The Panthers were without standout running back Rafiq Douglas (1,363 yards, 18 touchdowns in 2012) because of a strained anterior cruciate ligament and center/defensive lineman Josef Geier (knee), but backs Mike Caputo and Tahir Tyler stepped in to combine for 91 total yards. Quarterback Tyler Crounse led the offense with 20 carries for 200 yards, two completions for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
“We’re always talking about being a strong unit and this was good example the way they stood up with the missing players,” Coach Steve Crounse said.
“Our offensive line played extrememly well against a great-coached opponent and we were able to take advantage of some of their miscues.”
The Panthers (1-0) defensive special teams created four turnovers but had a tougher time holding back North Point running back Marquel Dickerson, who rushed for three touchdowns and 268 yards on 23 carries. Senior Joey Parsons stepped in for Douglas at defensive back for an interception and linebacker Austin Criss had 13 total tackles.
“He’s a tremendous back,” Crounse said of Dickerson. “Really what we did was kept them in check just enough to help us maintain the lead, but he had his moments when he had some really dynamic runs and they did a good job setting the pass. For us it was a gigantic win.”
Huntingtown’s victory against in-county rival Northern was a big win in terms of importance to players and fans — but not on the scoreboard. While the schools are close to each other and familiarity between players and students fosters competition, the 34-27 win at Northern was the smallest margin of victory for the Hurricanes since 2008.
Junior middle linebacker Bryan McCourt had 14 total tackles and six tackles for loss and junior wide receiver Robbie Payne earned 182 total yards and a touchdown with 12 completions and nine carries. . . .
Leonardtown proved it is not to be underestimated with a 27-18 win against McDonough at home. The two teams last met in 2010 and McDonough won that meeting 43-0.