CYFL Game of the Week: Patriots edge Panthers in back-and-forth game

Published 11:15 am Saturday, October 7, 2017

In flag-football action Saturday morning, the Washington Patriots were able to run past the Washington Panthers, 24-8. The two teams matched each other tit-for-tat before the Patriots created some separation in the second half.

Jaehere Collins provided back-to-back big plays to shift the momentum. The Patriots, leading 12-8 at halftime, squandered an opportunity after starting the second half in Panther territory. The Patriots stood tall on defense as Collins made a third-down stop to force a punt.

Collins, on fourth down, ripped off a 26-yard touchdown shortly after. The drive took five minutes off the clock and pushed the Patriots’ lead to 24-8 with two minutes left.

The Panthers didn’t roll over, though. They posted a 65-yard touchdown from Ja’Quan Smallwood on the next play. The 2-point conversion attempt fell short, keeping it a two-possession game with time a scarce commodity.

The Panthers have shown from the get go that they have athletes that can score. A host of speedy running backs helped put up 28 points in their season opener. However, penalties and a stiff Patriots defense made it tough to move the ball in the first half.

The Patriots struck first when Darius Dills reversed the field to score a 52-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, though, allowing the Panthers to take the lead shortly after. Kaiden Foreman-McIver took a handoff to the house from 60 yards away. The conversion from Justice Wiggins gave the Panthers an 8-6 edge with 5:30 left in the first half.

The Patriots looked to strike before the intermission, but were slowed by an aggressive Panthers’ defense. Consecutive tackles-for-loss pushed the Patriots back, but Collins still managed to explode for a 55-yard score with 16 seconds left in the half.