BAXTER SPRINGS — Coach Chuck Smith’s Colgan Panthers proved to be the thorn in the paw of Coach Don Bigby’s Baxter Springs Lions on Friday night at John R. Hughes Memorial Stadium as they took a 40-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Lions had only three first downs the entire game in which they ultimately fell to Colgan 54-0. The scoring flurry in the first half was started by Panther fullback VJ Piccini on a short rushing touchdown followed by Aaron Twarog chipping through one of his six successful PATs on the night. Colgan’s Dyson Dechant followed Piccini’s score with his first of two quarterback sneaks that would both lead to touchdowns. Twarog easily knocked in the PAT giving Colgan the lead at 14-0. Colgan’s aerial attack was up next on the scoring list. Dechant hooked up with Nate Grimaldi on a 67 yard touchdown pass. The PAT by Twarog was good, and the score was 21-0. The fourth touchdown came on a Dechant quarterback sneak; however, the Twarog PAT missed wide right. The score was left at 27-0. But, Colgan would score two more times before halftime. Piccini scored his second touchdown on a five-yard romp that saw a two point conversion fail. And the last score of the first half saw tailback Connor Dayton get on the score sheet with a rushing touchdown. Twarog tacked on the extra point to give Colgan a 40 point halftime lead over the home team.?The highlight for the Lions offense had to be the 27 yard pass from sophomore quarterback Cody Rowe to junior wide receiver Derek Barnes. Running the football was a problem for the Lions all night. Baxter Springs ended the game in negative yardage on the ground, even though senior running back Amos Bindel left his heart on the field.

“Overall the team fought … at halftime we weren’t satisfied and in the end we weren’t satisfied,” Bigby said after the game.

While the Lion offense struggled, the defense saw marked improvement according to Bigby.

“We tackled better. We stopped better. We had zero on defense last week and 9 of 11 this week,” said Bigby.

The Lion’s defensive lineman Tanner Brown did record a sack in the game.?The second half saw a spark from the Lions offense, but it was short lived, as the clock continuously rolled due to the new 2012 rule by the KSHSAA that an individual league/conference can set a regular season game mercy rule for football which was invoked Friday night.?In the second half, Colgan would score twice more. Drew Dawson had a 40 yard run to the end zone followed by a Twarog PAT making the score 47-0. The Panthers final tally came on a punt return for a touchdown by Connor Dayton. Twarog’s PAT was good making the final score 54-0.?Overall, Lions Head Coach Don Bigby said, “Improved Intensity. We will be better next week.”

Bigby’s Lions face the Southeast Lancers in another CNC showdown at home with kickoff scheduled for 7pm at John R. Hughes Memorial Stadium.