New England Football League New Era… Same Results | New England Football League
New England Football League

New Era…
Same Results

Panthers Akwon Shabazz has led the team in receptions for three consecutive years                          

MERIDEN, CT- The new-look Connecticut Panthers were back to their winning ways as they corralled the Hartford Colts 30-8 in their season opener. “We only know one way to play football” said head coach Mark Welch, “no matter who’s on our roster; we have to execute offensively and play great defense”.

In the offseason, the Panthers lost players like quarterback Rich Snowden and defensive All Stars Gerard Patrick, David Reese, and Dustin Linden. “Losing key guys like we did will always be an adjustment; we however still have a strong core to our team and have some new additions that will fill right in and become impact players”. The Panthers still have the do-everything Jamie “Rocket” Bryant and inserted him at quarterback for four quarters. Bryant connected with touchdown passes to longtime teammate Akwon Shabazz and recently signed receivers Marky DesRuiseaux and Mike Easley. “Our receivers are serious” said Bryant. All three receivers are over 6-2 and are one on one mismatches. Easley’s older brother Marcus, is a veteran receiver with the Buffalo Bills and a receiving record holder during his days at UCONN. “We’ve always had a lot of talent on offense, I think this receiving corp could be the best we’ve ever had however”.

Defensively, the Panthers limited the Colt to less than 10 yards on the ground. Newly acquired Keith Pratt led the team in tackles while both John Manning and Rashon McKenzie each picked off a pass.

“We do have some different players on our roster but I see us still completing for a championship” said Welch, “our youth is now the strength of our team; we expect to continue to improve as the season progresses”.

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