Behind a dominant performance on both sides of the ball, and a handful of touchdowns by junior quarterback Levi Gullion, the Piketon Redstreaks earned their first win of the season against the Southeastern Panthers by a 46-16 final Friday night.
The Redstreaks wasted no time on their first drive as they marched 50 yards in a minute and 12 seconds as Gullion found Johnny Burton for a 15-yard touchdown pass to give the Redstreaks a 7-0 lead with 10:48 in the first.
Starting at their own 20-yard line after a touchback kickoff by Piketon senior Brody Fuller, the Panthers drove to the Piketon 19-yard line.But the Redstreaks came away with their first of five takeaways, recovering a fumble and taking over with 4:53 to go in the first. The Redstreaks then drove 81 yards, as Gullion scored on a 1-yard run to give the Redstreaks a 13-0 lead with 3:39 left in the quarter — a score that was set up by a Chris Chandler 46-yard reception.
With 8:43 to go in the second quarter, Gullion scored his second rushing touchdown of the night to give Piketon a 19-0 lead. Camren Loar then intercepted a Southeastern pass on the next drive that helped set up an eventual Redstreak touchdown. Gullion then scored his third rushing touchdown of the game on a 2-yard scamper that gave the Redstreaks a 25-0 lead with 6:31 to go in the half. That was the score heading into the half.
“It was a great win with great team effort on offense, defense, and special teams,” said Piketon coach Tyler Gullion. “We tackled a lot better. We attacked tonight on defense; we didn’t sit and wait, offensively we did what we did. The protection was good. We took what they gave us.”
On the first drive of the second half, Southeastern scored on a Mikey Nusser 20-yard touchdown run to cut the Piketon lead to 25-8 with 7:09 to play in the third. Piketon then answered on the next drive as Gullion found Burton from 14 yards out for his second touchdown reception of the night making it 32-8 with 4:39 to go in the third.
With 11:52 to go in the game Southeastern made it a 32-16 ballgame as Nusser found the end zone once again for the Panthers. Gullion then scored his fourth rushing touchdown at the 10:41 mark before Jayden Thacker scored the final touchdown of the evening at the 5:25 mark to give the Redstreaks a 46-16 win over the Panthers.
Although the Redstreaks only surrendered 16 points, the Southeastern’s double wing T offense was something the Redstreaks had to prepare for.
“It’s tough to prepare for that offense in a day and a half; they run it well. Nusser is a good ball player and (Jarrett) McWhorter is a good ball player. Defensively, we did what we were taught to do,” said Gullion.
Along with 4 rushing and 2 passing touchdowns, Gullion was 24-of-34 passing for 369 yards and rushed for 49 more. Burton caught 9 passes for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chris Chandler caught 8 passes for 148 yards, while Brody Fuller had 3 receptions for 28 yards. Camren Loar finished the night with 45 receiving yards. Jayden Thacker ran for 50 yards and a touchdown on 5 carries.
Both Southeastern and Piketon gained 15 first downs. The Streaks won the turnover battle 5-1. Piketon was penalized 12 times for 100 yards while the Panthers were penalized 7 times for 56 yards.
The Redstreaks get back into action next Friday as they travel to Frankfort and face Adena.
“We’re a good football team, but we didn’t play as a team those first two weeks and tonight we did. Our kicking game was good,” said Gullion. “I am just proud of our young men — one brick at a time, one practice at time, one play at a time. Just don’t look too far ahead; take it day to day, and we’ll be ready to go.”