BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — When Maumee football coach Cam Coutcher saw the stats from last Friday’s game at Anthony Wayne, he was surprised.
“They just showed me the stats, and I said, ‘This can’t be right, because we drove the ball.’ I felt like we were doing better,” Coutcher said. “I think we are.”
The stats and scoreboard told a different story than what Coutcher saw, as the Panthers stayed winless on the season with a 56-0 loss.
It was a game that saw Maumee fall behind 21-0 after one quarter but stay within three touchdowns while showing signs of life through much of the second quarter.
That is, until the Generals (2-2, 1-0 Northern Lakes League) pounded out four touchdowns in the final four minutes of the first half to take a 49-0 lead into the break.
Two of those half-ending scores came on big plays – a 76-yard run by Joe Caswell and a 35-yard interception return. They were the type of plays Coutcher said sunk his team’s chances.
“I see it different than other people. I think we’re really improving quite a bit,” Coutcher said. “Last week, we drove the ball against a really good Eastwood defense, and then we came out here and drove the ball. We just had too many negative plays that took away some of our yards.
“We’re driving the ball, we’re hitting, we’re competing.”
The Panthers appeared to have some measure of success running the ball in the first quarter. Again, though, the stats seemed to tell a different story, as Maumee totaled 13 yards on the ground for the game.
“They only had five in the box. If you can’t run against five in the box, you’re in trouble,” Coutcher said. “We had a really good game plan; we just didn’t execute well enough.”
Caleb Boerst led the Panthers with 22 rushing yards.
Coutcher said quarterback Kyle Arndt was not at 100 percent against Anthony Wayne. The junior completed 4-of-11 passes for 26 yards and he was held to negative-11 yards on the ground.
“He was sick. He didn’t practice or go to school (the day before the game),” Coutcher said. “He’s dealing with a hamstring issue. If he’s healthy, I think it’s a different ball game.”
Caswell finished with 114 rushing yards and three TDs on eight carries. The Generals had 350 rushing yards, the most Maumee has given up this season. Opponents have rushed for 1,050 yards in four games on the Panthers, averaging 7.6 yards per carry.
Not only did the loss keep Maumee out of the win column this season, but it’s the 18th straight loss for the program. Coutcher believes his team is better than what the scoreboard and stats have shown and he has ways of proving it to his players.
“You show them on film how much better they are and how they’re executing,” he said. “You show them the first downs. We’re getting multiple first downs on drives early in the game, so we’re coming out ready.
“Then once the momentum changes, then your mentality changes.”
The Panthers will try to break their skid and notch their first win since September 27, 2019, when they host Northview at 7:00 p.m. on Friday.