Panthers Show Grit, Toughness During First Scrimmage At St. Francis

BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — The Maumee football team has spent the last two months training together in the weight room, facing off against each other on the practice field and running drills with the same faces.

Last Friday night, though, the Panthers finally got a chance to line up across from a different team when they scrimmaged at St. Francis deSales.

While no score was kept during the scrimmage, Maumee put the ball into the end zone multiple times and held its own against the Knights, giving the Panthers some confidence and excitement heading into their second week of two-a-day practices.

“Playing someone for the first time who is not ourselves, you’re looking for the physicality,” said Panthers coach Evan Karchner. “We just started hitting this week and this ended the whole week. I thought our guys came out and showed that we have some toughness, we’re going to blow some people off the ball and we’re going to tackle well.

“This was a good scrimmage for us to build off of.”

On the first play of the scrimmage, St. Francis busted off a long run, but the Panthers responded and held the Knights out of the end zone. The Panthers gave up a few other big plays and showed hustle and toughness on the defensive side of the ball.

“From the moment I came here, I told these guys, ‘Hey, if someone’s going to beat us, it’s not going to be easy. Someone might be better than us, but they’re not going to work harder than us, they’re not going to hustle to the ball better than we are, they’re not going to be tougher than us,’” Karchner said.

“We gave up some big plays, but we responded. We’re going to play the next play. We had some good stops after some big plays.”

On offense, Maumee saw success in both the running and passing games, but the Panthers most effectively moved the ball when quarterback Chase Maulucci or running back Cody Wulf took off on running plays.

“Cody’s a very good football player and a very tough football player,” Karchner said. “He definitely makes us better.

“He has an attitude. He runs the ball like he has something to prove and that’s great for our offense and our defense.”

The Panthers have one more preseason scrimmage, hosting Ottawa Hills at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 11 at Kazmaier Stadium.

Maumee opens the regular season against former Northern Lakes League foe Springfield at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 18.

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