The Tug Valley Panthers had a complete team effort in their 20-12 win over Man.
However, the first quarter was slow paced brawl between the two teams.
Neither team was able to put together a complete drive and went scoreless in the first quarter.
On the opening play of the second quarter, Man went 97 yards for a touchdown on the longest run of the game with 11:44 left in the first half. The Hillbillies jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
The Panthers struggled to answer back in the second quarter going into the half down 6-0.
Man extended their lead 12-0 in the third with 9:28 to play in the quarter running the ball in from a yard out.
The Panthers needed a jolt of energy and they got it from the legs of their quarterback as Ethan Varney marched the offense down the field and ran into the end zone with 5:46 left in the third to cut the Hillbilly lead to 12-8 after a successful two-point conversion.
With 3:52 left in the third quarter, Tug Valley’s defense was able to force a turnover on downs to get the ball on their own 46-yard line.
Varney and the Panthers scored again with only 44 seconds remaining in the third as he scampered in from one yard out making the score 14-12 in favor of the Panthers.
The Panther defense stood strong forcing another turnover on downs off of a Caleb May sack with 10:22 to play in the fourth quarter.
The offense responded to the defense’s ability to stop the Hillbillies by handing the ball to Zack Savage who ran it in from three yards out to extend the Panther lead to 20-12 with 8:39 left in the game.
The defense answered the call one again late in the game. With 6:48 left in play, the Panther defense forced a third turnover on downs, however the offense stalled out giving Man one last opportunity to tie the game.
The Panther defense on the other hand, had the playoffs on their mind and was looking for a play to make.
Caleb May came away with a clutch interception to put the nail in the coffin and seal the Panther victory over the Man Hillbillies 20-12.