The NUIC Northwest Game of the Week featured the #1 ranked team in Class 1A, the Lena-Winslow Panthers against the West Carroll Thunder. Le-Win has the targets on their back this year as the defending the state champs, and were ready to show everyone they are ready for the season to begin. The Thunder came into 2018 losing a large portion of last year's team, but with some returners mixed with new players, they too were ready to see where they stack up this year, and see what growth they have had in the off-season. However, it was Le-Win (1-0) who would prevail with a 37-8 win over West Carroll (0-1) on opening night.
The game started by each team trading blows while eating up a lot of the clock, however with 5 minutes left in the 1st quarter, the big one happened, as Isaiah Bruce broke off a 70 yard TD run to put the first points on the board. The Panthers (1-0) would get the 2 point conversion on a Cade Benson to Parker Magee pass to take an 8-0 lead with 4:50 left in the 1st quarter.
The Panther defense would hold strong, getting the ball back just over 2 minutes later. From there the Panthers would start to move the ball again, and 3:!5 later a Benson to Magee pass would go for 12 yards and a score. Magee would tack on the extra point, giving Le-Win a 15-0 lead with 10:54 remaining in the half.
Another quick West Carroll possession would give the Panthers the ball back in West Carroll territory, but 30 seconds later the Panthers were back in the end zone on a Sean Ormiston 65 yard TD run. Another Magee extra point would give the Panthers a 22-0 lead they would take into the half.
The 2nd half started much the same way as the 1st half, this time West Carroll was moving the ball, as their first drive took 5:10 off the clock before it finally stalled. The Panthers would strike quick once again, as Ormiston would bust off another big run, this time from 67 yards out. Benson would run the ball in on the 2 point try and extend the Panther lead to 30-0 with 2:30 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
On the ensuing drive, West Carroll would get on the board, with 45 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter, Derek Tracy would connect with Michael Popkin on a 37 TD pass. Aiden Sullivan would convert the 2 point conversion to cut the deficit to 30-8 entering the 4th quarter.
The Panthers would get the ball at the end of the 3rd quarter, and entering the 4th quarter put the finishing touches on the ball game as they drove the ball down to the 6 yard line. From there Benson would connect with Bruce on a 6 yard TD pass, and following the Magee extra point, the score would be 37-8, where it would remain.
Leading the way for Lena-Winslow was Sean Ormiston, as he finished the night with 13 carries for 202 yards and 2 TD's. Isaiah Bruce would add another 74 yards rushing on 4 carries with 1 TD and 1 reception for 6 yards and another score. Cade Benson would add 18 yards passing, going 2-2 with 2 TD's on the night. Defensively the Panthers were led by Parker Magee who finished with 7 tackles on the night, while Kade Chrisman, Bruce, and Ian Kuehl added 6 each.
For the Thunder, Derek Tracy went 8-13 passing with 1 TD and 1 INT, and added 13 carries for a team high 48 yards rushing. Michael Popkin had 5 receptions for 153 yards and 1 TD. Defensively the Thunder were led by Aiden Sullivan who had a game high 22 tackles, while Zach King added 10 tackles, and Timothy Fosdick and Carson Rice had 8 tackles each.
Le-Win (1-0) vs Forreston (1-0)
West Carroll (0-1) @ Du-Pec (0-1)