Saucon Valley is still rolling along in this 2018 high school football season. The Panthers followed last week’s “mud bowl” victory over Bangor by defeating the Wilson Warriors in another mercy-rule win. With the 49-14 pummeling, Saucon Valley improved to a 7-0 record while the young Warriors fell to 0-7.
The Panthers started the game on offense and wasted no time moving the ball. Following a Christian “Mongo” Alling kickoff return deep into Warrior territory, Saucon Valley found zone only four plays later. Set up by a 17-yard completion from Dante Mahaffey to Patrick Morrissey, the Panthers scored their first touchdown of the game when Ian Csicsek followed the Hogs and barreled through the Wilson defense for a 9-yard score. Sean Cyphers hit the extra-point and at 10:24 of the 1st quarter, Saucon led the Warriors 7-0.
The Warriors did not hesitate to answer. After the kickoff return out to their own 40-yardline, Wilson called on their fullback, Kolby Flank, on a quick dive right into the heart of the Panther defense. Flank popped the Panther defense and rumbled for a 60-yard touchdown run. The Warrior PAT was good and at the 10:08 mark of the opening period the game was knotted at 7-7.
Saucon Valley started their next possession at their own 17-yardline but was able to drive all the way down to the Warrior eight-yardline. However, the Panther offense stalled and they were forced to turn the ball over to the Warriors on downs. Saucon’s defense immediately stepped up and stiffened to force a three-and-out punt. The Panthers’ Justin Kyra took advantage of a great Curtis Clifford block and returned the Warrior punt all the way down to Wilson’s 17-yardline. Two plays later, Clifford followed a punishing lead-block by Mongo and found his way into the endzone. With 3:21 remaining in the 1st quarter, Saucon Valley took control 14-7.
Once again the Panthers forced the Warriors to go 3-and-out. The Wilson punt pinned Saucon deep at their own nine-yardline. However, Ian “Sizzler” Csicsek and the Panther offense executed a “counter” play that was good for a 56-yard run on 1st down. Two plays later, Curtis Clifford found a crease in the Warrior defense and sprinted into the endzone for a 30-yard score. Cyphers pinpointed the PAT to increase the Panther lead to 21-7.
On the following drive, Wilson was able to earn a 1st-down, but nonetheless was forced to punt the ball back to the Panthers. Saucon took possession at their own 42-yardline and marched the distance in eight plays. On 3rd-and-goal from the Warrior four-yardline, the Panthers’ Dante Mahaffey punched the ball in for a score when he rolled right looking to pass, but decided to keep and run it in for a touchdown. The PAT missed its mark, but Saucon closed out the 1st half with a 27-7 lead.
The Warriors received the 2nd half kickoff and moved to the Panther 33-yardline where the drive stalled. Saucon Valley fired up the offense and responded with a 10-play drive back the other way. “Sizzler” and the Panthers eventually pounded the ball up the gut for a 4-yard touchdown run. Saucon made good on a two-point conversion and with 4:31 left in the 3rd quarter led the Warriors 35-7.
Saucon Valley’s Justin Kyra picked off an overthrown pass on Wilson’s next possession to put the Panther offense right back on the field. Eleven plays later Saucon was back on the scoreboard with another Csicsek touchdown up the gut. Cyphers’ PAT was good and with 10:35 left in the game the scoreboard was tilted toward the Panthers 42-7. The mercy-rule clock went into effect.
Wilson was able to hit a quick-strike, 72-yard touchdown run against the Panther reserves which closed the gap to 42-14. But Saucon Valley closed out the game with a methodical 11-play drive that ended with a six-yard touchdown run by freshman, Stone Butler. Anthony Kittelstad hit the extra point and the final scoreboard read 49-14 in favor of the Panthers.
Panther Flash Stats!…..
- Ian Csicsek carried 30 times for 306 yards and 3 TDs.
- Dante Mahaffey completed 5 of 9 passes and had a rushing TD.
- Curtis Cifford rushed 3 times for 47 yards and 2 TD’s.
- Jared Harka tallied 2 tackles for loss.
- Justin Kyra had an interception.
- The Panther offense generated 30 first downs.
- The Panther defense limited Wilson to only 34 offensive plays.
Up Next: It will be a Friday night filled with Homecoming festivities for Saucon when the undefeated Panthers (7-0) host the Northwestern Lehigh Tigers (5-2). This very well may be the biggest challenge for the Panthers so far this season.
Good luck Panthers, the Source is with you!
Note: Photos by Chris Christian. Click here to purchase these and other photos from Friday night’s game.