Panthers Look To Extend Winning Streak In Muskingum Valley League Matchup

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The New Lexington Panthers will be hitting the road this week to try to extend their winning streak to three games to start the season against their fellow Muskingum Valley Conference foe Morgan.

New Lexington (2-0) is off to a hot start to begin their 2018 campaign, as the Panthers cruised to a 48-0 victory over West Muskingum last week, with 29 of those points coming in the first quarter.

Offensively, the Panthers had their rushing attack on full display, as the three headed monster of Christian Vance, Seth Burgess and Seth Hinerman combined for 168 yards and five touchdowns on just 14 carries. 186 of the Panther’s 271 yards came from the run, but it was perhaps their defense that was the most impressive in the victory, as they pitched a shutout and forced three turnovers, including a 40-yard pick-six from Logyn Ratliff. Ratliff, the quarterback, also threw for 86 yards and a score.

As for Morgan, the Raiders were met with a tough conference opening defeat last week at the hands of Tri-Valley by a final score of 71-6.

The Raiders (0-2) had a tough time getting any type of momentum going on both sides of the ball against the defending Division III state runners-up. Offensively, the Raiders racked up just 63 yards, 35 of which came through the air from quarterback Lucas Waters. They also coughed up the ball three times and allowed 257 passing yards, both aspects that the Raiders will look to vastly improve upon in this week’s matchup.

One thing to look out for in this contest will be which team sets the tone in the first quarter, as these two teams both had completely opposite opening frames in their last games (Panthers led 29-0, Raiders trailed 34-0). The Panthers will more than likely go back to what worked well for them last week and attack heavily on the ground, and Morgan will have a tall task in front of them trying to contain a rushing attack that amassed an impressive 12 yards per carry last week.

When asked what approach he will take in attempting to earn his third victory of the season, New Lexington head coach Bill Franks reiterated that the Panthers will look to establish the tempo early and pick up right where they left off last week.

“Our goal is to always stay focused and play as a team. On offense we want to play fast and minimize mistakes as much as possible”.

You can catch highlights from this contest, as well as several other big games from the Southeast Ohio area, on Fridays at 11:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. on Gridiron Glory.