Pennfield had a happy Homecoming as the Panthers defeated Kalamazoo Valley Association-rival Olivet, 28-13, giving the Panthers their sixth win of the season and a ticket into the playoffs.
Following a heartbreaking 19-16 loss to Schoolcraft last week, the No. 6-ranked Panthers bounced back in a big way, beating a good Olivet Eagles team behind three touchdowns and 130 yards rushing by Domininc Arredondo.
“Olivet is a quality program. It’s always a great game against them,” Pennfield coach Nick Koenigsknecht said. “They pushed us around a little bit, but we responded and made plays when we had to. It was a great Homecoming night.”
No points were put on the board by either team for the game’s first 12 minutes, but a gutsy call by Koenigsknecht late in the first quarter changed the complexion of the game.
On 4th-and-five, from their own 40-yard line, the Panthers executed a fake punt that Davontae Miller turned into a 15-yard gain.
Pennfield made the most of their extra set of downs as Arredondo broke loose on a fullback trap for a 25-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter, giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead.
“We worked on different types of fakes and we thought that was a good place to use one and Davontae made a great run on it,” Koenigsknecht said. “That was good to get our kids going and after that we were able to pop a couple traps up the middle.”
From there, the Panthers kept the momentum going their way, breaking off big chunks of yardage on an Arredondo run of 34 yards, a Hunter Hoogakker 45-yard run and an Arredondo touchdown run of 15 yards.
Pennfield came out strong in the second half as a 16-yard Arredondo touchdown run capped off an 80-yard, four minute drive on the Panthers first possession.
Two Olivet encroachment penalties gave Pennfield the opportunity to go for two from a half-yard out and Jeremy Purcell punched it in giving the Panthers a 22-0 lead.
“To go in at halftime without giving up a score was key,” Koenigsknecht said. “And then that drive to start the third quarter was big for us, too.”
Olivet (5-2) came to life midway through the third quarter following an interception by senior linebacker Scott Cook.
The Eagles capitalized on the turnover when quarterback Trent Strang hit Joseph Barr on a slant pattern that Barr took 58 yards to the house.
The Panthers answered on their next possession, scoring from the 13-yard line when Miller broke contain and outran the defense to the pylon, to extend the lead to 28-7.
With 2:13 left in the game Olivet’s Nick Coolidge tightened the score to 28-13 when he ran in a 41-yard touchdown. Coolidge finished the game with 135 yards rushing.
Pennfield’s Jonathan Clements had eight tackles and a fumble recovery and Derek Lipps had six tackles and a sack.
Olivet was led by Shane Loney’s 10 tackles.