This friendly rivalry game was supposed to be for a share of the conference crown as the #1 ranked Le-Win Panthers played host to #13 ranked Dakota Friday night. But this night would belong to the Panthers as they proved just how strong they are in a 55-7 thumping of the Indians.
Le-Win received the ball to start the game, and quickly drove down the field in 3 minutes behind the legs of work horse running back Rahveon Valentine, as he would carry the ball for all but 6 yards on the opening drive and punch it in for 6 from 3 yards out to give Le-Win an early 7-0 lead.
That lead would hold until late in the 1st quarter Isaiah Bruce blocked a Nolan Lentz punt, setting up the Panthers at the Dakota 33 yard to begin their 3rd drive. A few running plays later and the Panthers were in the end zone again, this time Sean Ormiston carried the ball for 3 yards and the score. After a 2 point conversion, Le-Win held the lead at 15-0.
Dakota would take their 3rd drive deep into Panther territory, but Ty Chrisman came up with an interception at the Le-Win 17 yard line to change possession. After a Panther run went for no gain, Chrisman made his magic on the offensive side of the ball. Faking lead to the left on a play action, he found Valentine streaking up the right sideline as he got past the Dakota defense, and Chrisman threw out a perfect pass that Valentine would take to pay dirt for 83 yards and a 22-0 lead.
After forcing Dakota into another punt, the Panthers were rolling again, as great field position set them up a the 50 yard line. A 1:20 later Valentine was back in the end zone with a 4 yard run to extend the lead to 28-0.
Dakota would find life as they began their ensuing drive at their own 23 yard line. Behind a big run and pass, Dakota found themselves in Panther territory at the Le-Win 31. The next play went to Trey Engelbrecht on the outside and he found space towards the sideline thanks to a big Mason Peters block to propel Engelbrecht for a 31 yard TD score. This closed the gap to 28-7 with 1:19 left before half.
The Panthers would get the ball at the Dakota 44 yard line with 1:08 left before half. After 2 run plays that moved the Panthers 7 yards, they hustled up to the line. Chrisman took the snap, dropped back, and once again found a receiver running up the right sideline behind the Indian defense, this time it was Isaiah Bruce, as he hauled in a 37 yard TD pass to extend the Panther lead to 35-7 at half.
Le-Win would score 3 more times in the 2nd half in the route, as Bruce once again caught another 32 yard TD pass on the exact same route as the first 2 TD passes, Gaige Schwartz would run one in from 2 yards out, and Noah Milder found the end zone as both teams had conceded to the subs.
On the night Le-Win out gained Dakota 445 yards to 194 yards. Leading the way for Le-Win was Rahveon Valentine as he ran the ball 18 times for 183 yards and 2 TD, while hauling in an 83 yard TD pass. Sean Ormiston would run the ball 10 times for 52 yards and pick up 1 TD, while Isaiah Bruce caught 2 TD passes for 69 yards. Ty Chrisman ended his night with 3-3 passing for 152 yards, 3 TD and 1 INT on the defensive side of the ball.
Trey Engelbrecht paced the Indians offense as he collected 57 yards on 10 carries and 1 TD. Mason Peters picked up 32 yards on 5 carries, and Kyle Borner was 4-11 passing for 49 yards.
Round 1 playoffs TBD