Panthers shut out Comets on Homecoming

Panthers running back Dayne Eckley runs toward the right side of the field during Friday's Homecoming matchup with Cardinal. Eckley accrued 243 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the 30-0 win.

PACKWOOD – The weather tried spoiling the party, but Pekin conquered the elements, and the Cardinal Comets, and came out on top on their Homecoming, 30-0. A lightning delay shortened the festivities on Friday night with three minutes left in the third quarter, forcing the two teams to resume battle a day and a half later on Sunday. It was much of the same story when play resumed: The Panthers continued running the ball effectively and playing strong defense. Coach Bud Blakely was impressed with how his team responded to the weather.

“I thought our kids handled the situation well. It’s always important to me to try and keep as normal of a routine as possible, but our kids handled the weather delays well. You never know how kids are going to react when you take them out of their routine, and our kids did the little things well enough to persevere through the weather and the delays,” Blakely said.

Running back Dayne Eckley turned in a heroic performance, amassing 243 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. The senior found the end zone on runs of 10 and 11 yards, in the first and fourth quarter respectively. Eckley made up nearly two-thirds of the team’s rushing production. Pekin outgained Cardinal on the ground 390 to 42.

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