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Saints rout Panthers

September 11, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

HANCOCK -- Chris Milmoe admits he's a "glass half empty" kind of guy, but he could be persuaded to join the bright side.

"I'm a pessimist," said the Saint James football coach. "That's not a great trait, but those quirky plays help."

The odd and the bizarre helped the Saints shake their opening-game jitters as Hancock sputtered with special-teams gaffes and four turnovers to fuel Saint James' 40-0 victory.

Dylan Zimmerman scored three times, twice after critical Panthers mistakes, as the Saints took total control by halftime in their first game in the post-Mike Russ era. Russ was Saint James' do-everything quarterback last season.

"It was sad to see him go, but we found things that will work," Milmoe said. "He was a great safety net. We are going to miss him, but it doesn't mean that we aren't going to find things to win games."

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On Friday, those main things were some efficient runs along with precision passing by Jamie Peterson and three fluky plays that went Saint James' way.

"What it boiled down to was they had a game plan to expose parts of our game," said Hancock coach Dave Mahaffey. "They did what we wanted them to do and what we practiced for. They were just the hungrier team."

Hancock started its problems midway through the first quarter.

Punter Jarrod McCoy was forced to chase down a bad snap on his goal line. He rushed the punt and kicked it into his own blocker. Hancock turned the ball over after McCoy picked up the ball and advanced it to the 5.

Saint James scored on the first play as Mike Townes ran to the left side for the score and a 6-0 lead at the 6:04 mark.

Zimmerman made it 13-0 with a 12-yard touchdown run up the middle to cap a six-play, 46-yard drive with 1:35 left in the quarter after a short Hancock punt.

"They were keying on me early and (Townes was) getting some good runs," Zimmerman said. "That busted it open for me."

The Saints opened the second quarter with a two-play drive after another short punt as Peterson hit Zimmerman for a 28-yard score on a swing screen to the left side. Peterson hit Avery Wilmore for the conversion and a 21-0 lead.

Then, the odd and bizarre struck the Panthers.

First, a punt by Saint James' Tommy Wagner hit Hancock's John Glass on the ankle, creating a loose ball downfield. The Saints pounced on it and cashed in on the first play when Peterson hit Wilmore down the left sideline for a 39-yard scoring pass.

Then Hancock tried to drive back until quarterback Garrett Wiles' incomplete swing pass in the backfield was ruled to be a lateral. Saint James lineman Zach Wooten picked up the loose ball and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown and a 33-0 halftime lead.

"I don't know if it was a lack of us putting it all together or if we were more confident than we should have been after winning our first game last week," Mahaffey said. "They didn't run anything we hadn't seen."

Saint James' only score in the second half came on a 3-yard run by Zimmerman after Hancock lost the third of four fumbles, this one on the Panthers 6.

Both teams had modest offensive attacks, with Saint James owning a 226-87 advantage in yards. The difference in the game was Peterson's 154 yards and two touchdowns passing. Zimmerman finished with 29 yards on eight carries with two scores.

Nick Lanehart led Hancock with 54 yards on nine carries.

Saint James 40, Hancock 0

SJ -- Mike Townes 5 run (kick failed)

SJ -- Dylan Zimmerman 12 run (Tommy Wagner kick)

SJ -- Zimmerman 28 pass from Jamie Peterson (Avery Wilmore pass from Peterson)

SJ -- Wilmore 39 pass from Peterson (kick failed)

SJ -- Zach Wooton 42 fumble return (pass failed)

SJ -- Zimmerman 3 run (Wagner kick)

St. James132070--40Hancock0000--0SJHanFirst downs86Rushes-yards28-7236-91Passing yards154-4Comp-Att-Int8-13-01-9-0Total offense41-22645-87Punts-avg.2-287-15.4Penalties-yards7-353-25Fumbles-lost1-05-4
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