Panthers pull in the reins for pony ride

September 30, 2002|by JACK HILL III

HANCOCK - Jordan Sterner is the type of kid who likes to throw things in mud puddles.

Especially if its opposing running backs.

It was the best of all worlds for the junior linebacker, who bolstered Hancock's defense by making 13 tackles Friday to lift the Panthers to a soggy but satisfying 30-0 victory over the Chincoteague (Va.) Ponies on Friday night.

"I give all of the credit to the defensive line," Sterner said. "I owe all of my tackles to them. Curtis Ray dominated that game at nose guard. I didn't have anyone on me. I was able to stop their running backs, because the defensive linemen helped to contain them. We work on a few different defensive drills during practice and we are familiar with them. Justin Unger played a real good game on both offense and defense."

Josh Ruppenthal and Ray added seven tackles each for Hancock (3-1). The Panthers' defense held the Ponies (2-2) to just 48 yards total offense.


"It was ugly, but it was fun," Hancock coach Bill Sterner said. "It just rained up here for two days. You can just look at the field and see what kind of condition that it is in. Even though the field was muddy, all of our players wanted to play this game tonight."

Even in ugly times, the win was a thing of beauty for the coach.

"Ricky Snow and Justin Unger played a great game on offense," Sterner added. "Curtis Ray, Josh Ruppenthal and Jordan (Sterner) all played an exceptionally tough game on defense tonight. No matter what happened, they kept us out of trouble."

Hancock got on the scoreboard just 3 1/2 minutes into the game when Snow dashed to his right for a 30-yard touchdown run.

About 6 1/2 minutes later, the Panthers extended their lead to 12-0 when Unger returned a punt 82 yards along the right side for a touchdown.


With 7:07 remaining in the third quarter, Unger cut to his left for a 20-yard touchdown run.

About one minute later, Hancock defensive lineman Todd Unger recovered a fumble at the Chincoteague 14. After the Panthers got backed up by a 5-yard offside penalty, Snow went to the right for a 19-yard touchdown run.

Hancock's final score came with 1:07 left in the third quarter when Ronnie Gaither fired a 69-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Sterner.

"Berkeley Springs will be a huge test for us next week," Bill Sterner said. "They are so good in every way. We will have to play exceptionally well against them."

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