Panthers blitzed by Apaches in loss

By T. Scott Boatright

The term blitzkrieg describes a method of offensive warfare designed to strike a swift, focused blow at an enemy using mobile, maneuverable forces, including armored tanks and air support.

During World World II, the Panzer IV Tank played an important role in Germany’s blitzkrieg style of attacking Allied forces.

On Friday night, the Lincoln Preparatory School Panthers faced a Panzer-like attack on both sides of the ball at Glenbrook School, which dominated in a 48-14 win in a game that was originally scheduled to be a home game for Lincoln Prep, which currently finds itself without a home football field.

Offensively, the Apaches attacked Lincoln Prep both on the ground and through the air, building an early lead to pull away early.

Defensively Glenbrook blitzed the Panthers’ offense hard throughout the contest, leaving Lincoln Prep quarterback Ta’Rell Simmons and running back Chauncy Harper seemingly running for their lives.

Starting with solid field position on the game’s opening series after Lincoln Prep failed to recover an onsides kick attempt, the Apaches marched 55 yards on eight plays, going for it once on fourth down before capping things off with a 17-yard scoring scamper by DJ Carter for a 7-0 advantage only 1:09 into the contest.

“Our team didn’t come in prepared, and that’s on me,” said Lincoln Prep coach Glen Hall. “I’ve got to do a better job with preparing them. Glenbook came out and marched straight downfield. We got them to a fourth down. But then we let them get away and they continued to drive. We’ve got to do a better job.”

Then Glenbrook recovered an onsides kick try of its own and marched 50 yards to paydirt on six plays, with quarterback Ty Feaster firing a seven-yard scoring strike to Turner McClelland to put the Apaches up 13-0 at the 8:49 mark of the opening stanza.

Glenbrook actually tried another onsides kick on the next play, but Lincoln Prep made the recovery that time and marched down to the Glenbrook 10 before turning the ball over on a fourth-and-15 after being backed up on a pair of penalties.

Lincoln Prep coach Glen Hall said the Panthers weren’t surprised by Glenbrook’s early onsides kick attempts during which the Apaches would huddle at midfield before suddenly bursting toward the ball trying to catch the Panthers off guard.

“We saw it on film,” Hall said. “We were in the right position. But our player booted the ball twice. He’s right there, and instead of just catching the ball and going down, he booted the ball and gave them an extra possession. And that opened the floodgates.”

After stopping Lincoln Prep’s deep drive, the Apaches countered with a six-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with Fester lofting a 31-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Cason Clemons, who turned around and waited for the ball like he was fielding a punt before spinning around and sprinting to the end zone. 

Glenbook upped its advantage to 26-0 with 6:32 remaining in the first half as Maddox Mandino took a Lincoln Prep punt and danced and juked his way for a 66-yard return touchdown.

Three plays into the ensuing offensive series for the Panthers, the Apaches’ Hayden Harmon picked off a Simmons pass, and two plays later Ty Feaster fired an eight-yard scoring strike to Cale Hollis to build a 33-0 lead with 3:44 left before intermission.

The Apaches’ swarming defense scored again with 1:55 remaining in the second quarter as Jonathan Bryant sacked Simmons in the end zone for a safety to push the lead to 35-0.

Lincoln Prep finally lit up the scoreboard on the final play of the first half as Dmitri Payne scooped up a fumble and raced it 80 yards for a touchdown to cut the Apaches’ lead to 35-6 at intermission.

A 32-yard run by Harper to open the second half gave the Panthers a little momentum, but that was soon shut down as Harmon knocked the ball out of Harper’s hands on a second-and-10 situation at the Apaches’ 34.

Glenbrook recovered the fumble and then marched 65 yards on 13 plays, with Tre Kent’s 10-yard scoring scamper putting the Apaches up 41-6.

Hall said missing key lineman Imani Marcel didn’t help the Panthers’ offensive efforts.

“Our No. 1 lineman was hurt, and then we had another lineman who was banged up and couldn’t play,” Hall said. “It was just one of those games where you come in and think you’re still prepared, but then realize that you just didn’t do a good job of preparation. And like I said, that’s on me.”

The Apaches’ final score came with 9:36 remaining as Rhett Johnson emerged from a crowd of attempted tacklers and raced 45 yards for a score to push the lead to 48-6.

“We stopped blowing coverages and blocking schemes,” Hall said. “It seemed like in the first half we didn’t know how to line up and were calling the wrong plays. It’s just a learned experience for a young team. We have a first-year quarterback who’s done a great job for us. He’s going to come back strong and continue making plays for us.

“I hope we can learn a lot from this. We’ll come back. We’re still adding pieces to the puzzle, still getting other guys back from injuries. We’ll be OK. We’ll be a team to deal with later on.”

The Panthers, now 2-1, will next play at district-rival Arcadia at 7 p.m. Friday.

Photo: Scott Boatright

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