Panthers steamroll A.L. Johnson 52-16

Published 4:14 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023

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The Marengo Panthers welcomed the A.L. Johnson (ALJ) Eagles to Dixons Mills last Friday and soundly defeated their county rival 52-16.

The Panthers were set up with great field position after the Eagles fumbled the ball at midfield early in the first quarter. The team quickly took advantage of the mistake with Toriano Kelly racing down to the end zone with 9:49 remaining in the first quarter. The Panthers’ first of many two-point conversion attempts was good, putting Marengo up 8-0.

The Eagles’ next drive went three and out and were forced to punt it away with 6:36 left in the first quarter.

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Marengo wasted no time in finding the end zone again and Kelly scored his second touchdown of the night with 5:34 left in the first quarter. A two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score at 14-0.

Another ALJ fumble was recovered by the Panthers with 3:23 remaining in the first quarter, allowing Marengo to take over at the Eagles’ 32-yard line. After a couple of penalties that pushed the Panthers back several yards, Kelly cut around the edge of the Eagle defense with 2:21 remaining in the first quarter. The two-point conversion run was good, making the score 22-0.

The Panthers would score one last time in the first quarter, this time by Jamarcus Battle, with 31 seconds left on the game clock. The two-point conversion run failed, making the score 28-0.

Marengo found an opening in the Eagles’ defense, and Battle took it in for a score on their first play of the second quarter. He would also run in for the two-point conversion to put the Panthers up 36-0 with 8:15 left in the second quarter.

The Panthers picked up the third ALJ fumble with 8:00 left in the first half and took over at ALJ’s 20 yard line. Battle scored again for the Panthers only a few minutes later. The two-point conversion was batted down, leaving the score at 42-0.

An ALJ receiver tries to find running room against the Marengo Panthers. Photo by Andrea Burroughs





























The Eagles finally found an opening in the Panther defense about midway through the second quarter. Earl Lewis broke away from a would-be defender and raced down the Eagle sideline to the end zone with 5:58 on the clock. The two-point conversion was good, and the Eagles finally clawed their way onto the scoreboard 42-8.

The last touchdown of the night for the Panthers was a touchdown run with 3:44 remaining in the second half, making the score 50-8. The final points for Marengo was a safety after the Panthers caught the ALJ quarterback in the endzone, making the score 52-8.

The final points for the game were for ALJ when they scored a second touchdown in the second half and completed the two-point attempt to make the final 52-16.

The Panthers (2-1) will be at home again this week as they welcome the Linden Patriots (2-1) into their stadium. A.L. Johnson (0-3) has an open date this week. Kickoff for Marengo and Linden is 7 p.m.