New England Football League Panthers Prevail | New England Football League
New England Football League

Panthers Prevail

Coach Welch and the Panthers earn their first win of season (Photo courtesy of JDB Photo)

MERIDEN, CT- After taking a 14 point lead into the half, the Connecticut Panthers hold on for their first win of the season as they defeat the New Hampshire Nor’easter 26-20 at Falcon Field. Newly acquired Marquis Eberhart led the way completing 19 passes for 261 yards and four scoring passes.

“We played at a fast tempo tonight which plays into my strength,” said Eberhart. “I am still getting familiar with all my teammates. We came along way tonight.” The Panthers pass-first open attack accumulated over 200 yards in the air during the first half of play.

The second half however saw the Nor’easter make needed adjustments on both sides of the ball to get back into the game. With the use of both running backs Brandon Bennett and Ray Rizzi, New Hampshire gained 159 yards on the ground and scored on their first possession of the third quarter. In addition to their commitment to the running game, the insertion of Issiah Bachelder at quarterback also make it difficult for Panthers defender to get to the passer. “Issiah used his legs to avoid the rush which gave him more time to make plays.” A 37-yard scoring strike to Chris Libby in the fourth quarter cut the Panthers lead to 6 with less than five minutes to play in regulation.

Unlike the first half, New Hampshire sent pressure at Eberhart which forced him out of the pocket and stalled the Panthers offense (55 total yards in the second half). A blitzing linebacker made the quarterback sprint to his left and forced a pass into the waiting arms of defender Chris Tomlinson for the biggest stop of the night for New Hampshire.

With the ball in their territory and the game on the line, the Panthers Nate Shea second down sack of Bachelder took him further away from the end zone. With seconds left in the game and a 4th and long opportunity for the Nor’easter, a pass into the end zone was picked off by Mark Jenkins to secure the first win of the season for the Panthers. “It was a great game from beginning to end. It really shows the parity this league has this year.”

The Panthers will travel to Marciano Stadium to take on the Bay State Buccaneers while the Nor’easter look to bounce back against the Southern Maine Raging Bulls.

 

BOXSCORE

TEAMS 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q FINAL
Nor’easter 6 0 7 7 20
Panthers 7 13 0 7 26

 

            NEW HAMPSHIRE NOR’EASTER

PASSING Completions Attempts Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
Alexis Colon 5 11 118 0 0
Issiah Bachelder 2 7 52 1 1

 

RECEIVING Catch Yards TD’s   Catch Yards TD’s
Randy Leroy 1 38 0 Brandon Bennett 3 76 0
Ray Rizzi 1 3 0 Chris Libby 2 53 0

 

RUSHING Rush Yards TD’s   Rush Yards TD’s
Brandon Bennett 9 44 1 Ray Rizzi 11 56 0
Issiah Bachelder 6 52 0 John Paul 1 7 0

 

DEFENSE STAND OUTS Tackles Sacks INT Misc.
Justin Choice 3 0 0 2 Pass deflections
Chris Tomlinson 4 0 1  

 

SPECIAL TEAMS  
Chris Libby 2/3 PAT

 

CONNECTICUT PANTHERS

PASSING Completions Attempts Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
Marquis Eberhart 19 28 261 4 1

 

RECEIVING Catch Yards TD’s   Catch Yards TD’s
Jamie Bryant 6 69 0 Kayshawn Brantley 2 35 1
LJ Crition 3 34 1 LJ Colon 3 47 2
Jeffery Flores 2 18 0 Chaise Pressley 1 17 0
Jakob Vera 2 41 0        

 

RUSHING Rush Yards TD’s   Rush Yards TD’s
M. Eberhart 4 33 0 Bobby Grimes 6 29 0

 

DEFENSE STAND OUTS Tackles Sacks INT Misc.
Gene Miller 5 0 0  
Nate Shea 3 2 0  
Mark Jenkins 4 0 1  

 

SPECIAL TEAMS  
Mark Jenkins Blocked Punt

 

TOTAL OFFENSE

OFFENSE Rush Plays Rush Yards Passing Plays Passing Yards TOTAL OFFENSE
Nor’easter 27 159 18 170 45 plays/ 329 yards
Panthers 10 62 28 261 38 plays/ 323 yards

 

 

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