09-26-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant

Panther Football outscores Fennville for Homecoming

Fennville was no match for the Watervliet Panthers Friday evening, Sept. 20 as they beat the visiting Fennville Blackhawks 56-21. The Panthers managed to score on the first offensive play of the game despite kicking the ball away.

After pinning the kick return man down on their 1-yard line, Don Smith tackled the Fennville runner in the end zone for the two-point safety. The game was all maroon from there as the Panthers jumped out to a 26-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

FIRST HALF… kick from Watervliet Panther Aaron Nave goes deep into Fennville territory during Friday’s Homecoming game. (TCR photo by Amy Loshbough)

The Panthers rushed for 308 yards led by Don Smith with 178 and three touchdowns. Jerry Unger had 68 yards rushing, a TD and a fumble recovery. Aaron Nave had 24 and one TD. Evan Hutchins added 23, and Jordan Abney 15 yards and a rushing TD. Isaac Wilmoth and Austin Wilmoth also added to the total.

Abney returned a kickoff 82 yards and caught two 2-point conversions from Tyson Williams in addition to two catches for 41 yards. Isaac Wilmoth ran in a 2-point try and Hutchins caught two more 2-point tries. Coach Josh Tremblay said the defense played well and helped grind out the win.

The 2-2 Panthers host a 1-2 Kalamazoo United team at Panther Stadium on Friday, Sept. 27.

Panther Boys Cross notches 4th meet win

The Watervliet High School boys cross country team won its fourth invitational of the season by placing first at the Bangor Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21. Good team depth continues to be the key for the Panthers as they had their top four finishers all under 19 minutes.

Gus Hinch (18:07) led the team with his 9th place finish. Ezra Troyer (18:27) saw a strong start carry him to 16th place. Trever Pelton (18:44) was just a second off a new PR cruising to the finish for 19th place. German Casiano (18:56) continues to drop more time each race as he broke into the 18s for the first time and a 22nd place finish. Kody Edmonds (19:16) and Matthew Hanks (19:38) were close behind.

The Panther boys were also the top team in the reserve race as they placed 4th in the top 10. Camdon Geisler (21:01) ran by far his best race of the season to finish 5th. Abel Villareal, Mason Pennington and Jimmy Kolosowsky grabbed spots 8, 9 and 10. Abel improved 57 seconds from last week while Jimmy knocked another 30 seconds off his PR. Nick Orlando also exhibited great improvement as he lopped a full 1:26 off his previous best.

Team scores: Watervliet 36, Mendon 57, Gobles 76, Lake Michigan Catholic 96 and Eau Claire 100.

Panther Girls Cross takes 2nd place

The Panther ladies brought home the second-place trophy from the Bangor Invitational last Saturday. Brenda Romero (26:25) ran a great second-half of the race to lead the team with a new PR 50 seconds faster than her previous best race. Sophie Tavolacci was the next Panther to cross the finish line with Kristina Swanson finishing behind her with a new PR time. Megan Trapp bounced back from a couple rough races to give the team much needed depth and Alyssa Lange was able to finish off the team scoring.

Boys Soccer beats Lawton