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South Ridge still perfect

 

November 13, 2020

Pine Knot News

Panthers senior running back Connor Bushbaum, seen here earlier this season, scored early and often against Silver Bay last week.

Connor Bushbaum and his South Ridge teammates have gone on a roll of epic proportions. For the second straight week the star running back scored four touchdowns and raced for well over 200 rushing yards in leading his team to an impressive 46-12 win over Silver Bay Nov. 5.

"Connor just reads his blocks really well, he is patient and waits for an opening and then uses his speed," said Panthers coach Brent Johnson.

Bushbaum got the scoring started for the Panthers midway through the first quarter Thursday when he slammed in from the 5-yard line and then for good measure tacked on the two-point conversion run. The Mariners answered just into the second quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Luke Stadler to Sully Tikkanen, but the Panthers snuffed out the two-point conversion run to maintain an 8-6 lead. Before the first half ended, Bushbaum added his second score of the game when he raced in for a 39-yard touchdown run and then Aaron Bennett hit Weston Stroschein for the conversion pass, leaving South Ridge ahead 16-6 after the first half of play.

"Our line has been playing exceptionally well on both sides of the ball," said Johnson. "We seem to wear down opponents in nine-man where you have multiple players playing both ways."

The Panthers exploded in the third quarter for three straight scores as they built a 38-6 lead. The first score was a Bennett-to-Bushbaum 8-yard touchdown pass. After Tyler Anderson added the conversion run the Panthers were up 24-6. Bushbaum followed with a sensational 74-yard touchdown jaunt which was followed by a Bennett-to-Storschein conversion pass for a 32-6 advantage. Before the third quarter ended, Bushbaum raced 22 yards to pay dirt as the Panthers built a 38-6 lead. Weston Stroschein closed out the Panther scoring on a 2-yard run and the conversion run by Zach Wells was good for a 46-6 lead.

"I knew at the beginning of the season this team would be good, but this team has lived up to my expectations and then some," said Johnson. "However, we still have some goals to meet. What we do well on both sides of the ball is that we are physical, and we play as a team with no fingerpointing."

In all, the Panthers rolled up 466 yards in total offense with Bushbaum rushing for 270 yards and Tyler Anderson adding an impressive 115 yards on the ground.

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"Tyler Anderson had a nice game for us rushing the ball," said Johnson. "It's nice when you have two backs you can count on when teams start keying in on Connor."

South Ridge dominated on both sides of the ball as they finished with 428 rushing yards, on an average of 8.7 yards per carry, to go along with 38 passing yards. Meanwhile, the Mariners finished with 93 total yards as they averaged only 2.5 yards per play during the game.

"This team stays positive and they don't worry about stats," Johnson said. "The only stat they worry about is the 'W' in the win column."

The 'W' that South Ridge put into the win column was their fifth of the season as they improved to 5-0 on the season.

 
 

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