ERIE — After last week’s hard fought loss to the No. 1 ranked Orion Chargers at the PHS Homecoming, you wouldn’t blame the Princeton Tigers to hope for an easier time against the Erie-Prophetstown Panthers (1-4, 1-2) Friday night.
It didn’t seem it would be at first, but once the Tigers started rolling, they didn’t let up, cruising to a 43-0 blowout over the Panthers.
On the opening kickoff by Princeton, the Panthers fumbled the reception and were greeted by a swarm of Tigers led by Chase Tatum and Sammy McClure, who would continue to be a menace throughout the evening.
The Panthers stayed on the ground during the first half, as the Tiger defense was effective in limiting passing options for quarterback Jacob Ryan, forcing E-P several times to turn the ball over on downs. A home field still wet from an afternoon rain earlier was not helping them either.
The Tigers, meanwhile, would take to the air with the Tiger offensive line giving QB Beck Robbins plenty of time to pick between Payton Moore, Branden Haring and Jacob Starr to pass to. Ronde Worrels, for his part, would keep the Tigers’ running game in play.
PHS got their first points on the board with 0:15 left in the first quarter when Starr scampered into the end zone on a 3-yard run, and the two-point conversion by Worrels putting the Tigers out front 8-0.
Starr would make a huge move on the defensive side with an interception near the end of the half to help set up a big pass play when Robbins threw a 50-yard bomb into a crowd in the end zone, the ball tipping into Branden Haring’s hands for the TD. The PAT kick by Jaimie Reinhardt (who would be 5-5 in PAT’s for the evening) bumped the Tiger lead to 15-0 at the half.
Princeton wasted no time picking up their momentum in the second half, scoring three times in the third quarter, the first at 11:16 on a Worrels TD, increasing the Tigers’ advantage to 22-0.
Worrels had been gaining good short yardage throughout the game, but his breakaway chance came at 6:34 in the third quarter, making a 64-yard TD to bump the PHS lead to 29-0.
Robbins, again given plenty of time by his offensive line, hit the air again to find Starr wide open in the center of the end zone for a TD at :16 left in the quarter to further the Big Blue runaway train at 36-0.
Princeton set the running clock in motion with their final score at 9:34 in the fourth quarter with yet another Star TD, on a 12-yard run, ending the scoring for the Tigers and ending the game with a 43-0 victory.
• Notes: Princeton won the sophomore game 46-6.... The Tigers travel to Kewanee this Friday.