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Little Panther Rundown, Week 7 (Brought to You by Bucks Run Oil)

The youth football season is approaching its final weeks. Playoff positions are being determined as the contenders continue to separate themselves near the top of the standings, as was the case when the Panthers traveled to Wilson to square off against the Vikings.

Est. Read Time: 10 mins

The youth football season is approaching its final weeks. Playoff positions are being determined as the contenders continue to separate themselves near the top of the standings, as was the case when the Panthers traveled to Wilson on a mild overcast October Sunday to square off against the Vikings.

Rookie Flags started the morning off and did not disappoint. They started fast and furious, scoring a bevy of touchdowns in the first half. The first possession opened with a 27-yard touchdown from #8 Brody Weiss, who with yet another format change kept the football for the duration of the first quarter. Next, #28 Jerry Thomas took it the distance from 40 yards out. The subsequent drive saw a few shorter runs before #3 Hudson Gonzales darted in for a 24-yard score, followed by a 40-yard touchdown by #18 Benjamin Gangi and yet another score of 40 yards by #21 Miles Bartholomew. The defense played well, sparked by a three-stop performance by #11 Ezekiel Hallman and stops from #10 Caden Gaffney, #14 Bryce Johnston and #2 Caius Wagner. The offense continued to hum along, adding a few more scores including a 40-yarder from #14 Bryce Johnston, a second score (a 21-yarder) from #28 Jerry Thomas and a final 10-yard score from #6 Ethan Nelson, set up by a 30-yard run by #11 Ezekiel Hallman. This group keeps improving, playing better every week. They don’t keep an official score or record for these teams, but this squad would certainly have more wins than losses.

Photos by Rick Favere

#21 Miles Bartholomew takes a handoff far side for a 40-yard touchdown just before halftime.


#2 Caius Wagner gets a flag pull in the second half.


#28 Jerry Thomas saves a touchdown with this flag snag.


#8 Brody Weiss gets a stop for loss.


The Competitive Flag Panthers played the second game of the day, and came into it looking for a victory. They appeared to have the game plan for success today, as they chewed up the time of possession in the first quarter with a steady diet of running plays. eventually leading to #12 Jayden Reifinger’s eight-yard touchdown run. The Vikings answered back with a touchdown of their own on the next play, and the Panthers had the ball back and a 7-6 lead as the first quarter expired. The Panther offense again consumed the clock with a mix of traditional running plays and just enough misdirections to keep the host team guessing. The Panthers eventually turned it over on downs but left the Vikings only enough time to run three plays, and were unable to move the ball before the halftime buzzer sounded, leaving the score 7-6. The third quarter started with the ball in Viking possession, and they only needed two plays to score the go-ahead touchdown. When they got the ball back, the Panthers used the same clock-chewing strategy that had them leading for most of the game. A steady mix of power runs and deceptive reverses had the Panthers deep into the red zone as time expired in the third. To open the final quarter, #24 Gavin Swierkowski took a quarterback keeper around the right side for a six-yard touchdown. The point-after attempt was no good, and the score was knotted up at 13 a piece. #15 Nicholas Ubert made two stops in four plays to force a Viking turnover on downs, which gave the Panthers a chance to take a late fourth quarter lead. #12 Jayden Reifinger took a 32-yard reverse to set the offense up with a first down and goal at the Viking seven-yard line. It took three plays to do it, but Jayden (who led the team with 113 rushing yards) earned his second touchdown of the afternoon. Having won the time of possession all game, the Vikings had little time left to mount a comeback, which ended when #2 Sean Guest secured a stop for loss flag pull preserving the win for the Panthers. This team has played very hard all season, and definitely deserved the victory. Congratulations to the boys and the coaches!

#12 Jayden Reifinger takes this handoff for 30 yards in the first quarter.


#24 Gavin Swierkowski runs a quarterback keeper up the sideline for 13 yards.


#31 Levi MIller gets a third quarter clock-eating carry.


#2 Sean Guest celebrates the final flag pull and the Panther victory.


Cheering for an early lead.


Getting the boys pumped up to close out the game.


The next game up featured the Junior Varsity squad, and the team was eager to keep themselves in the playoff hunt with a big win facing off against a 5-1 Viking team who sat second in the Colonial League standings. The Panthers started out on offense but went four and out, turning the ball over on downs. The defense then took the field and played pretty well, but eventually allowed a touchdown after a time-consuming Viking drive, ending the first quarter with a 6-0 lead. The Panther offense rattled off a few gains before being shut down again on fourth down. The Vikings didn’t waste any time, scoring in only two plays to take a 12-0 lead. The running lanes were getting clogged up all day by the Vikings, which frustrated the Panther offense and had this drive end in a punt while only two plays later the Vikings increased their lead with a passing touchdown. The Panthers attempted a pass of their own with a much different result–an interception–which allowed the Vikings to pad their lead with yet another first half touchdown that pushed the halftime lead to 27-0. #20 Grayson Schmell, despite giving at least three opposing players his increasingly famous stiff-arm, was held to 76 yards rushing while #3 Taylor Rohn added 20. Defensively, the team was paced by #16 Zachary Henn’s three tackles one for loss, while #2 Christian Chaffier also notched three tackles. The game ended at the same 27-0 score, and the boys fell to a 3-4 record. They currently sit fifth in the Colonial League standings at 3-4 and face the top-rated Northwestern Tigers Sunday. A victory here would do a lot for the confidence of the team in addition to boosting their playoff position.

#75 Jack Calabria (left) and #27 Eli Szlachtiamshym were not able to play this game, but showed up to support their team. Get well soon, guys!


#85 Brayden Frey chases after a fumble while #28 Jacob Peters fights off a block.


#20 Grayson Schmell gives a Viking linebacker a strong stiff arm.


The start of the gymnastics portion of the Panther halftime show.


#2 Christian Chaffier and #32 Parker Duh combine on a tackle for loss.


#3 Taylor Rohn splits a pair of Viking defenders while #8 Daniel DeTello holds his block.


Cheering to give the boys some spirit.


The final game of the afternoon was the Varsity Panthers’, who are currently riding a five-game winning streak, including two shutouts, and sit in a three-way tie for second place in the Colonial League playoff picture. They started the game with a bang, creating a Viking fumble on the kickoff return and getting the ball instead of going on defense as scheduled. Two plays later however, they gave it back on a fumble of their own. The defense stood up, forcing the host team to a turnover on downs in four plays, which allowed the offense to go back to work. They struck quickly as #36 Jackson Albert scored two plays into the drive from 34 yards out. Reliable kicker #10 Peter Albano put the conversion through the uprights to give Saucon an 8-0 lead at the end of the first. The Vikings tested the resolve of the Panther defense with a lengthy drive, but were held to no points as again the Vikings turned it over on downs. The Panthers sustained a lengthy drive of their own, which included a very nice pass and reception (featured below in photo sequence), but were unable to cash in with points, taking an 8-0 lead into halftime. Saucon started out the third quarter with another bang on the first play of the drive due to #36 Jackson Albert taking a 45-yard run to the house, increasing the lead (with the PAT) to 16-0. The defense played stout and forced another punt, on which they roughed the kicker, allowing the Vikings to keep possession and continue the drive all the way down to the Panther one-yard line. The defense kept fighting and eventually got the ball back when the Vikings couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone on four tries, keeping the score 16-0 heading into the fourth quarter. After getting out of the shadow of their end zone, the Panthers had the momentum snuffed out by a holding call and eventually turned the ball over on downs, allowing some time for a possible comeback. The defense was having none of that and shut down the Vikings for the rest of the game, winning by that same 16-0 score. #36 Jackson Albert led the way offensively with 99 rushing yards (seven more were nullified by a holding call) on five carries with two touchdowns and one reception for 24 yards. #10 Peter Albano was two of three passing for 35 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions while chipping in nine rushing yards plus four points in the kicking game, and #21 Zakary Zeigler contributed 35 yards on five carries. Again the Panther defense pitched a shutout behind the strong play of #56 Liam Stoneback who recorded nine tackles one for loss, #25 Anthony Maholland who also registered nine tackles and a sack, and #18 Hector Mateo who posted seven tackles along with a sack. This Panther team is on a roll, having won six games in a row with three of those wins coming in the form of shutouts. The varsity team is definitely one nobody wants to tangle with going towards the playoffs.

The teams travel to Northwestern Lehigh to take on the Tigers this Sunday starting at noon.

Saucon Source thanks Bucks Run Oil LLC for helping to underwrite the publication of this year’s Little Panther Rundown. Bucks Run Oil is a family-owned home heating oil and diesel supply business located in Lower Saucon Township. To learn more about them, please visit their website and follow Bucks Run Oil on Facebook and Instagram.

#36 Jackson Albert creates a fumble on the opening kickoff recovered by #21 Zakary Zeigler.


#18 Hector Mateo literally throws aside his block, sending the Viking linebacker airborne while #21 Zakary Zeigler runs toward the opening.


Cheering for yet another early lead.


Sequence Shot #1: #10 Peter Albano facing pressure on the rollout.


Sequence Shot #2: He gets hit as he throws.


Sequence Shot #3: A strike to #36 Jackson Albert.


Sequence Shot #4: He holds on despite the bounce off his facemask.


Sequence Shot #5: He gets tackled out of bounds for a 24-yard gain.


The Varsity Cheerleaders’ halftime performance.



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Rick Favere

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