Unlike the previous outcome, the Panthers proved to be resilient and overwhelming at times. Though the Beavers led statistically in many things, the only number that mattered was on the scoreboard as the Panthers used their explosive play style to end the Beavers’ season by the score of 55-30.
Falls City head coach Mark Kirchhoff was unavailable for comment as of press time.
The first half saw explosive and quick plays by both teams. The Panthers got the first score of the game with 7:30 to go in the first quarter as quarterback Xavier Bethany, who also handles kicking duties, kicked a 24-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. On Falls City’s ensuing possession, with 5:49 on the clock, defensive back Juwan Mathis picked off a pass from Falls City junior quarterback Cameron Soto and took it 56 yards to the end zone for a pick-six, though the failed extra point kept the lead at 9-0.
Burton’s last score of the quarter came with 1:30 left as Bethany connected with receiver Brandon Green for the 22-yard touchdown pass, with Bethany’s kick putting the Panthers’ lead at 16-0 after one quarter of play.
The Beavers managed to get on the scoreboard with 6:18 to go in the second quarter as junior running back Phillip Lyssy punched it in on a 1-yard run and Soto connected with Lyssy on the two-point conversion to cut the lead in half at 16-8. On Burton’s ensuing possession, at the 6:03 mark, Mathis, who plays running back on offense, scored on a lengthy 65-yard run.
Bethany’s PAT extended the lead to 23-8. The Beavers countered on their next possession with 5:21 to go as junior running back Jon Swierc scored on a 3-yard run and Soto connected with sophomore Dean Gaskamp to make it a 7-point game at 23-16. Burton responded with 4:11 to go as Mathis scored on a 3-yard run of his own and Bethany’s kick extended the lead back to 14 points at 30-16. The Beavers final score of the first half came with 1:42 to play as Soto punched it in on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.
Senior Scott Lyssy’s PAT cut the lead down to 30-23. However, the Panthers managed to extend their lead with 3 seconds to go until halftime as Bethany scored on a 1-yard run of his own, though the kick failed, leaving the score at 36-23 at halftime.
The second half saw the Panthers take control and put the game out of the Beavers’ reach.
The third quarter’s lone score came with 2:05 on the clock as Bethany broke free and scored on a 31-yard run, with his PAT putting the lead at 43-23. The Beavers’ final score of the game came with 11:06 left in the fourth quarter on a 24-yard run by Soto, with Lyssy’s kicking making it 43-30.
The Panthers scored twice in the fourth quarter to end the Beavers’ season. The first came at the 7:38 mark on a 13-yard run by Bethany and the second came with 2:57 left on a 28-yard run by Mathis to put the final score at 55-30.
Statistically, the Beavers and Panthers each kept it close. The Beavers gained 382 yards of total offense, with 239 rushing over 52 attempts and 143 passing over 22 attempts.
The Panthers, by comparison, gained 399 yards of total offense, with 241 rushing over 37 attempts and 158 passing over 9 attempts. In terms of penalties, the Beavers were flagged 8 times for 51 total yards and the Panthers were only flagged once for 15 yards. With the loss, the Beavers finish the season at 10-3 overall and have a majority of underclassmen returning in 2012.