YORKVILLE - What a difference a week has made for first-year head coach Phil Pest. Just one week after opening the season with a hard-to-swallow loss at Utica, Buckeye Local bouncd back with a 24-6 win over Pittsburgh Westinghouse at Memorial Stadium in Yorkville Saturday night.
The Panthers return to action Friday playing host to an improving John Marshall team at Memorial Stadium.
Westinghouse will follow this opening season loss into next week's match up with Wheeling Central on Wheeling Island. The Bulldogs return four weeks later to face Steubenville Big Red.
"I think we played very well in the first half," Pest following the win. "We played very good on defense, but our offense got a little sluggish in the second half.
"It felt really good to get that first win. It's important to get that first one. There is a lot of pressure on the kids until they get that one win under their belt.
"I thought defensively we played very well. They are a very athletic team with a lot of good layers. They certainly wasn't a gimme win by any stretch of the imagination."
Buckeye Local 24, Westinghouse 6
Pittsburgh Westinghouse 0 0 0 6 - 6
Buckeye Local0 16 0 8 - 24
BL: Kirk 1 run (Kirk run)
BL: Duncan 12 pass from Kirk (Marshall run)
W: El 3 run (pass failed)
BL: Stock 74 kickoff return (Tustin run)
RUSHING: Buckeye Local (39-62-1) - Marshall, 15-67; Flaherty, 8-25; Stock, 2-11; Mosser, 1-1; Beall, 1-5; Kirk, 11-(-46) - 1. Westinghouse (26-61-1) -Walker, 10-20; Brown, 1-0; Lyons, 1-1 Allen, 9-25; El, 3-10-1; Roberts, 2-4
PASSING: Buckeye Local (3-8-41-1-2) - all by Kirk. Westinghouse (13-33-105-0-3) - all by Brown
RECEIVING: Buckeye Local - Zeroski, 1-28; Duncan, 1-12-1; Agnew, 1-5. Westinghouse - Lyons, 7-59; Harris, 5-37; Fuller, 1-7
FIRST DOWNS: Buckeye Local, 10; Westinghouse, 8
PENALTIES: Buckeye Local, 4-36; Westinghouse, 11-80
FUMBLES: Buckeye Local, 3-1; Westinghouse, 2-2
"Now we will start preparing for John Marshall. They will be a bit different from what we faced the last couple weeks."
Defense was highlighted in the first quarter with neither managing to get on the board as a result of some big defensive stops.
With 9:13 on the clock, the Bulldogs diminutive Dominic Fuller pounced on a Buckeye Local fumble that thwarted the Panthers' first drive. Just minutes later, the Panthers regained the ball with a Dylan Dokes fumble recovery.
Buckeye Local got on the board early in the second frame as the hosts took advantage of a ill-advised fake on a fourth down punt that hand the Panthers possession on the Bulldogs 16.
Dakota Flaherty took the pitch on the first play and the senior fullback added 15 to the 1. Nathan Kirk dove in from the 1 with 8:46 on the clock. Kirk ran in the two-pointer.
Later in the session, Buckeye Local put together a 57-yard drive sparked by a 24-yard Kirk to Brian Zeroski pass and an 18-yard run by Andy Stock. With 2:59 on the first half clock, Kirk tossed 12 yards to Shane Duncan for the score. Marshall ran for the two-pointer and a 16-0 lead for the hosts.
In the third quarter, it was nearly a carbon copy of the first with neither team able to cross the goal line and the defensive units taking control. Buckeye was sparked y two key interceptions in the third session with Caleb Agnew stepping in front of a Bulldog pass with 5:23 on the clock and minutes later, Marshall adding another pass theft to the Panther numbers.
Coming on the heels of a Hasaan Allen interception, Westinghouse was able to collect its only score with 4:19 on the clock. Beyshaud El scored from the 3 to cut the margin to 16-6.
Any question of a late Bulldog comeback was squelched on the ensuing kickoff. Stock collected the kickoff on the 26 and rambled untouched on a 74-yard return that pushed the hosts lead to 22-6. Shawn Tustin added the two-pointer with a run off tackle.