WHITEMARSH >> The Plymouth Whitemarsh crowd watched two different approaches to scoring on Friday night.
The hometown Colonial football team chipped away in order to move the chains. It was all in efforts to put points on the board and keep Cheltenham’s explosive offense off the field. The visiting Panthers however, rarely searched for 10-yard drive extending calls and went for the big play time and time again.
The Panthers picked up yardage in a hurry all night long and it led to a 28-14 win. From the first drive of the game the coaching staff dialed up the right play calls. Led by the right arm of captain and quarterback Adonis Hunter, the road club held off the hungry Colonials.
“We had a good game plan this week,” Hunter said. “We came out and executed. Everybody does things well on our team. We did well in practice and we work at getting balls on time and on target.”
Hunter completed all eight of his passes and totaled 213 yards. Four of his throws were over 40 yards, three tosses went for touchdowns, and he also ran one into the end zone himself. The Panthers (5-2, 2-1 SOL American) passing prowess opened holes for run game late and 404 total yards of offense helped secure the victory.
“We think we are really athletic on the edge,” Panthers coach Ryan Nase said. “We wanted to come out and throw the ball, keep them in their two-high-look and then be able to run the ball during the second half.”
The Panthers running back Jamir Barnes finished with over 100 yards of rushing and receiving and was one of the recipients of Hunter’s touchdown passes. Barnes did cough up a fumble in the first half and ball security by the Panthers was a big reason he Colonials (1-5, 0-3) only trailed by seven points at the half. The Panthers fumbled five times and three were recovered by the defense.
“We have to clean it up and protect the ball,” Nase said. “If we continue to lose the turnover battle we are not going to beat the Hatboro-Horshams, Upper Moreland, and other teams. We are really trying not to think about playoffs. Our biggest goal is to go 1-0 every week. Then we will see how things shake out.”
The Panthers hit the home run toss to open the game, but Colonials junior Mike Paciello answered right back with a 42-yard touchdown run of his own. Paciello led the Colonials offense with 142 yards on the ground. Quarterback Larry McLaughlin extended drives with his legs, but in the second the run-pass-option plays were contained and the Panthers closed out the game with a strong defensive effort.
“We were moving the ball well, but penalties hurt our momentum” Paciello said. “I am still playing with a little injured, but I am feeling better each week and feeling more ready.”
The Colonials reached 21 first downs against the Panthers defense, but were unable keep pace. Coach Dan Chang’s club mustered up 373 total yards of offense in the loss. The Colonials showed fight, but similar to how much of the season has gone, not enough finish.
“We have a lot of young guys making big plays,” Paciello said. “Chris McLaughlin, a freshman, had two forced fumbles tonight. We are still learning, but we are getting better each week.”
“Every game is a must win,” Panthers Hunter said. “We just take it one game at a time. I could not even tell you who we play in two weeks. We want to win every week.”
Cheltenham 28, PW 14
Cheltenham 7 14 7 0 – 28
Plymouth Whitemarsh 7 7 0 0 – 14
CH – Adonis Hunter 57 yard pass to Lateef Harris (Justin Grady kick good)
PW – Mike Paciello 42 yard run (Nick Choi kick)
PW – Tristan Pierce 13 yard run (Choi kick)
CH – Hunter 50 yard pass to Jamir Barnes (Grady kick)
CH – Hunter one yard run (Grady kick)
CH – Hunter nine yard pass to Emfinger (Grady kick)
First downs 14 21
Rushing yards 191 283
Passing yards 213 90
Total yards 404 373
Punts-avg. 0-0 2-28
Fumbles-lost 5-3 0-0
Penalties-yards 8-65 7-55
Cheltenham – Barnes 13-149; Edwards 4-13; Hunter 4-0, TD; Williams 6-27; Sykes 1-2;
P.W. – Paciello 15-142, TD; Dresnin 7-28; Pierce 2-8; McLaughlin 16-78; T. Pierce 2-17, TD; Trioli 2-10; Martin 2-0
Cheltenham – Hunter 8-8-0 – 213, 3 TDs; Sykes 0-1-0 – 0
P.W. – McLaughlin 9-21-3 – 90; Falgoise 0-1-0 – 0
Cheltenham – Harris 2-63, TD; Emfinger 3-29, TD; Barnes 3-121, TD;
P.W. – Dresnin 2-13; Moran 1-14; T. Pierce 3-29; C. Pierce 1-8; Lynch 3-26;
Cheltenham – Foreman
P.W. – May
Cheltenham – Gaffin, Harris, Barnes