Panthers knock Comets out of sky 53-7
ELDON – The Pekin Panthers scored the first 46 points of the game on their way to a breezy win against Cardinal Friday night in Eldon, 53-7.
The Comets began the year 3-0 but have had rude wake up calls the past two weeks, beginning with a 53-0 defeat to Lynnville-Sully the week before and continuing with this most recent lopsided loss to Pekin. The Panthers, meanwhile, have built a little momentum going into their upcoming matchup later this week with the aforementioned Lynnville-Sully team. Lynnville-Sully improved to 5-0 Friday by clobbering Winfield-Mt. Union 44-6.
The Panthers continued a trend they began early in the season by using a steady running attack peppered with the occasional long pass play. Caleb Comstock completed three of his five passes, all for touchdowns, to amass 98 yards through the air.
Tyler Copeland was the Panthers’ leading rusher with 107 yards on 15 attempts, including a touchdown. Trever Northup ran for 65 yards on seven attempts, including one for a score. Garrett Greiner made the most of his two touches as he collected 39 yards. Torell Washington carried the ball four times and ran for 29 yards. Comstock and Keaton Baayen each scored a touchdown via the run.
Cardinal’s quarterback Trey Albert threw only one pass and it was incomplete. The team had trouble gaining ground against a tough Panther defense as the Comets collected 110 total yards to the Panthers’ 382. Marcus Olson was perhaps the brightest Comet Friday night as he scored the team’s lone touchdown while gaining 75 yards on 10 attempts. Trenton Durflinger ran for 28 yards on nine touches.
Levi Long was the Panthers’ leading receiver with two catches, both for touchdowns, and 64 yards in all. Baayen caught a touchdown pass for 34 yards.
Connor Reed led the Panthers in tackles with four, including one for a loss. Zach Hammes had three tackles, one for negative yardage. Kaden Baker had two tackles for a loss, including a quarterback sack. Chandler Eckley picked up two tackles. Copeland had the team’s other sack.
Austin Bride led the Comets in tackles with eight, two of which were behind the line of scrimmage. Bryce Benedict brought down four Panthers, one for a loss. Olson had two tackles, one for a loss. Seth Steen and Jacob Bonner each registered a tackle for a loss.
Monico Requena returned a punt 58 yards for a Panther score, and Eckley returned a kickoff 57 yards. For Cardinal, Olson returned three kickoffs for an average of 28 yards, his longest being a 52-yard run.
Levi Rohr kicked off twice for a total of 86 yards for Pekin. Trevor Albert kicked off twice for Cardinal and amassed 67 yards. Trevor Albert also averaged 29 yards on his six punts, including one for 40 yards.
Both teams have a record of 3-2. While Pekin hosts an undefeated Lynnville-Sully team Friday, Cardinal hopes to return to its winning ways at 4-1 New London.