Panorama continues to roll as defense tightens in home win
Wed, 09/05/2018 - 13:54 admin
Brandon Hurley firstname.lastname@example.org
A quick glance at week two’s final score and gaudy offensive statistics initially catch an attentive eye.
Though it was the Panorama defense that made the biggest impact Friday night.
The Panthers resoundingly kept their undefeated streak alive while recording their second straight blowout victory in week two.
PHS held Manson-Northwest Webster to 34 total yards Aug. 31 resulting in a 53-8 rout in Panora.
“Our guys executed better than week one,” Panorama head coach Mike Kauzlarich said. “We showed a lot of improvement from week to week, which has a lot to do with the leadership and work ethic our team possesses. It started on the defensive side of the ball for us as we were able to put Manson NW Webster’s offense in bad situations behind the sticks.”
Panorama moved to 2-0 on the season, producing one of the more spectacular defensive showings of the year, as the visiting Cougars only amassed four yards on the ground.
Senior Gracen Welburg snagged a pair of interceptions while Hunter Holmes and Domonic Walker each tallied a sack to help lead the the defense. The play of the Panthers patrolling the middle of the defense is what sparked the dominance, Panorama head coach Mike Kauzlarich said.
“The defense has been a very strong component all season. Our linebackers really stepped up last Friday and made great football plays,” the coach said. “The secondary continues to make great reads and are showing a lot of discipline. Running teams tend to get your defensive backs to fall asleep and then hit them with a deep play action pass. Our defensive backs have been very impressive with not allowing that to happen.”
The Panorama offense, once again engineered by dual-threat quarterback Luke South, hummed along with remarkable regularity, as the junior produced 360 yards of total offense (212 yards passing, 148 yards rushing) and five touchdowns. As a team, the Panthers piled up a remarkable 553 yards of offense including 341 on the ground.
Through two weeks, Panorama is the third highest scoring team in 1A (47 ppg) as well as first in total offense with 1,017 yards and tops in total touchdowns (14). The Panthers are third in total rushing yards (602) and seventh in passing (415), ranking them as perhaps the most well-balanced team in the state.
South has totaled the most individual yards in 1A with 736 total yards and the most touchdowns with nine, which is tied with Colfax-Mingo’s Brady Berkley. The junior quarterback is averaging 207.5 yards per game passing and 160.5 yards rushing per game, including a 9.7 yards per carry average.
The Panthers have outscored their opponents 94 to 22 through the first two weeks, an average margin of victory of 35.5 points per game. It’s a testament to how talented the Panorama roster really is, Kauzlarich said.
“I think our offense really fits our guys,” the coach said. “I believe at the high school level you have to show the ability to adapt to your players, unlike college where you get to recruit players for your system.
We have a lot of special athletes and they are all capable of having big games. Our summer camps and 7-on-7 sessions have allowed us to click early this season.”
Panorama opened the scoring early and often in week two as they built a 21-0 lead over Manson-Northwest Webster in the opening quarter thanks to a 33-yard touchdown run from Spencer Hunt, a two-yard burst from Trey Cobb and a 52-yard catch and run from Zach Rizzuti.
The offensive explosion continued as the Panthers built a massive 42-8 lead at the break, thanks to three South touchdowns in the second quarter, a nine-yard pass, a 41-yard run and a two-yard jaunt.
Manson-Northwest Webster produced their only score of the night, an 82-yard kick-off return for a touchdown ending the Panthers’ hopes of a shutout.
Rizzuti scored his second touchdown of the night on a 38-yard pass from South in the third while Alex Mendez punched in an eight-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Cobb ran for 69 yards and a score while Hunt tallied 68 yards on six carries (13.8 ypc) and a score while South led the way with two rushing touchdowns and a 9.3 yards per carry average.
Welburg hauled in six catches for 92 yards receiving while Rizzuti produced three catches for 89 yards and his two touchdowns.
South was 13-0f-17 passing (76.5 %) for three touchdowns and 212 yards, pushing his season total to 415 yards and five touchdowns.
While they have yet to crack the rankings, Panorama did receive five votes in the latest Iowa High School AP Poll. Class 1A district 7 member and defending state champion Van Meter moved up to no. 4 up from eight this week while Panorama’s week three foe, Interstate 35, received seven votes, the most of any non-ranked team.
The Roadrunners (2-0) will host PHS Friday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. in Truro. I-35 is averaging 27 ppg with wins over Central Decatur and Mount Ayr. Running back Mason Cassady has produced 212 yards on the ground and a touchdown, aided by his 104 yard performance in their week two victory.
Quarterback Joey Bregar has thrown for 186 yards and four touchdowns.
Ethan Elliot leads I-35 with 19.5 tackles including 12 takedowns in the Roadrunners’ win over Mount Ayr. The defense is allowing just 12.5 points per game.
“Interstate-35 is a very good team and has a lot of good athletes. I think the first two games, we had athletes that had really good match-ups in our favor, this week I think the playing fields are evening out,” Kauzlarich said. “I-35 was 7-2 last year and returns a ton of guys from that team. They have two fast, shifty running backs and some receivers that will really test our defense.
It will be a great game with two very good teams. In order to win, we must stay ahead the chains and find ourselves in third and manageable on offense. On defense, we must contain I-35’s big play ability and make them march the ball down the field.”