with some big passes. Multiple fumbles slowed down the Panthers, but the offense still put up 26 points by the end of the day. The defense, after giving up an early TD, shut down the Cougars for the second straight week, and the final score was 26-8. Many players were able to play both sides of the ball, adding a fun element to the game and giving guys the chance to see what it’s like for their teammates.
This week, the Panthers face the 2011 undefeated conference champions: the Eastview Lightning. Both Thursday and Friday will be tough games, allowing the Panthers to test themselves against one of the best teams in state, as Eastview beat Wayzata 14-6 last week.
Thursday, August 30: There was no need for drama or comebacks on Thursday, as the Panthers played stingy defense from the first whistle to the last, the offensive line plowed huge holes, and the backs and receivers made big plays, shredding the opposing defense for a 30-0 victory over Lakeville South. Grant Gunderson and Kyle Rhodus spread the ball around the offense, with Paul Juhnke, Sam Matthews, Garrett Greer, Riley Crawford, Cole Tousignant, and Lucas Westrich catching passes and carrying the rock for North. Congratulations on another win during week one! Next week the Panthers host the Bloomington Kennedy Eagles on Wednesday and travel to Lakeville South for a rematch on Friday.