Inexperienced Panthers comfortably beat Perquimans

Published 1:19 am Saturday, August 18, 2018

HERTFORD — Playing with a team chock-full of players taking part in their first varsity game, Northside showed experience can be overrated, defeating Perquimans 38-0 tonight to open the 2018 football season.

Johnathan Clark, last year’s leading rusher and one of the few returning starters from last season, was impactful in his new role as quarterback, running for a score and tossing another.

Northside (1-0) head coach Keith Boyd thought Clark played well but said the senior can still improve at his new position.

“(Johnathan Clark) did really well. He was 1-for-2 in the passing game, he read fairly well, but still got a lot to work to do with our decision-making. He led the team well, managed the game,” Boyd said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do but he did a good job.”

Boyd was pleased with how his defense performed against Perquimans (0-1), not allowing the Pirates to get much going on offense. Along with keeping Perquimans from converting many first downs, the Panthers’ defense generated some points with a safety and created a turnover through a Tyshawan Roberson interception.

Northside started off the game with sloppy play but eventually settled in a bit. Clark opened the game’s scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion gave the Panthers an 8-0 lead. Clark added to his team’s lead, throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to Roberson on third-and-long. Another two-point conversion pushed Northside’s lead to 16 points.

Tyler Modlin, Omari Crandell and James Gorham closed out the game with a 25-yard touchdown run, a 15-yard scoring run and a 60-yard touchdown scamper, respectively, in the second half.

Despite the convincing score, Boyd sees a lot that can be improved on, namely with how his offense played.

“We were sloppy, especially in the first half; we had way too many penalties. We had four touchdowns called back, a lot of holding on the edge, so we’ve got a lot to clean up,” Boyd said. “We’re glad to be 1-0, but there’s still so much that we can get cleaned up. Our wings have got to do a better job blocking on the edge, and our O-line has got to hold its blocks a little longer.”

Boyd said his team will get to work in practice to cut down on the mistakes they made in their season-opening game. The Panthers will need to be fast learners though, because a tough North Duplin squad visits Pinetown in week two of the season.