Aggies Win Battler at Bacone for First Conference Win
Brock Kappelmann - September 18, 2017 6:13 am
Aggies Win the Battle at Bacone for First Conference Win
Released by Panhandle State Sports Information on 09/17/2017
Muskogee, Okla.-Saturday brought heat and wind for Panhandle State football’s first CSFL matchup at Bacone College. The Aggies brought home their first win in the Central States Football League, taking a 31-8 victory on the Warrior’s home turf.
Bacone worked their way into Aggie territory on the first drive of the game without much pushback from a lagging Darkside Defense. Special teams stepped up with a blocked field goal on a 30-yard attempt to hold off the Warriors’ goal line stand. Junior defensive back Zachary Perez Clack got a hand up to save the score at 0-0.
On their opening drive, the Aggies covered ground going 80 yards on 12 plays for the first touchdown of the game. Nick West took a hand-off from Aggie quarterback DJ Scott on a first-and-goal situation after a 27-yard run by Orlando Haymon put Panhandle in the red zone. Cesar Tellez booted in the extra point and followed up with a nice kickoff that placed the Warriors on their own 23.
The Warriors went on to convert three first downs on the ensuing possession, but were held up once again inside the OPSU 20. Clack forced a fumble on a handoff and two timely tackles by Marcus McCants set up the turnover on downs at the Aggie 15. Two plays later, Panhandle found the endzone to pull ahead 14-0. Haymon had a 35-yard carry on first down, followed by a Scott to West connection good for a 50-yard Aggie touchdown. The first quarter ticked away as Bacone started back in their own territory.
Panhandle’s defense held Bacone behind the 35 forcing a punt on fourth down. Scott took over on the OPSU 22 and was stifled by Bacone’s linebackers, suffering a sack for a loss of six yards. Jacob Test was sent in with the punt unit on 4th-and-17. The Aggies only allowed four yards on the Warrior’s next drive as freshman Aaron Kinch brought the heat with a quarterback sack on third down. Bacone held the Aggies to a punt on the following possession and the next two drives saw each team turn the ball over on downs. As the first half came to a close, the Aggies left the field with a 14-0 advantage.
Tellez added another three points for the Aggies in the opening minutes of the third quarter with a 38-yard field goal. The junior kicker was back on the field for the extra point attempt after Scott threw a 30-yard bomb to junior receiver Kameron Taylor on Panhandle’s next possession, padding the score 24-0. A sloppy series by the Aggies defense drew three personal foul penalties that gave the Warriors great position to score their first points of the game. A touchdown pass from the OPSU 21 was followed by a successful two-point conversion to bring the score to 24-8 midway through the third quarter.
The fourth quarter started with a Bacone punt that was returned by Jaylon Fair to Panhandle’s 35 yard line. Freshman wide receiver Seth Barbarino paired with running back Preston Baker to take the Aggie offense deep into Warrior real estate. Scott was set up for a on the Bacone 9 to complete a TD pass to Miquel Hudson with 11:43 left in the game. After another successful PAT from Tellez, the Aggies led 31-8. Redshirt freshman John Polston relieved Scott on quarterback duties for the remainder of the game and the Aggie defense helped hold the score at 31-8 to notch the first CSFL win for Panhandle State.
Although the game may not have played out pretty in person, on paper the Aggies prevailed with 504 total yards on offense and held their opponent to just 268 yards on 78 offensive plays. With two turnovers and nine penalties, Coach Gaskamp knows there is still room for improvement stating, “We didn’t execute as well as we would have liked on both sides of the ball. Fumbled snaps and mental errors held us back, and I’m not happy with our third down conversion rate on defense.”
Despite the game’s downfalls, Gaskamp celebrated the victory adding, “We got a conference win on the road, and that’s a big deal in the grand scheme of winning in the CSFL. Statistically we looked good. Any time you hold an offense to under 300 yards it is a good day. Our defense bent at times, but didn’t break.” He also commended the efforts of the Warriors saying, “Bacone is a much-improved team and played us really hard.”
Leading the Aggie offense was quarterback DJ Scott who went 18-25 for 269 yards and three touchdowns. Panhandle’s running game saw improvement from last week with Preston Baker leading the pack with 11 carries for 105 yards; Orlando Haymon hauled in 77 yards on ten carries. Receiver Nick West finished with 103 yards on four completions. Defensively, Aaron Kinch, Kameron Lyons, Marcus McCants and Nathan Leithead each totaled four tackles in the game.
The Aggies will suit up against another CSFL opponent this week with a home game against Lyon College at No Man’s Land Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. The game will be celebrate First Responders with a “Guns ‘N Hoses” event during the pre-game tailgate. Panhandle area police and fire fighters will go head-to-head in fun contests and the group of local first responders will be recognized at the game. A special presentation to the family of former Aggie football coach Mike Wyatt will also take place during Saturday’s contest which is sponsored by Apollo Med Flight. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy the pregame festivities in the Tailgate Zone which opens 3 hours prior to kickoff.
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