Brusly junior quarterback Nick Penell picked up right where his sophomore season ended to kickoff the 2018 season.
Penell rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 29 yards in last Friday’s 21-13 win over the Port Allen Pelicans to claim the Sugar Cane Classic trophy.
His performance earned Penell West Side Journal player of the week recognition.
Following Friday’s win, Penell downplayed the rivalry to some degree.
“It was just a regular game,” he said with a smile. “We’ll move on to the next game.”
Penell spearheaded a Panther offense that gashed the Pelicans for 306 yards with 180 of coming in the second half.
“In the fourth quarter, we just kept it going,” Penell said. “Our defense kept us in the game, got some turnovers.”
Penell’s sophomore season was his first as a starter after he elected not play football as freshman and only played basketball.
However, he did not disappoint on the gridiron. He completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 908 yards and 11 touchdowns against three interceptions.
As a runner, he was second on the team with 552 yards and seven additional touchdowns.
That was in a difference offense. This season, head coach Hoff Schooler and his coaching staff have implemented a new offense geared towards a more physical style of play, which showed last Friday.
Penell, along with running backs Tyler Tussey and Keandre Bynum had big nights. The quarterback said his sophomore campaign, along with the offseason helped him improve.
“I became more experienced,” Penell said after the win. “Knowing what to do and what not to do (with the ball).”
The two years Penell has played has been under Schooler and the coach complimented his quarterback on the work he has put in after last season.
“Nick’s had a great offseason for us,” the coach said. “He’s a leader and has been able to carry that leadership to this season. He’s good in the locker room, on the field and in the classroom and that’s all you can ask from your quarterback.”
Other notable performances:
Tyler Tussey of Brusly
The senior running back rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries with a score during Friday’s win over Port Allen. Tussey’s 100 yards was the most on the team.
Jacoby Howard of Port Allen
Port Allen’s sophomore quarterback rushed for 26 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s game and he completed 3-of-6 passes for 32 yards and touchdown through the air.
Van Bynum of Brusly
The Brusly middle linebacker finished the game with seven tackles, five for loss, with four sacks and two quarterback hurries.
Kyle Parker of Brusly
Junior linebacker accumulated 10 tackles, three for loss with one sack, one forced fumble and a pass breakup.
Keandre Bynum of Brusly
Bynum finished Friday’s game with 74 yards on 12 carries, good for over 6 yards per attempt.
Mallory Thibodeaux of Brusly
Thibodeaux finished the week with 20 kills, nine assists and an ace in two victories over Port Allen and McKinley for the Lady Panthers.
Mary-Cathryn Comeaux of Brusly
In the same two-game span as Thibodeaux, Comeaux racked up 20 assists, seven aces and two kills.