Already one of the strongest programs top to bottom in the Greater Puget Sound Youth Football League, the Tacoma Panthers continued their strong season across the board by sweeping the Northeast Tacoma Tigers on Oct. 5 at Decatur High School. Here’s a look at the day’s action.
4TH GRADE: PANTHERS 31, TIGERS 0
The Panthers dominated from the outset, led by the steady play of quarterback Tyrell Johnson, who emphasized the win with a 60-yard touchdown run on the last play of the game. Running back Lene Nofoa-Mosoe had scored the previous possession on a two-yard run to cap a long drive and give the Panthers a commanding lead.
The win continued a dominant season for the Panthers, who improved to 6-0 and have surrendered just 18 points on the year.
5TH GRADE: PANTHERS 38, TIGERS 0
The Panthers relied on the big-play ability of running backs Julien Simon and Joshua Henry and wide receiver Quincy Wilson to overwhelm the Tigers.
Wilson caught touchdown passes of 21 and eight yards from quarterback Jordan McCray, and added a 45-yard touchdown run on a fly sweep in the second quarter to give the Panthers a commanding 20-0 lead.
Simon had several bruising runs on the day, including a 16-yard touchdown run on a sweep to the right that put the Panthers on the board late in the first quarter. Henry had a 35-yard run early in the contest, scored on a six-yard run for a 14-0 lead and later added a one-yard touchdown run after his 24-yard reception.
The Panthers didn’t surrender a first down until the fourth quarter, when they were flagged for a penalty. They stayed undefeated at 6-0 and haven’t surrendered a point all season.
6TH GRADE: PANTHERS 39, TIGERS 33
In a back-and-forth affair, the Panthers’ Cartier Hill scored on a one-yard touchdown run in double overtime to provide the eventual game-winner.
The Panthers’ Isaiah Johnson-Dickerson scored on runs of 12, 65 and 63 yards in regulation, the latter giving the Panthers a 19-14 late in the third quarter. Not to be outdone, the Tigers’ Xavier Watson tallied three touchdowns for the Tigers, the first coming on a 45-yard run after breaking four tackles. He added an 80-yard kickoff return and a 38-yard run for scores in the third quarter.
The Panthers’ Musa Haji answered with a 60-yard kick return for a 26-20 lead, but the Tigers’ Jaylen Koerber scored on a 12-yard run later to cap a long drive and tie the game again.
Quarterback Joey Eyre gave the Tigers a 33-26 lead with a four-yard touchdown run in the first overtime, and Haji hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Mykell Woods to send it into the second overtime. After Hill’s one-yard score, the Panthers stuffed Watson on fourth down to end it.
7TH GRADE: PANTHERS 44, TIGERS 0
Nicknamed “The Show,” the Panthers seventh graders didn’t disappoint, as five different players scored in the wipeout of the Tigers.
Jasiah Marcus got the Panthers started with a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and quarterback Kaleb Arthur hit Thomas Washington for a six-yard touchdown run – with Maliq Brown tallying the two-point kick – to make it 14-0 with five minutes left in the first half. Marcus added a 30-yard touchdown run later in the second, and Arthur hit Adrian Kruy for a 13-yard score to make it 28-0 with five seconds left in the first half.
Arthur added an 18-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and Stephan Turner later hauled in a five-yard touchdown pass from Arthur moments after recording a one-handed reception for 50 yards. Khalil Lewis had earlier come up with an interception for the Panthers to snuff out one of the Tigers’ only threats on the day.
Unbeaten league champions its previous three seasons, this group has started out 5-0 and is aiming for the title once again.
8TH GRADE: PANTHERS 40, TIGERS 0
The Panthers registered their fifth straight shutout, getting off to a 7-0 lead when Zion Harris returned a fumble 15 yards for a score on the opening kickoff.
It got worse from there for the Tigers, as a botched snap led to a safety on their next possession, and Devante Williams-Byrd returned the resulting kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to make it 15-0. The Panthers then forced a quick three-and-out, and Camrom Rogers made it 21-0 when he hauled in a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Edward Walker. Izaah Williams and Marquis Montgomery later added touchdown catches for the Panthers, and Tristian Kwon had a touchdown run as well.