Photos by Kevin Nagle
On the first play from scrimmage, the Cabot North Panthers eighth grade team picked up 3 yards on a run by Justin Holland. As it turned out, that was the longest gain of the night for the Panthers who were held without a first down the entire game by the Bryant White Hornets of Bryant Middle School.
On touchdown runs by Jesse Windemaker and Grant Botti, the Hornets built a 14-0 lead then put the icing on the cake when Josh Salguerio blocked a punt that Chandler White recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, resulting in a 22-0 win.
The Hornets defense not only held the Panthers without a gain of more than 3 yards, they dropped Cabot North ball-carriers for losses on six of 21 offensive snaps. That left the Panthers with a net offense of just 8 yards in the game.
Meanwhile, the Hornets rushed for 126 yards with Botti picking up 76 on nine carries and Windemaker adding 49 yards on 11 tries.
Yet, Bryant White struggled offensively in the first quarter. The Hornets’ lone first down came on a 14-yard run by Botti after Salguerio had recovered a Cabot fumble on a punt attempt at the Panthers’ 29. Botti got the ball to the 15 but the Panthers’ defense held on four downs and regained possession.
In turn, Salguerio made a first-down stop for a loss back to the 11 then Alex White led a swarm of Hornets, stuffing two runs that netted 2 yards.
Cabot’s punt left the Hornets 48 yards from a score and they got it going, sparked by Windemaker’s 19-yard run to convert a fourth-and-3. A pass interference penalty (which prevented a touchdown pass) got the Hornets to the 9 but back-to-back penalties against Bryant pushed them back to the 22.
After two incompletions and with time running out in the half, the Hornets got a break when Cabot North jumped offsides, setting up a third-and-goal at the 17. Windemaker went back to pass, saw that the left side was open and sprinted to the end zone, diving through a tackle at the goal line for the game’s first score with :21.7 left.
The Hornets’ special teams appeared to have another score (or nearly so) when Cabot North’s first possession of the second half was a three-and-out. Andrew Hayes retreated to the Bryant 33 to gather in the punt but he broke it big, returning it all the way to the Panthers’ 1.
A blocking penalty, however, negated much of the return. The Hornets took over at the Cabot 43. But, on the first snap there, Botti broke outside, cut back and went the distance with 4:21 left in the third quarter.
Windemaker ran in the conversion to make it 14-0.
Cabot’s Hayden Vines lost 2 yards on the first play of the next series as Logan Grant and Alex White combined on the stop. White led the pack that held Mason Martin for no gain then Salguerio and Jakob Neel piled up Justin Holland after a 1-yard gain to set up fourth-and-11 at the Cabot North 36.
The Panthers went for it but White rushed Cabot quarterback Blaine Calhoon and his pass was picked off by Brandon Jett.
To their credit, the Panthers prevented the Hornets from scoring again on the resulting possession, despite the fact that it started with a 16-yard gallop by Botti. On a fourth-and-6 at the 15, Windemaker was stopped short of the marker and, with 6:02 left, the Panthers took over.
But, again, they were unable to manage a first down. A third-down run by Martin was foiled by a nice open-field tackle by Ryan Lessenberry for a loss of a yard.
And, on the subsequent play, Martin was back to punt only to have Blaise Smith get there for the block. The ball deflected into the end zone and Ty Dawson won the scramble.
Botti added a two-point conversion run to set the final score with 3:11 left.
On the subsequent kickoff, Eric Tabler made a big hit to end Martin’s return. On the final four plays of the game, Cabot North picked up a total of 7 yards.
The win evened Bryant White’s record at 1-1. They’re set to host Lake Hamilton on Thursday, Sept. 18.
BRYANT WHITE 22, CABOT NORTH 0
Score by quarters
Panthers 0 0 0 0 — 0
HORNETS 0 6 8 8 — 22
BRYANT WHITE — Windemaker 17 run (pass failed), 0:21.7
BRYANT WHITE — Botti 43 run (Windemaker run), 4:21
BRYANT WHITE — Dawson recovers blocked punt in end zone (Botti run), 3:11
First downs 0 5
Rushes-yds 20-8 22-126
Passing 0-1-1 0-3-0
Passing-yds 0 0
Punts-avg. 3-16.7 0-00.0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yds 5-30 3-25
Rushing: BRYANT WHITE, Botti 9-76, Windemaker 11-49, A.White 2-1; CABOT NORTH, Martin 5-8, Taker 2-4, Holland 8-2, Ocampo 1-1, Vines 4-(-7).
Passing (C-A-I-Y): BRYANT WHITE, Windemaker 0-3-0-0; CABOT NORTH, Calhoon 0-1-1-0.