(Photo courtesy Lori Ann Spachek)
The win moved the Panthers — 4-3 overall — to 2-0 in district play and sets up a big showdown this Friday at home against Uniontown. The 3-4 Eagles are also 2-0 in district competition following a 54-6 home win over Yates Center. The winner of that contest will capture the District 1 championship, while the loser will earn the runner-up spot.
On the other side, Pleasanton dropped to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in district play. The Blue-Jays will close out the regular season on Friday with a home game against Yates Center.
Colgan set the tone early last Friday against Pleasanton. The Panthers jumped on the scoreboard with a three-yard touchdown run by Blaise Dawson. Later in the opening quarter, Domenico Bevilacqua broke loose for a 17-yard scamper to the end zone to extend the lead to 14-0 after 12 minutes of action.
Pleasanton got back into it early in the second quarter. Dale Gillespie found Karsten McKee on a seven-yard scoring strike. Gillespie then hooked up with Cole Cunningham for the conversion to narrow the gap to 14-8. Yet, the Panthers extended the lead once again before the break, getting a 14-yard pass play from Gianni Piccini to Andrew Lomshek to take a 21-8 edge into the intermission.
Colgan eventually opened things up after the break. Bevilacqua dove into the end zone from a yard out to push the margin to 27-8 after three quarters. The Panther defense got into the scoring early in the fourth quarter as Kannon Keller picked off a pass and returned it 50 yards for a score and a 33-8 advantage.
Pleasanton was able to cut into the margin slightly on a 10-yard scoring strike from Gillespie to Blake Pohlmeier, but it did little in the final outcome.
The Blue-Jays actually had a 331-227 advantage in total yardage for the game. Colgan racked up 187 rushing yards, including a team-high 90 yards on 10 carries by Dawson. Pleasanton did most of its damage through the air as Gillespie completed 15-of-30 passes for 202 yards.