Battle of the Bike Trail Football Game

Joseph LaPatra, Reporter

    This past Friday, your Griffith Panthers hosted the Highland Trojans in the season opener for both teams. This game opened with no scoring through the first quarter despite possessions for both teams. The first blow was dealt by the Panthers with a touchdown from Gary Quillin on the ground. The game went back and forth. The score was 21-14; Highland was in the lead. With 6 minutes in the 4th quarter, a comeback was kicked off by a Jason Dillon interception at midfield. Once Griffith got the ball back, they pushed it up the field with a rotation of running plays. Once in front of the end zone, Gary Quillin did what he did all game and scored his third rushing touchdown. At the PAT attempt, Coach Robinson called for a trick play which had Gary Quillin as the placekicker pick up the snap and roll out to hit Connor Cervantes in the end zone for the 2-point conversion. This gave Griffith the 22-21 lead. Highland received the kickoff and the Trojans charged back to the 50 yd line.

Highland was then stopped repeatedly. Carter Crowe picked off Highland to seal the game, but the referee called pass interference, therefore it gave them another opportunity. Highland chose to throw at Crowe again which was a grave mistake for the Trojans as he intercepted the pass once again sealing the win for the Panthers. Coach Robert Robinson named kicker, Logan Starks, quarterback, Gary Quillin, defensive back, Carter Crowe, and running back, Connor Cervantes all as game MVPs. When asked what he thought the most important play of the game was, Overall Game MVP, Connor Cervantes said, “I believe the biggest play was when I broke for a 50-yard run. This play was a huge momentum changer, and it fired the whole team up, which led us to score a touchdown a couple of plays after.” When asked about his game-sealing interception, Carter Crowe said “I saw the quarterback throw the ball and I knew the ball was going to number 3 so I just knew I had to make the play if not they were scoring.” When asked about the 4th quarter 2PT conversion, QB Gary Quillin said “During that two-point conversion, I think that we just wanted it more. We have practiced that every practice and when Logan came out to the field and told me coach said go for two, I was ready, and I knew Connor was ready. But it all came down to who wanted it more.” Logan Starks talked about his PAT attempts, saying “I feel like my PATs affected the outcome because if I missed them, we would have lost.”

Stats of the game

Gary Quillin – 51 Yds | 3 TDS | 2 PT Conversion

Connor Cervantes – 147 Rushing Yds | 5 Tackles | 2PT Conversion

Kamari Tyler – 25 Rushing Yds

Joel Maxwell – 40 Yds

Carter Crowe – 1 Interception | 5 Tackles

Logan Starks – 2 PAT | AVG Kickoff Length 44.3

AJ Farr – 1 Blocked FG | 4 Tackles

Colton Strezo – 5 Tackles

Jason Dillon – 1 Interception | 2 Tackles

Kerrick McCabe – 1 Sack

Kris Smith – 1 Sack