NAUGATUCK — The Tug Valley Panthers lost a shootout to the visiting Pike Central Hawks on Friday night by a final score of 80-48 in what was Alumni Night at Bob Brewer Stadium.
The Tug Valley defense was gashed from their opening possession as they gave up 631 total yards and allowed the most points in school history.
Freshman running back Matt Anderson had a career game for the Hawks (5-1) as he totaled 329 yards on 19 carries and scored six touchdowns on the day, including runs of 80, 75 and 57 yards.
The Panthers (3-3) actually got on the board first as they got the ball on the opening kickoff drove down the field and scored on a 10-yard scoring strike from quarterback Ethan Varney to star receiver Caleb May with 10:26 still left in the opening quarter.
Varney found Tanner Kirk for the two-point try and Tug Valley took the early 8-0 lead.
May also had a field day for Tug Valley as he posted career numbers finishing with 11 catches for 223 yards and three touchdowns, including scoring grabs of 70 and 49 yards. He also added a 16-yard pick six towards the end of the first half.
Anderson answered Tug Valley’s opening score with a 57-yard run on his first touch but the Panthers answered back as they took over on a short field after a fumble recovery by Kirk and punched it in when Varney found junior receiver Easton Davis for a 23-yard strike.
Varney again found Davis for the two-point try and the Panthers took the 16-8 lead with 8:55 still left in the first.
The Hawks then exploded for 30 consecutive points over the next quarter and a half as they snatched away the Tug Valley lead and took a 38-16 on a 65-yard TD pass from QB Tyler Hunt to Keegan Bentley with 7:04 left in the first half.
After May’s pick six cut the PC lead to 38-24, Anderson scored on a 16-yard run to push the lead back up to 22 at 46-24 with 1:25 left in the half.
But the Panthers answered once again on a beautiful fly pattern and the speedy receiver took it 70-yards to the end zone to cut the lead to two scores at 46-32 going into the break.
The second half was all Pike Central however as they scored the first 18 points of the second half and then outscored Tug Valley 16-8 in the fourth quarter to pick up the 32 point win.
Tug Valley piled up 312 yards of total offense with 283 coming in the air and only 29 yards being on the ground. Pike Central had 631 yards of offense with a total of 565 coming on the ground.
Varney continued piling up big numbers under center in head coach Hady Ford’s spread offense as he completed 16-33 passes for 283 yards and five touchdowns on the night but also four interceptions. He has now thrown for 1,617 yards and 22 touchdowns in six games on the season, both of which are tops in the state regardless of classification.
May’s 223 yard performance also moved him up to 904 receiving yards on the season which moved him past Mingo Central senior Drew Hatfield, who was on a bye week, for tops in the state. His three TD’s gave him 10 receiving scores on the year which trails Hatfield by one for tops in West Virginia.
Davis hauled in three passes for 39 yards and a score while Kirk grabbed two passes for 21 yards and a TD. Davis did not play in the second half after suffering an ankle injury near the end of the first half.
Anderson dominated the game for the Hawks with his 329 yards and six scores while Iricks also ran for 102 yards and a TD and Hunt totaled 73 yards and two scores in the second half. Bentley had two catches for 66 yards and a score.
The 128 combined points is the most points in a game in Tug Valley program history, topping the 113 combined points from a 69-44 loss to rival Tolsia in 2010. In case you are wondering, the state record for most points scored in a game is 157 when Magnolia beat Woodsfield, Ohio 157-0 on Nov. 10, 1917.
The 80 points allowed by Tug Valley was the most in school history, topping the 73 points given up to Shady Spring back in 1999.
The win for Pike Central improves them to 5-1 while the loss for Tug Valley sees them fall to .500 on the season at 3-3.
The Panthers are back in action at home again next week against Man who is 6-0 and currently ranked No. 6 in Class AA.
Kickoff for that game will be at 7:30 p.m. at Bob Brewer Stadium.
Score by quarters
PCHS: (5-1) 24 22 18 16 — 80
TVHS: (3-3) 16 16 8 8 — 48
TVHS: 10-yard pass Varney to May (Pass Good)
PCHS: 57-yard run Anderson (Run Good)
TVHS: 27-yard pass Varney to Davis (Pass Good)
PCHS: Iricks 38-yard run (Run Good)
PCHS: 80-yard run Anderson (Run Good)
PCHS: 5-yard run Anderson (Pass No Good)
PCHS: 65-yard pass Hunt to Bentley (Run Good)
TVHS: 16-yard interception return May (Pass Good)
PCHS: 16-yard run Anderson (Run Good)
TVHS: 70-yard pass Varney to May (Pass Good)
PCHS: 75-yard run Anderson (Pass No Good)
PCHS: 5-yard run Anderson (Pass No Good)
PCHS: 30-yard run Hunt (Run No Good)
TVHS: 49-yard pass Varney to May (Pass Good)
PCHS: Hunt 7-yard run (Run Good)
PCHS: 10-yard interception return Anthony (Pass Good)
TVHS: 11-yard pass Varney to Kirk (Pass Good)