Cardinals hold off Panthers in defensive struggle

Panorama tackle Jared Wasson blocks a Central Decatur defender Friday in Panora. Wasson recorded a safety while playing defense for the Panthers. Photo courtesy Lynnea Andersen.

PANORA — A total of two points were scored in the second half of Friday’s non-district battle between visiting Central Decatur and Panorama, a defensive donnybrook that ended in a 14-5 victory for the guests.

Panorama held Military/First Responders Appreciation Night at the contest, with special recognition given and 13 empty chairs displayed along the Panther sideline with a No. 13 jersey in honor of the Marines recently killed in Afghanistan.

Jacob Walker put the hosts in front, 3-0, with a 33-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Matthew Booke picked up a Panther fumble and darted four yards into the end zone for a 7-3 Cardinal lead early in the second quarter. Boothe connected with Tyke Hullinger on a five-yard touchdown strike later in the frame to set the halftime score at 14-3 in favor of Central Decatur, who improved to 2-1 after the win.

Senior tackle Jared Wasson made a stop in the Cardinal end zone for a safety in the third frame to generate the unusual 14-5 score. Neither team could find a way to add to their point total for the remainder of the contest, dropping the Panthers to 1-2 overall on the season.

Both defenses were in command throughout, with the visitors passing for just 105 yards and rushing for only 97 more while the hosts threw for 165 yards and ran for just 79 more.

The Panthers were held to no conversions on 11 third down plays and converted only 1-of-4 plays on fourth down. The Cardinals fared little better, making a first down on 2-of-14 third down snaps while being denied on three attempts on fourth down.

Cayden VanMeer was 15-of-31 for 163 yards for the hosts. He was intercepted once. Austin Block attempted one pass, which fell incomplete.

Nile Lindstrom caught five passes for 49 yards and Block four balls for 38 yards, with Josh VanWinkle (2-36), Ryan Cogil (2-25), Gavin Godfrey (1-8) and Braedon Draper (1-8) also receiving aerials.

Cogil led the home team on the groudn with 34 yards on 10 rushes, with VanWinkle running once for 23 yards. Block (6-16), Lindstrom (1-14), Godfrey (3-5) and VanMeer (8 for -13) had carries as well.

Klayton Bremer led the Panther defenders with seven tackles. Godfrey and Brice Taylor had 6.5 tackles apiece, with Cooper Andersen adding 5.5 stops and Lindstrom five. Taylor recorded two tackles for a loss of yards, with Andersen, Bremer, and Godfrey also making stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Panorama will begin Class 1A District 7 play Friday with a trip to Van Meter. The game will kick off at 7 p.m.

Empty chairs, each with the name of one of the 13 marines recently slain in Afghanistan, sit along the sideline in Panora Friday. The display was part of the annual Military/First Responder Appreciation Night, during which Panorama hosted Central Decatur. Photo courtesy Lynnea Andersen.

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