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The New Lexington Panthers look to the sidelines before the next play against Tri-Valley on Oct. 5, 2019.
The New Lexington Panthers look to the sidelines before the next play against Tri-Valley on Oct. 5, 2019.

Tri-Valley Pours On The Points Against New Lexington

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NEW LEXINGTON, Ohio- There is an old popular song called “Who Let the Dogs Out?” and the Tri-Valley Scotties busted out of their cage early and never looked back in the Gridiron Glory Game of the Week versus the New Lexington Panthers.

When it was time to go to war on the field, the big dog put their money where their mouth was. Tri-Valley came away with a lopsided 73-24 win over the Panthers. The Scotties run game looked like a track meet as they racked up 443 yards on the ground and nine rushing touchdowns.

On the opening drive of the game, the Scotties drove down the field in less than a minute and a half, only using four plays, and capped it off with a 62 yard touchdown scamper from running back Jordan Pantaleo. New Lexington was threatening to score on the following possession, getting down inside Scottie territory but a fumble from running back Christian Vance cut the drive short.

Tri-Valley would capitalize on this turnover, handing the ball off to the other feature back Blake Sands for a 30 yard touchdown putting the Scotties up 14-0 in the first quarter. New Lexington would come back down the field the next drive and answer the Scotties’ score with one of their own, a brotherly connection as Logyn Ratliff finds his older brother C.J. Ratliff for a 33 yard touchdown pass. A failed two-point conversion would make the score 14-6 Tri-Valley.

Tri-Valley would drive down the field once again but New Lex’s defense held, forcing Tri-Valley to settle for a field goal extending their lead to 17-6. New Lex looked to strike while the iron was hot and cut the deficit to one score, but a Logyn Ratliff pass was picked off by Tri-Valley linebacker Tyler Watts. Tri-Valley marched down the field and Jordan Pantaleo punched the ball in from five yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the night.

With a 24-6 lead, Tri-Valley opened up the flood gates and ran roughshod on the reeling New Lexington defense. After a defensive stop, the Scotties would get the ball back and get down inside the Panthers red zone on a great ball thrown by quarterback Aidan Fritter and an equally impressive catch from Blake Sands who found the end zone a couple plays later on a one yard run, his second touchdown of the night, putting the Scotties up 31-6.

New Lex needed a big play to shift momentum and keep the game within reach and that’s when C.J. Ratliff’s phone rang and he answered with a house call, a dazzling 95 yard kickoff return touchdown to cut the lead to 31-12. New Lexington desperately needed a stop but the powerful, downhill running from the Scotties had worn them down as Blake Sands took a handoff, hit a seam and took it to the house for a 65-yard touchdown putting Tri-Valley up 38-12. New Lexington tried to answer with a score of their own when C.J. Ratliff took the ensuing kickoff for what would have been his second kickoff return touchdown, but it was called back on an unfortunate holding penalty.

A few plays later, there was trouble for New Lex as quarterback Logyn Ratliff unloaded a pass that was intercepted by cornerback Ben Reiss setting up the Scotties inside of Panther territory. Tri-Valley would score yet another rushing touchdown, a short run from Jordan Pantaleo, his third of the night, putting the Scotties up 45-12 and almost slamming the door on any chance of a New Lex comeback.

Blake Sands was a spectacle to watch tonight as he ran for 261 yards on 26 carries, adding six touchdowns in the process.

Jordan Pantaleo didn’t have himself too bad of a night either with 146 yards and two touchdowns of his own. The 1-2 punch of Sands and Pantaleo tore up the New Lex defense for 408 yards and eight touchdowns, solidifying their status as potentially the best backfield in the MVL.

For New Lex, it was a long night on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Logyn Ratliff had trouble finding his stride, throwing for 220 yards on 21-29 passing and a touchdown. He also threw two interceptions, which matches his season total thus far in the season. C.J. Ratliff was a bright spot in the passing game with nine catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Tri-Valley improves to 4-2 and 3-1 in conference play and looks to build on this win and carry momentum into a game with Sheridan that has major conference implications and the winner of it could just win the entire MVL. New Lexington falls to 4-2 and 2-2 in conference play and looks to move on from this thrashing and pick up a win against a Crooksville team who has yet to win a conference game.