MAN – The Tug Valley Panthers improved to 7-2 on the season as they defeated the Man Hillbillies 30-24 at George A. Queen Memorial Stadium at Man. The win greatly improves their playoff chances.
Senior quarterback Mikey Newsome threw for 247 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 12-19 passes and no interceptions.
Senior tight end Corey Dillon had six catches for 114 yards.
Tug Valley took a 24-0 lead going into the dressing room at the half. However, they had to hold off a charging Man squad who made a comeback.
Junior fullback David Runyon got things started for the Panthers with 9:13 in the first quarter catching a TD pass from Newsome. Ryan Preece caught the conversion pass to give Tug Valley an 8-0 lead.
With 5:49 left in the initial quarter, senior Aaron Muncy and Newsome connected on a 32-yard pass play. Jesse Mays ran in for the 2-point conversion to give the Panthers a 16-0 lead.
Newsome hooked up with Dillon with 9:11 left in the first half on a 16-yard TD pass. Runyon bulled in for the 2-point conversion to give Tug Valley a 24-0 advantage.
The third quarter remained scoreless until the closing seconds. Man got its first TD when Noah Maynard hit pay-dirt from three yards out. Cayce Mullins scored the 2-poin conversion for the Hillbillies.
With the time running out in the third quarter, Newsome hit Preece on a nice 67-yard touchdown pass play. That score proved to be important, giving Tug Valley at 30-8 lead. The conversion pass failed, but the Panthers extended their lead.
With 10:27 left in the game, Neil Mullins cut into the lead for Man on a 10-yard TD run. Cayce Mullins ran in for the 2-point conversion to make it 30-12.
On the next possession, the Tug Valley offense stalled and the Panthers were forced to punt. Neil Mullins got through the line and blocked the punt. Then with 6:11 left in the final quarter Man quarterback John Keefer connected with David Belcher on a catch and run TD pass. Mullins ran in for the extra points to cut the Tug Valley lead 30-24.
Man threatened one more time on offense, but the Panther defense and the secondary came up with a big stand. Tug Valley was able to come away with a big win, which should help in their bid to make the Class A playoffs.
Tug Valley had 373 yards of total offense, 126 on the ground and 247 through the air. They had just three penalties for 25 yards.
Man ended up with 301 yards of total offense, 191 via the air and 110 passing. The Hillbillies had four penalties for 50 yards.
Runyon had 19 carries for 76 yards to lead Tug in rushing, while Muncy had five carries for 25 yards and Tyler Conley seven totes for 24 yards.
Besides Dillon’s 114 yard in receiving, Runyon had three catches for 10 yards, Preece caught a pass for 67 yards, Muncy one for 32 yards and Austin Baisden had a catch for 24 yards.
On defense Conley led Tug Valley with 11 tackles, while Isaac Parsley –has seven stops and a sack, Preece had seven tackles and one sack and Jonathan Farley had six tackles.
The Panthers are vying to make it into the Class A playoffs. They will host Clay County this Friday night at Bob Brewer Field for the final regular season game of the season.
Score by quarters:
TVHS … 16 8 6 0 – 30
MHS … 0 0 8 16 – 24
(Stats provided by Bradley Damron)