Division 6 - Panther Pride

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Division 6

Nouvel 12 Blissfield 7

Nouvel kicked deep and Blissfield started on their own three yard line. A Royal three and out gave Nouvel the ball at the Panther 48 yard line. Nouvel punted back as more opening jitters were seen in the opening drive for each squad. After a few punts for each squad, Nouvel put together a drive with two big passes to Ryan Palmer. A quarterback sneak by Ryan Miller put Nouvel up and the extra point was blocked. Blissfield took that kickoff and turned it into a drive but were unable to sustain and score points. On defense, Nouvel got to the ball with many of their players and gang tackled Blissfield. The first 20 minutes was a defensive battle with both teams playing hard on defense and not being able to sustain drives on offense. Blissfield’s defense was really hitting hard during the first half. Neither team gave up big plays in the first half so the score was 6-0 at the break. Each team converted only two first downs.

When Nouvel finally got the ball moving to begin the second half, a stupid unsportsmanlike penalty moved them back and set up third and 15 before the Panthers had to punt it away on fourth down. On their next drive, a holding penalty pushed them back to first and 20 before third and twenty play lost another eight yards and forced the punt. Finally, toward the end of the third quarter, Blissfield began moving the ball but were stuffed on third down and forced to punt to begin the fourth quarter. The punt pinned Nouvel at their own four yard line. On first down on their own 31, David Kazmierski threw a 69 yard pass to Ryan Palmer who raced in for the touchdown on the 97 yard drive with 8:30 left in the game. The extra point was a fake and the two point attempt was thwarted. Blissfield was then in a tough situation; 3rd and 17 on their own 35 with 6:37 remaining. The Royals were unable to capitalize on the play and punted back to Nouvel with 6:27 left. Even thought they were unable to score, they did burn three minutes off the clock before they punted to Blissfield. Finally, at this point when their backs were against the proverbial wall, the Royals came alive and marched down the field behind the arm of John Estes. Nouvel had a chance to intercept the ball and end the drive, but it bounced out of their hands and into the hands of a Royal receiver. Then it came down to third and ten at the Panther 18 yard line with less than two minutes remaining. Estes threw a perfect strike to Luke Shrader for the touchdown and converted the extra point to pull within five. Their first onside attempt drew a flag for a false start. On the second attempt, Tyler Winkler’s kick didn’t go the needed ten yards and Nouvel got the ball on the Royal 44. Nouvel ran out the clock to win their second consecutive state championship.

Interesting Game Points: Blissfield punted on every possession in the first half. The Royals converted only five of their 13 first downs while Nouvel converted 6 of 13