A 44-yard field goal seconds before halftime proved to be the difference in a defensive game at Willits on Friday night, as the McKinleyville Panthers fell 3-0 to the Wolverines.
The Panthers played great defense for the second straight week and have allowed just three points in two games to start the season despite dropping to 1-1.
“It was one of those games. It was brutal back and forth,” McKinleyville head coach Fel Barlow said. “And it was like that all the way to the end.”
“Our defense played lights out,” Barlow said. “They did well. Our offense just stumbled a little bit.”
It was tough loss to take, but the coach believes it could benefit his players in the long run, as they get set to open league play in a few weeks.
“I look on it as a learning game,” he said. “We needed that pressure game.
“They learned a lot from that, and they didn’t give up.”
Defensive tackle Derek Ray continued to impress and set the tone in the trenches.
Cornerbacks Willie Baumgarten and Tyler Marsh also were instrumental on the defensive side of the ball.
Baumgarten was “lights out” in shutting down opposing receivers, according to the coaches, while Marsh had a big interception.
Next up, the Panthers will host a dangerous University team next Friday.