- Citra, FL. Written By: Kevin Smalls
After watching the two first possessions of the game between the Colts and Panthers, a fan would have thought it would be a back-and-forth game to watch.
But it was a learning experience for the Colts, as it was their first time this season with a tied score, according to 4th-year head coach Willie Offord.
When the Colts got hot, there was no looking back. The North Marion Colts moved to 2-0 on the season, after defeating Palatka Panthers 53-7. Both teams went three and out on their first possession and both teams would score on their following possession.
Senior CB/SB Jyron Gilmore ran a 40-yard touchdown to put the Colts on the scoreboard, 7-0.
The Panthers received the ball and junior FB/LB Te’ontray Myles ran a 70-yard touchdown to even the score at 7.
From that point, the Colts turned the heat up on defense.
Panthers senior CB William King intercepted the Colts long pass attempt on their next possession. The Colts defensive line seemed hungry the entire game after the Panther’s quick score and interception. They would finish the first quarter with four sacks and multiple tackles for loss.
The Panthers defense stood their ground until halfway through the second quarter.
Sophomore RB/MLB Ed Williams started power running through the Panthers defense. Williams was responsible for starting the spark the Colts offense needed. Williams put his head down and carried the Panthers defense for a 15-yard touchdown, making the score 14-7.
The Colts defense locked down the Panthers entire next offensive possession. In what seemed like a quick three and out, was followed by a block punt attempt by senior DE/TE Jedyn Nichols.
The blocked punt placed the Colts in good field position. The Colts continued riding the Sophomore Ed Williams wave, and he executed another powerful run into the end zone.
The back-to-back touchdowns by Williams and the Colts would give them a 20-7 lead going into the half.
The Colts came out of the half still hot. Senior QB/WR Quintin Gross connected with junior WR/SS Brenden Shipp for a touchdown pass to put the Colts up, 27-7. Gross would be a part of four total touchdowns for the Colts – two running and two passing touchdowns.
The offensive line for the Colts deserve a lot of credit because they kept Gross very comfortable in the pocket and contributed effective blocking for most carries.
The Colts defense remained sound the rest of the game. They finished with at least 10 sacks and over 10 tackles for loss.
Colts defense did not allow another score for the Panthers. The offense continued to click and put points on the board with ease with the final score being 53-7. After the game, coach Offord said his team is working to get better each and every day.
“Our defense kept us in the game long enough for our offense to find a rhythm,” Coach Offord said. “The more our offense gels together, the better we will be.”
Standout sophomore Ed Williams talked about working on his awareness and speed as the season progresses.
“I wanted to come out and run hard and make big plays,” Williams said. “Our game plan each game is to come out and play fast and physical North Marion football.”
QB Quintin Gross praised his team’s defense after the game, and said the offense has a few things to work on but is headed in the right direction.
“The goal is go to 1-0 every week,” Gross said. “But the ultimate goal is to win a state championship.”
The Panthers will host Fleming Island next Friday at 7 pm, while the Colts will host Gainesville High School at 7:30 pm.