APEX — The Apex Cougars were hoping to get its first Tri-9 Conference win of the football season on Friday, while visiting Panther Creek was hoping for its first win period.
In the end, it was the Catamounts who piled up 452 yards of total offense and scored five times as they entered the win column and earned a 35-7 victory over Apex.
For Panther Creek head coach Sean Crocker, in his first season with the Catamounts, the win was a culmination of the hard work put in by his players over the first part of the season.
Im really proud of the guys and the way they showed up tonight says a lot about them as players, said Crocker, whose team led 14-7 at halftime and then dominated the second half. Our guys handled their assignments well and it was satisfying to see all the hard work they put in come together.
Panther Creek seniors David Mayaka and Tre David, along with sophomore QB Brenden Magner, led the way for the Catamounts (1-4, 1-2).
Mayaka pounded the ball on the ground, gaining 165 yards on 24 carries. Magner threw for 228 yards, with 90 coming to David on a pair of long throws.
Davids 50-yard touchdown reception, his first ever score, gave Panther Creek a 7-0 lead two minutes into the game. The Catamounts forced an Apex fumble and Terrance Laster recovered to set Panther Creek up at midfield.
In all, the Cougars (1-3, 0-3) turned the ball over five times, which led to three Panther Creek scores.
This feels so good, said Mayaka, who also scored on a five yard touchdown. You can see what the scoreboard says when we work hard and play as a team, and now we just have to keep it up.
The Cougars tied the game 7-7 early in the second quarter when freshman Ian Boyd fired a 39-yard scoring strike to senior Gavin Locklear, who finished with five receptions for 62 yards.
An Apex mishandled punt 22 seconds before intermission led to a key momentum booster for the Catamounts. Javontay Rhoades (2 TDs) took a reverse 12 yards and just crossed over the left pylon as time expired, giving Panther Creek a huge jolt.
That TD really gave us a lot of momentum and we knew we had to come out in the second (half) and keep it going, David said.
The Catamounts outgained the Cougars 212-94 after halftime. For the game the two teams also combined for 25 penalties.