By Chris Simoulidis and Brien Trimbach
The Masuk Panthers football team geared up for their Homecoming matchup against Stratford High, hoping for a big win in the last home game before Thanksgiving. The 3-2 Panthers faced the 2-3 Stratford Red Devils in an important matchup. “It’s a big game and everyone on the team knows that. The team has worked hard to make sure we come out with the dub,” said senior captain Aiden Clausen
On the second drive Jason Champagne punched in a 2-yard rushing touchdown, putting the Panthers on the board. That was all it took, as Masuk couldn’t seem to stop scoring. After another Stratford 3 and out from great Masuk defense, wide receiver Ryan Fedeli broke off an explosive 40-yard touchdown, putting the Panthers up 14-0. “Dylan threw me a good ball. It was a play from the movies.” Next in line to score was running back Kyle Beckett finishing a strong run to the goalline, making it 21-0. Masuk’s defense held strong all night with Tarik Al-Hameedi intercepting a ball and taking it back for another score, demoralizing the Stratford side. “I knew they were gonna throw the ball my way. They motioned to my side. I jumped in front of the ball and it fell in my hands. I was just like I got to score. Nick Fox was leading the way. All I saw was the endzone.”
But Masuk wasn’t done yet. Jason Champagne powered through the Stratford defense one more time, making the halftime score 36-0.
The second half saw more Masuk dominance with scoring from Devin LaRoche and Gavin Walker. The 49-0 final score proved the Masuk defense came to play, shutting out an SWC rival for the second time this season. According to Junior Tristan Smith, “We’re playing hard. We trust our coaches and each other. Hopefully more to come and we’ll make it a great year.”
The domination on both sides of the ball is something the players feel will propel them through the rest of the season. “It feels great we really dominated from the start to finish for the first time this year. Very good team win as a whole,” said senior Matt Scholz. “I think we are finding our stride on both sides of the ball, and starting that game stronger, especially this week.”
The Panthers next game takes them to Weston High School to face the Trojans.