Updated Sun, Aug 31, 2014 4:51 pm
Looking at the 49-15 final score, one might think the Maysville Panthers dominated the Crooksville Ceramics in all four quarters, but that was not the case Thursday night at the Maysville Athletic Complex.
It was a game of two halves, and Crooksville (0-1, 0-1 MVL) was leading the Panthers 15-14 with just under a minute left in the first half. Maysville (1-0, 1-0 MVL) senior Cougar Clarke would not let his team go into the half behind the Ceramics, and decided to take matters into his own hands.
Clarke picked off Crooksville quarterback Tanner German and ran the ball back 102 yards the other way for a touchdown, vaulting the Panthers to a 21-15 lead as they went into halftime.
“Anytime you stop a team before the half and make it seven points your way, that’s a huge momentum swing,” Maysville head coach Craig Clarke said.
Turnovers and penalties plagued the Panthers in the first half, but they were able to kick it into gear in the second half as the offense finally showed its potential.
“We made uncharacteristic mistakes,” coach Clarke said of his team. “We played well offensively the whole game, and the defense eventually settled down and did their job.”
The defense pulled its weight in the second half as well, holding the Ceramics scoreless and only allowing four first downs the remainder of the game.
“We did a decent job of gang tackling,” Clarke said. “[Crooksville] has a big fullback and we did a good job containing him.”
Crooksville and Maysville each ran 52 plays, but Maysville was more efficient with their opportunities, as the Panthers finished with 426 total yards while Crooksville only managed 164.
Maysville got the job done on the ground, gaining 377 of their 426 yards via the running game. Senior quarterback Jacob Miller finished with 58 rushing yards and one touchdown, while finishing 3-for-5 with 49 yards and no touchdowns through the air.
The Panthers will travel to New Lexington (0-1) next Friday and Crooksville will host Bishop Rosecrans (1-0) for the Ceramics home opener. Both games are scheduled to kick-off at 7:00 p.m.
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