New England Football League PANTHERS DEFENSE STANDS STRONG | New England Football League
New England Football League

PANTHERS DEFENSE STANDS STRONG

DANBURY, CT – The Connecticut Panthers upset the Western CT Militia in the AAA Southern Conference Championship 20-13. The win will send the Panthers to their first AAA Championship game.

&ldquot;We knew this wasn't going to be a big offensive day for anyone&rdquot; said defensive end David Reese, &ldquot;we just wanted to control their big plays on offense&rdquot;. During their regular season affair, the Militia outlasted the Panthers 46-41 with nearly 400 yards of total offense. Tonight the Panthers forced the Militia into field goal attempts instead of getting into the end zone. Andy Benzicewicz's 37 yard field goal was the only score in the first half of play.

Used sparely in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs against the Gators, Jamie Bryant opened the Panthers scoring in the second half with a 90 yard punt return to silence to raucous crowd at Militia Valley Stadium. Latter in the half quarterback Kevin Oberg found receiver Garry Coles for a 37 yard scoring pass to take the lead. On the following possession however, a combination of passes from Richie Snowden and runs by brawly Anrae Farier kept the Militia off balance.  The 75 yard drive culminated in a 34 yard run by Farier which put the Panthers up for the balance of the game. Another field goal by Benzicewicz narrowed the lead however a 12 yard scoring run with less than two minutes in regulation by Farier ended any chance of a Militia comeback.

&ldquot;Our defense and special teams gave us great field position tonight&rdquot; said Derek Bortz, &ldquot;our running game and key passes from Snowden gave us enough to win.&rdquot; Bortz's Panther upset the then undefeated Militia last season in the playoff using a similar formula. &ldquot;They (Militia) are a great team; we just played well tonight, next week we have to have everything going our way.&rdquot; The win pushes the Panthers into their first AAA Championship game next weekend against the high powered Maine Sabers.

 

BOXSCORE

1Q

2Q

3Q

4Q

FINAL

PANTHERS

0

0

7

13

20

MILITIA

0

3

0

10

13

SCORING SUMMARY

WC–Andy Benicewicz, 37 field goal.

CP–Jamie Bryant, 90 punt return (Dave Szymanski kick).

WC–Garry Coles, 37 pass from Kevin Oberg (Benicewicz kick).

CP–Anrae Farier, 34 run (Szymanski kick).

WC–Benicewicz, 24 field goal.

CP–Farier, 12 run (kick failed).

KEY STATISTICS

WESTERN CT MILITIA

Kevin Oberg 12/ 29 217 yard, TD

Mark Mendeleson  7 carries for 38 yards

Lionel Assie 12 carries for 37 yards, 2 receptions for 25 yards

Courtney Moultrie   Interception

Raquim Taft   Fumble recovery

 

CONNECTICUT PANTHERS

Rich Snowden 8/28  91 yards

Anrae Farier 17 carries for 87 yards

Andrew Alleyene    Interception 

Pictured Above: A host of Panthers defenders bring down Daurice Elliott in the Southern Conference Finals

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