In a game that was punctuated by fumbles, turnovers, and big plays, the Fort Zumwalt North Panthers found enough big plays to overcome a tough and talented Fort Zumwalt West squad.
The opportunistic Panthers struck for three touchdowns in the third quarter to break open a 16-7 game en route to a 36-14 victory Friday night at Fort Zumwalt North.
Zumwalt North (2-0) got their offense going early as quarterback cade Brister scored on a 68-yard run just 17 seconds into the game at 11:43 of the first quarter.
The swift and elusive Brister followed up his first TD with another score as he hit pay dirt on a 1-yard run to make it 14-0 with 3:22 left in the first quarter.
Zumwalt West got its offense untracked thanks to a Jake Strauss to Ethan Staskiwicz 52-yard scoring bomb which made it 14-7 with 8:51 left in the second quarter.
A poor punt allowed the Panthers to get a short field on the next drive and Zumwalt North quickly cashed in as Brister finished off the short drive with a 3-yard scoring run making it 22-7 at 9:29 of tjhe third quarter.
At that point, the Panthers were rolling. Marcus Jones contributed to the big third quarter with a 39-yard touchdown dash and Austin Cox added a 53-yard touchdown jaunt extending the Panthers lead to 36-7 with a minute left in the third quarter.
Zumwalt West (1-1) continued to battle. Staskiewicz pounded in from a yard out for a touchdown to pull the Jaguars within 36-14.
The Jaguars had another chance to draw closer after recovering the ensuing onside kick but Zumwalt West had its drive stall inside the Panthers 30 yard line.
Brister paced the Panthers offense with 188 yards rushing and three touchdowns.