Saturday, September 16, 2023

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Panther Valley Defeats Shenandoah Valley as Two Players Make History

On Friday night, the Panther Valley Panthers clashed with the Shenandoah Valley Blue Devils. The game was a showcase of exceptional talent and record-breaking performances by both teams.
The action kicked off with Panther Valley's Brennan Kunkel dashed down the field, covering 71 yards to score a touchdown just 1 minute and 50 seconds into the game. The Panthers were off to a roaring start, but their point after touchdown attempt failed, leaving the score at Panther Valley 6, Shenandoah Valley 0.

Not to be outdone, Kunkel once again found the endzone with another stunning run, extending the Panther Valley lead to 13-0 in the first quarter.

Shenandoah Valley wasn't ready to back down, and quarterback Ben Dempster connected with wide receiver Nick Ryan for a short touchdown pass, narrowing the gap to Panther Valley 13, Shenandoah Valley 7 with just 1 minute and 10 seconds left in the first quarter. Sam Mentusky's kick secured the extra point, further igniting the Blue Devils' spirit.

At the end of the first quarter, the score stood at Panther Valley 13, Shenandoah Valley 7.

The second quarter continued the relentless back-and-forth battle. Kunkel's remarkable performance for Panther Valley saw another touchdown on the board, but their 2-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score at Panther Valley 19, Shenandoah Valley 7.

Shenandoah Valley refused to let the Panthers pull away and responded with a 72-yard touchdown run by Nick Ryan, bringing the Blue Devils within reach at Panther Valley 19, Shenandoah Valley 14. Mentusky's kick added the extra point, keeping the game within reach.

Panther Valley countered with yet another touchdown, this time an 18-yard run by Kunkel, but the 2-point conversion failed, setting the score at Panther Valley 26, Shenandoah Valley 14.

As the clock ticked down, Dempster and Ryan connected again with a long pass, bringing Shenandoah Valley to within five points at 26-21, closing the gap with just 4:09 left in the second quarter.

With only 10 seconds left in the half, Panther Valley's Kunkel managed one more remarkable run, this time from one yard out, securing the touchdown just before the halftime whistle blew. Unfortunately, their PAT attempt failed, leaving the score at Panther Valley 32, Shenandoah Valley 21.

As the teams retreated to the locker rooms at halftime, Panther Valley held a hard-fought lead of 32-21.

The third quarter saw both teams battling fiercely, but neither managed to add to their point tally. Panther Valley's defense held strong against the Blue Devils, maintaining their 11-point lead.

In the fourth quarter, Kunkel once again found the endzone for Panther Valley with another run, and this time their kick was good, expanding their lead to Panther Valley 39, Shenandoah Valley 21.

The night was not just about the game but also about setting records. Panther Valley's Head Coach Mark Lavine lauded Brennan Kunkel for his incredible achievement, setting a school record with a staggering 328 yards rushing in the win over Shenandoah.

Shenandoah Valley's Head Coach Ed Moran celebrated wide receiver Nick Ryan, who not only had an exceptional game but also set a Blue Devil record for Career Receiving Yardage. Nick Ryan now stands as Shenandoah Valley's Career Leader in Receiving Touchdowns and Yards, etching his name in the history books of football history.

In the end, it was a game that will be remembered for the breathtaking performances, the relentless spirit of both teams, and the records that were shattered. The Panther Valley Panthers emerged victorious with a final score of Panther Valley 39, Shenandoah Valley 21.

Story and Photos by J. Reed / Skook News