2022.09.01 Football: Potomac Falls @ Lightridge

Aldie, VA (September 1, 2022) - Entering the game after season-opening wins, the Potomac Falls Panthers and the host Lightridge Lightning were anxious to learn more about where they stand for the upcoming season. One would end the night with even more momentum, and the other with more questions.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.

For the duration of the first half, neither team got close to the end zone--unless they had their backs to it. That occurred just once when Lighridge's first punt put Potomac Falls deep in their own territory. A solid Lightning defensive stand kept the Panthers from advancing, but an unfortunate penalty on the fourth down punt moved the ball further up the field and gave the Panthers new life. When their drive stalled again, Potomac Falls was able to push the Bolts back into their own half of the field.

The teams exchanged possession again and again, but solid defensive line play--and typical early-season fouls and penalties--kept the game scoreless. Lightridge had their best chance late in the second quarter, but Potomac Falls picked off a Bolt pass ending the threat and the first half.

Balanced play--primarily on the ground--continued in the third quarter until Panthers quarterback John Opiola found Gavin Lin on their biggest single pass play of the night. Inside the Bolts' five yard line, Potomac Falls threw another short pass for the touchdown and a 6-0 lead. But Anthony Donkoh, Lightridge's imposing defensive and offensive line star, blocked the ensuing extra point try--a play that would change the outcome of the game.

The Lightning responded with a solid drive of their own, but it was marred by more penalties and ended with Potomac Falls' Joshua Prince intercepting another Lightridge pass.

The fourth quarter opened with Potomac Falls again inside the Lightridge red zone. But the Panthers fumbled, giving the Bolts plenty of time and a good chance to get back in the game. And that's when Bolts' quarterback Carter Working found Josiah Dorsey on their own longest pass of the night. Inside the ten, the Bolts completed the drive on a nifty run up the middle by Tyler Bollhorst. And this time, the extra point was good and Lightridge had a 7-6 lead.

The teams exchanged possessions again, and with 2:55 remaining in the game Lightridge had to punt once more. Lightridge's Luke Aller came through with a beauty that pinned the Panthers deep in their own end--a position they were unable to change as the clock ran out on a close yet satisfying Lightridge victory. In a game decided by a single point, two special teams plays--a blocked extra point and a booming punt--made all the difference.

Final Score: Lightridge 7 - Potomac Falls 6 

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