WOODWARD — The Panorama offense, defense and special teams all found their way into the end zone Friday as the Panthers strolled to a 52-14 non-district win over Woodward Academy.
The Panthers (2-0) scored twice on short interception returns, found pay dirt on an 80-yard kickoff return, forced a safety and rushed for four touchdowns in dominating play in what was, at times, a sloppy affair.
Panorama scored quickly, with Tanner Godfrey stepping in front of a pass and easily scoring from 25 yards away. Michael Allen provided the PAT for a swift 7-0 lead. The margin stood at 9-0 after one frame thanks to a Luke South punt which was downed inside the five-yard line, with the Knights (0-2) flagged for holding in the end zone on the next snap, resulting in a safety.
Gunnar Grunsted stepped into the north end zone early in the second quarter to push the lead to 16-0, but the Knights went to the air for a big play as Marc Hughes found a streaking Kareem Wilson for a 64-yard touchdown to trim the lead to 16-7 after Jose Topete kicked the PAT.
Touchdown runs of 26 yards from Blaine Barber and of 34 yards from Brody Rickheim helped the guests open a 30-7 lead at the half.
The second half was plagued with numerous penalties against both teams. Panorama was flagged a total of 12 times for 64 yards and the Academy nine times for 65 yards, slowing the pace of the game and preventing either team from finding a rhythm, as flags flew every few snaps.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, and the distracted play and lack of crispness by the Panthers in the period earned the ire of veteran head coach Lyle Alumbaugh, who brought the team together and gave them what used to be called “an old fashioned ear-full” challenging the team to elevate their level of play.
Quarterback Luke South stepped around a terrific block from center Ethan Hupp and burst 10 yards straight up the middle early in the fourth quarter for a 36-7 lead. The PAT snap and hold went awry, but holder Trey Cobb kept his cool, rolling right and flipping to Grunsted in the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 38-7 advantage.
Wilson put the Knights back on the board with an elusive 42-yard TD reception for Robinson II, with Topete’s PAT boot setting the scoreboard at 38-14.
Barber needed only a few seconds to change that, grabbing the ensuing kickoff and darting through a huge opening to burst 80 yards for a touchdown and 45-14 Panther lead. Allen stepped into the passing lane and returned an interception 31 yards a few minutes later to cap the scoring.
The offensive line of Gabe Fell, Koltin Sloss, Daniel Jensen, Dalton Holmes and Hupp were strong in the trenches, helping the Panthers rack up 339 rushing yards on 55 carries. Rickheim led the way with 18 carries for 135 yards and a score, with South (16-80, 1 TD), Grusnted (9-54, 1 TD) and Barber (4-50, 1 TD) also stepping across the goal line. Benny Barroso (2-9), Cobb (5-8) and Meinecke (1-3) also had carries for the guests.
South was 4-of-7 for 36 yards through the air. He hit Meinecke three times for 35 yards and Grunsted once for one yard while being intercepted by Darnell Geiger.
Grunsted had 5.5 tackles and Cobb five to lead the defense, with Barroso landing on a fumble.
March Hughes (4-13-1, 1 TD) threw for 60 yards for the Knights, with Robinson II 4-10-2 for 85 yards and a score.
Wilson (3-131, 2 TDs) led the Academy receivers, with Deshawn Johnson (2-8), Anthony Ward III (1-15) leading the charge, while Darnell Green (2-48) and Ward III (13-26) the top rushers.
Ward III had 12 tackles and a fumble recovery, with Green making nine stops and Julian Gill and Demarcus Gee in on 6.5 denials apiece.
The Academy will stay in Woodward Friday but switch to the visitors sideline as they face Woodward-Granger (1-1) in their Class 1A District 5 opener.
Panorama will begin a two-week stretch on their own turf. The Panthers will host Madrid (0-2) Friday and seek to avenge a 35-6 loss last season. The Tigers have fallen to W-G (26-6) and Earlham (21-20) in their first two games. Homecoming will be Sept. 15 against Ogden (1-1).