The Masuk Panthers Football Team played an incredible bounce-back game this week, following their tough loss against Trumbull. Before the game, senior Matt Scholz (#52) explained that since the heartbreaking loss, the team has watched lots of film on last week’s game as well as of this week’s opponents, the Notre Dame Catholic Lancers.
Scholz radiated the team’s confidence, “We definitely think we’re going to win”, adding that “We’re still confident going into this even after a loss”. The team hoped to put up as many points as possible and win by a significant advantage, but realistically they were “just looking for a win at the end of the day”.
A significant advantage it was, with the final score being 38-0 Masuk. The first touchdown was made by senior quarterback Dylan Jackson (#7) on a 10-yard run just minutes into the first quarter; sophomore Gavin Walker (#12) later doubled the score with an 8-yard rushing touchdown. Second-quarter scoring opened up with a touchdown by Shane Walker (#11) off a 39-yard pass from Jackson and ended with Masuk’s choice to convert a late field goal right before the buzzer. The Panthers led 24-0 into halftime.
Friday’s halftime was used to honor Monroe’s “future panthers” and their coaches, as ages 6-8 flag football players, 8-11 tackle football players, and the Monroe Lions took their turns running around the field. D-8, D-10, and D-12 cheer, who had been on the sidelines with Masuk for the first half, then took their turn. At this game especially, Masuk’s Panthers demonstrated the legacy they’re leaving for these kids.
Back on the field for quarter 3, sophomore Christian Bouton (#4) came out with an intense tackle, stopping Notre Dame from covering any significant ground and resulting in a Notre Dame punt. Masuk then quickly struck again with a 14-yard rushing touchdown from junior Jason Champagne (#14). The teams went back and forth for the rest of the third quarter with no scoring to report. However, the fourth quarter opened up with yet another touchdown from Champagne on an impressive 50-yard run. The announcers gave credit to freshman kicker Jackson Zylic (#29), who made all four of his PATs (Point After Touchdown) and an additional field goal; they were also quoted as saying “Zylic runs hard for a kicker”. In the remainder of the game, Masuk’s defense continued to stop the Lancers from putting points on the board. With all of the offensive success, the defense was just as impressive; Hope was lost for Notre Dame to score even one touchdown on Benedict Field. Masuk Panthers took the win 38-0, and the Red Army flooded the field, a neon mass of cheers.
Head coach Steve Christy expressed his pride in the team, “This showed everything man, the heart of these kids, coming back from a heartbreaking loss. This is who we are”. Christy also expressed his love for the support of Masuk’s Red Army, “You see the energy here, we have a great team, so much love going on. This is what we do it for you know? And I’m really glad we could give the Red Army a good show”.
Credit for the team’s incredible defense which led to a 0-point game for Notre Dame was given all to the defensive coach Brian Halapin. Christy explained that Halapin’s game planning with the boys “made all the difference in the world”. Shane Walker attributed key plays to Jason Champagne and Dylan Jackson. There’s only one thing left for Masuk to tell Notre Dame… Later Lancers!