The Brusly Panthers won their homecoming game Friday night against the Baker Buffalos 19-6 in what head coach Erik Willis called a “big win.”
“Our kids prepared well. We made some mistakes, but for the most part it was a big win that we needed,” said Willis.
The Panthers’ stout defense held the Buffalo run game in check, as Baker finished the game with -23 yards on 24 carries.
The Panthers were first to score on a drive that started with Sam Williams’ rush for 23 yards putting the Panthers near midfield. Blake Manola, Darien Cobbs, and Jaylon Green took turns moving the ball down the field until Green rushed the final three yards for a touchdown in the first play of the second quarter.
Baker, though, struck back with a 20-yard pass to Preston Bell for a touchdown that tied the teams 6-6 with 6 minutes left in the second quarter.
With 2:43 until halftime, Manola threw a 25 yard pass to Kwanston Adkins for a Panthers touchdown on a fourth down and nine.
A quarterback sack by Montel Williams and a tackle of Lester Scott by Caleb Henderson ensured that the Buffs wouldn’t have another chance to score in the first half of the game.
At halftime, Brusly held the lead, 12-6.
Brusly’s first scoring drive of the second half again began with a long Sam Williams run. The Panther running back rushed for 49 yards, bringing the Panthers to the Buffs’ 20 yard line. Carlsel Alexander carried the final 15 yards into the end zone, scoring again for the Panthers, bringing the score to 19-6.
Buffalos’ quarterback Treylon Anderson was sacked by Austin Watts on a third down for a 10 yard loss, resulting in a Baker punt.
Carlsel Alexander and Sam Williams helped push the Panthers forward to the Buffs’ 19, but the Panthers were unable to score again.
At the opening of the fourth quarter, Carlsel Alexander scored a 50 yard touchdown, only to have it called back due to a holding penalty on the Panthers. Alexander then fumbled at the Buffs’ 44, which was recovered by Baker.
An Austin Watts tackle prevented Preston Bell from advancing downfield, followed by quarterback sacks by Josh Allen and Joshua Oubre. Caleb Henderson got in on the defensive action, breaking up a pass, nearly intercepting the ball.
“Austin Watts had a good game defensively,” reflected Coach Willis. “He’s been playing really well and had a real good sack. The whole defensive line played extremely well. They were on the quarterback all night. Just about every one of them had a sack. Overall, it was a good team effort.”