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CD East’s defense stifles Cedar Cliff to fuel 20-7 victory

CD East used a grind-it-out offense combined with a fast and stingy defense to subdue previously unbeaten Cedar Cliff 20-7 Friday night at The Speedway. It was the Panthers second straight victory.

KEYS TO VICTORY

The 1-2 combination of RB Marcel McDaniels and QB Terrence Jackson-Copney allowed the Panthers to grind on the clock and control the pace and tempo of this game. The duo combined for 37 carries for 254 yards and each scored a touchdown.

CD East led 13-7 at intermission and Cedar Cliff was driving on its opening possession of the second half, moving the ball from its own 28 to the Panthers 35-yard line before disaster struck. A bad snap over the head of quarterback Ethan Dorrell was eventually recovered by the Panthers’ Cameron Livingston at the Colts’ 49. CD East methodically moved the ball downfield, using 12 plays and nearly half of the third-quarter clock, before McDaniel scampered over from 10 yards out on fourth-and-1 to give the Panthers a two-score lead.

CD East quarterback Terrence Jackson-Copney rushed for a game-high 134 yards on 12 carries Friday night against Cedar Cliff. (Aaron Wright/4th Down)

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Cedar Cliff came into this contest averaging 250 yards a game through the air. The Colts managed only 66 passing yards against CD East. … The Panthers had three touchdowns called back, all on long-distance pass plays covering 33, 64 and 27 yards. That’s 124 passing yards and three scores off the books. … Penalties were an issue for CD East, as the Panthers finished with 12 of them for a whopping 131 yards. … Jackson-Copney led all rushers with 134 yards on 12 carries including a 51-yard touchdown dart in the first quarter that made it 7-0. He also threw for 98 yards to give him 232 total yards. … Colts RB Jontae Morris had 86 yards on 16 carries with a 52-yard touchdown run for their only points.

WHAT WE SAW

The team speed of CD East overwhelmed Cedar Cliff across the board. Dorrell was under intense pressure the final three quarters and the result was his first interception of the season. The Panthers did a good job mixing up their coverages, and that along with East’s aggressiveness and speed on defense limited the Colts to only 156 yards of total offense on 45 snaps.

If they have to, the Panthers have the ingredients to take shots downfield and be a quick-strike offense. At their core, they want to be physical and run the ball. That was on display in full bloom in this one. In the second and third quarters CD East had three scoring drives (two field goals and a touchdown) that consumed 4:32, 7:18 and 5:52 of clock. That’s nearly 18 minutes of time chewed up to score only 13 points. Running the ball and being physical was the game plan, and the Panthers stuck to it.

THEY SAID IT

“Our kids battled. We were mistake-riddled offensively, and we had not done that our first two games. Our defense held in there. East was very methodical in the way they moved the ball. They are so fast, though — they are just so quick. Plays that were getting us 20 and 30 yards the first two weeks were only getting us 5-6 yards this week.” — Cedar Cliff head coach Colin Gillen

“We’re trying to make our identity into being physical and disciplined. We’ve got an experienced line, and we take pride in being able to run the ball right now. We take pride in our defense and just tried to be physical. We came off the ball well defensively, and that helped a lot tonight.” — CD East coach Lance Deane

PANTHERS 20, COLTS 7

Cedar Cliff            0 7 0 0 – 7

CD East       7 6 7 0 – 20

First Quarter

CDE-Terrence Jackson-Copney 51 run (Nickolas Bloss kick), 4:55

Second Quarter

CDE-FG Bloss 28, 10:31

CC-Jontae Morris 52 run (Derek Witmer kick), 8:36

CDE-FG Bloss 30, 1:07

Third Quarter

CDE-Marcel McDaniels 10 run (Bloss kick), 2:51

Fourth Quarter

None

Team Statistics                     CC       CDE

First downs                         13          16

Rushes-yards                    26-90  41-257

C-A-I                                         8-19-1  10-19-0

Passing yards                    66         98

Fumbles-lost                      1-1        1-0

Punts-avg.                               3-29      3-30

Penalties-yards                       6-45     12-131

Individual Statistics

RUSHING: Cedar Cliff, Jontae Morris 16-86; Ethan Dorrell 6-(minus-9); Michael Jones 2-14; Ricardo Harmon 1-15; Team 1-(minus-16). CD East, Marcel McDaniels 25-120; Aidan Chandler 4-3; Terrence Jackson-Copney 12-134.

PASSING: Cedar Cliff, Dorrell 8-18-1-66; Bennett Secrest 0-1-0-0. CD East, Jackson-Copney 10-19-0-98.

RECEIVING: Cedar Cliff, Trenten Smith 3-29; Isaiah Maisonet 1-10; Nathan Lusk 1-1; Michael Armanini 2-19; KC Robinson 1-7. CD East, Tymere Thornton 2-28; Mehki Flowers 6-57; Izayah Hitchcock 2-13.

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