Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Panthers rout Quincy in homecoming win

Maxwell’s Berto Lara makes his way up field during the Panthers’ shutout win over Quincy on Oct. 28.

Coming off a disappointing effort against Fall River two weeks ago, the Maxwell Panthers bounced back in a big way at home last Friday night, capping their homecoming celebration as they overwhelmed visiting Quincy 59-0 in a Cascade Valley League contest.

Following the pregame festivities, it didn’t take the Panthers long to get going when, on the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Dillon Dry hit receiver Rudy Gonzalez in stride on a 66-yard scoring play just 12 seconds into the game.

But that was just the beginning of the onslaught, because on the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans inexplicably failed to pick up the ball, which was then recovered by the Panthers on the Quincy 25-yard line.   

Four plays and a minute and a half later, Maxwell added to its lead when Cale Kuska bulled his way into the end zone for the second touchdown of the game.

There wasn’t much resistance to the Panther offense on the part of the Trojans, who suited just 13 players and have won only one game this season.

Maxwell would put more points on the board before the quarter ended, after Berto Lara ripped off a 26-yard run, taking the ball down to the one yard line, allowing Dry to punch it in on the succeeding play.

Now leading 22-0, the Panthers extended their advantage in the second period starting with Dry scoring on a 15-yard keeper.

The Panthers’ Robert Waite races down the sideline in Maxwell’s 59-0 win over Quincy on Oct. 28.

At this juncture, Quincy mounted its most successful drive of the game, taking the ball inside the red zone to the four-yard line, but the Maxwell defense extinguished the threat when Gonzalez intercepted a pass at the goal line and returned it 40 yards.

From there, the Panthers needed eight plays to add to their total on a Lara touchdown from three yards away.

Still, there was more to come for Maxwell, when just before intermission, Gonzalez made his second pick of the night, setting the Panthers up at their own 35.

Kuska capped the subsequent drive with his second touchdown of the game to make the score 45-0.

Despite the running clock in the second half, Maxwell did make several noteworthy plays including a 74- yard run by Robert Waite, two more Lara rushing touchdowns, and an interception by Isaac Iniguez.

After the game, head coach Lane Davis said he liked the way his team came back strong this week and also was pleased with the way his seniors performed.

“I sensed it this week in practice that their confidence was coming back and it showed tonight,” Davis said. “Our senior leaders, Berto, Dillon, and Cale did a great job tonight.”

Lara had a huge game, carrying 12 times for 116 yards and scoring three times, as did Dry, who completed 11 of 15 passes for 201 yards and additionally rushed for 76 yards and two more touchdowns.

But the Panthers offense also got a notable performance from Waite, who executed the counter play to near perfection, gaining 114 yards on four carries.

Spearheading the defense was Iniguez, with seven tackles to go along with an interception, and Gonzalez, who had two picks.

Maxwell (5-4, 4-3) heads north to Weed on Friday to close out conference play against the Cougars (3-4, 3-3).

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