MISHAWAKA – If there’s such a thing as a perfect football game, Penn flirted with one Friday night.
Memo to the rest of the big boys around the state: The Kingsmen (4-0), ranked No. 3 in Class 6A, are for real.
Penn’s 38-0 domination over Class 5A No. 1 Snider (3-1) was epic. The Panthers were limited to minus 3 net yards of total offense and one first down in the second half. Snider generated just 63 yards of offense for the game.
While on the other side, Penn was just as powerful.
Running back Tyler Carpenter rushed for 125 yards, with touchdown runs of 62 and 48 yards, on nine carries, and quarterback Zach Oakley collected 108 on 12 carries, highlighted by a 56-yard burst on a first-quarter short-yardage sneak.
“We just got beat by a very good team,” Snider coach Kurt Tippmann said. “Our toughness was tested. (Penn’s) level of execution was so high. We have a lot of issues. A game like this allows us to learn where we’re at.”
Snider might not be as far away as the final score might indicate. The first half was close, and the Kingsmen were backed up against the wall.
But their response makes the win even more complete.
Oakley’s sneak that was turned into a touchdown and Loren McSorley’s 22-yard field goal put Penn up 10-0 in the second quarter. Deep in Kingsmen territory, McSorley had his punt blocked by Snider’s Jessie Bates. The Panthers had the ball on the Penn 15.
“That punt block put our defense in a hole,” Kingsmen coach Cory Yeoman said. “Sudden-change defense is about attitude. You can either feel sorry for yourself, or you can go out there and do something special.”
“Special” is a good way to describe what happened. In three snaps and a penalty, Snider failed to gain a yard. Then Reid Beard sailed a 32-yard field wide left.
“We dropped a pass in the end zone,” Tippmann said. “That hurt. We let an opportunity get away.”
The Kingsmen started the third quarter with a 12-play, 74-yard drive that chewed up more than six minutes and ended in a 3-yard touchdown run by Tim Pletcher.
On its next two possessions, Snider ran four plays – one ended with Penn defensive back Tim Deal’s interception, the other fell apart when a snap sailed high over quarterback Colton Painter’s head for an 18-yard loss and Penn’s Kyle Treber recovered on the Snider 2. Khalil Fleming took it the final two yards.