PB 300, Students, Athletes, Family

Varsity Football Earns Fourth Win of Season With Dominant Performance Against Rival Springbrook

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PB 300, Students, Athletes, Family

Zoputa Difini, Staff Writer

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When people talk about Paint Branch’s football team they use words like, great, strong, and relentless. Last year, the Panthers  went 10-2 and won their division before losing to Howard High School in the regional finals. This year, the Panthers have sworn to build off of last year and win their first state championship since 1975.

So they worked. They worked in the winter, the spring, and in the heat of the summer. They became more than a team over two-a-day workouts that built unbreakable bonds. They became  a family, and now they’re back and rolling.

Paint Branch headed into week four ready to continue their march to a title, but standing in their way was a rival,  the Springbrook Blue Devils. The last time they shared a field it was a close call as PB won by only three points, 28-25. So, as the Panthers marched onto the Blue Devils’ turf on Friday night, who knew what would happen.  

The crowd was filled with enthusiasm, everyone was in. Looking forward to a game that would turn out to be a laugher for PB.  

Paint Branch kicked it off to Springbrook. On the very first play after the kick, PB’s  defense forced a fumble and recovered the ball to put them on offense. Then they started going to work. Junior running back Samuel Doku scored on the third play, and within the first 2 minutes PB was ahead. From that moment the tempo was set as the Panthers  would go on to score five touchdowns.

The onslaught included an amazing  touchdown from Larry Hackey who, despite standing just 5’5”, leaped over his defender to catch a 27 yard pass on his defender’s head. It also included a 62 yard pick six by senior Max Davis.

The score was 32-0 by the end of first quarter,  but the Panthers weren’t done; they had a score to settle as each player felt he had a personal vendetta. One of those players was former  Blue Devil Kyree Lenn, a junior, who plays both ways for PB. He said, “I left them so now I have to punish them.” And punish them he did. Playing as a cornerback, he stopped Springbrook’s  offense from moving down the field with an interception and he had two catches on offense.

Lenn wasn’t the only one with a big night and an objective, though.  Doku had his own personal objective, “We gonna have 50 by half.” Doku and the Panthers made good on that prediction as they fed him the ball so he could score the touchdown that put them 53-0 at the end of the half.

By this moment, fans of the Blue Devil’s community had realized their fate and were solemn. A feeling that continued through the second half, as senior D’Angelo Ferguson scored  a 72 yard running touchdown within the first 20 seconds of the second half, and senior safety Tyler Przygocki added to it with another pick six.

The game ended with a score of 66-0, a true  destruction of the Blue Devils. Senior quarterback Norman Douglas, Jr., who had four passing touchdowns,  expected this from the Panthers. He felt, “ Tonight was expected. The boys [have] been working hard since day one, so anything less would’ve been below the standard.”

The winning streak now stands at 5, as the Panthers prepare to face another rival, Quince Orchard, next week.

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