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Saints march past Panthers

September 13, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

HANCOCK - Saint James junior Dylan Zimmerman not only had a team-high five receptions Friday night, he also was the leading receiver for the Hancock Panthers.

Zimmerman hauled in a 39-yard scoring strike from Mike Russ in the third quarter to break a scoreless tie and added a pair of interceptions to lead the Saints over Hancock 21-0 in a light rain.

"It was tough making cuts out there, and you just had to go get the ball," said Zimmerman, who secured Russ' pass in front of two Hancock defenders with 2:53 left in the third quarter.

Russ, who threw for 508 yards in the Saints' opener last week, completed only one of nine passes in the first half and finished 7 of 18 for 126 yards.

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"We haven't been in the rain, and I felt like I needed a dry towel every five minutes," Russ said.

Saint James (2-0) broke the game open in the final quarter, and it happened quickly.

Hancock turnovers

Bryan Hummel-Price pounced on a loose football that gave the Saints possession at the Hancock 36 and Russ proceeded to hit Jordan Barr in the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 10:12 to play.

On Hancock's next possession, Zimmerman intercepted a pass by Hancock quarterback Nick Lanehart, setting up a 9-yard scoring strike from Russ to Spencer Draper with 6:51 remaining.

"Hancock had some good reads on defense in the first half," Saints coach Chris Milmoe said. "But we got it opened up and busted some fly patterns."

Saint James was impressive defensively, after giving up more than 400 rushing yards Sunday. The Saints yielded just 78 yards on the ground Friday night, and the Panthers did not complete a pass.

"We made some personnel changes on defense and got some results," Milmoe said.

Russ moved from free safety to left cornerback, and Will Smith moved to end to strengthen that side of the defensive line. Russ had an interception.

"Russ comes hard and Smith played well, as did Joe Perri at the other end," Milmoe said.

Hancock (0-2) couldn't dig out of a hole with poor field position offensively and gave Saint James good position by not moving the football.

In its 11 possessions, Hancock's best start was its own 37. Seven other possessions began inside the 25.

"I thought we were one slip, one read, one missed blocked and one caught ball away," Hancock coach Dave Mahaffey said. "We've got some young people, and we lost some to injury tonight."

Zimmerman led Saint James with 45 yards rushing. Lanehart, mainly on quarterback sweeps, led Hancock with 50 yards on 16 carries.

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