Michigan Panthers sweep Washtenaw Blue to open 2019 season
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
It was a strong start for the Michigan Panthers youth football program to begin the 2019 regular season. The Panthers won at all three levels, outscoring the Washtenaw Blue by a combined score of 104-12:
Junior Varsity: 33-12
The freshmen team, led by head coach Tyler Hult, dominated the Blue from the opening kickoff, quickly recovering two onside kicks, which both led to scores. Despite having only 14 players on the roster, the Panthers' youngest team did not let the small numbers stop them from playing Panthers football and outworking the competition. In addition to the scoring onslaught offensively, the defense held Washtenaw to zero points and caused a plethora of turnovers.
The freshmen offensive line cleared space for Alex Ryce, who had a big day running the football. He found the end zone multiple times. Christopher Rosenbauer, Clarence Burnett and Destin Eatmon also scored touchdowns. Gavin Hoppe quarterbacked the team to victory.
Coach Paul Hult begins the season by adding yet another victory to his impressive career record. The junior varsity team led 13-0 at halftime by playing ball control offense and causing turnovers in key situations on defense. The team then recovered an onside kick to start the second half and proceeded to score again. After the Panthers took a commanding 26-0 lead, the Blue got on the board on a long pass play. The Panthers would then add another touchdown, and then Washtenaw scored one last time to make the final score 33-12.
Jackson Asaro, Curtis Crittenden and Will Kummet each scored for the JV squad. Peyton Chenoweth led the charge from the quarterback position, while the five captains on the offensive line opened up holes and allowed the offense to continuously move the chains. Chase Knutsen added an interception.
The varsity team completed the sweep by shutting out Washtenaw. The Panthers took control by scoring on the opening drive and never looking back. Coach Sauter's team relied on its ferocious defense to create turnovers and keep the Blue out of the end zone. Anybody who has seen this team practice should not be surprised by the success on the defensive side of the ball.
Sayato Henney was the first Panther to find the end zone for the varsity boys. Dylan Sasena and Nate Gillick also scored touchdowns. Sasena also had a significant return on a key interception late in the game. Josh Rathke showed good command of the huddle and led the offense down the field on multiple drives.
The young Panthers cheer team did an amazing job cheering on the teams as well! The away stands were loud as many Panthers supporters made the trek to Ann Arbor Skyline high school to cheer on the teams.
While we are proud of all three teams, there is still plenty to work on and the coaching staff will work to correct mistakes and improve upon the 1-0 start.
All three teams have a short practice week from Tuesday through Thursday this week, and are rewarded with a long Labor Day weekend from Friday through Monday. Practice resumes Tuesday, Sept. 3. There are no scheduled games this weekend.
Next up is another away game against the Dearborn Thunderbirds at Edsel Ford High School on Saturday, Sept. 7. Game times are as follows:
-Freshmen: 12 p.m.
-Junior Varsity: 2 p.m.
-Varsity: 4 p.m.