Michigan Panthers Give Fans Plenty to Cheer About

The Michigan Panthers and Head Coach Mike Nolan gave fans plenty to cheer about on Sunday afternoon with a 34-20 victory over the Houston Roughnecks. The Panthers made an impressive comeback from last week’s loss to the St. Louis Battlehawks and took control of the game early. 

Panthers Give Fans Plenty to Cheer About

Something For Everyone

This game had a little something for everyone; the Panthers contributed a 66-yard touchdown, a 55-yard field goal, a thrilling interception, a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, and the Roughnecks added a 75-yard kickoff return. The Panthers showed their strength in all areas of the game, on offense, defense, and special teams. 

A Complete Game At Quarterback

Panthers quarterback E.J. Perry looked terrific and had his most complete game of the season, passing 16/19 for 208 yards, and one touchdown. Perry’s speed and athleticism make him a very dangerous scoring threat and he reaffirmed that today with another 60 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Early in the third quarter, Perry delivered a gorgeous pass to Marcus Simms who found the endzone for a 66-yard touchdown. Perry topped off the drive with a two-point conversion to newly signed, wide receiver Siaosi Mariner. 

It’s worth noting that Simms, who previously scored the longest touchdown reception in the league, has now caught a touchdown pass in every game. Simms has been outstanding for the Panthers all season and continues to be a major scoring threat. 

Panthers quarterback, Danny Etling shared snaps with Perry, contributing a rushing touchdown to running back Matthew Colburn in the second half. Although Etling failed with the one-point conversion, the Colburn touchdown raised the score to 34-14 over the Roughnecks.   

Reid Sinnett got the start today for the Roughnecks in place of the injured Jarrett Guarantano. Sinnett looked solid, beginning the Roughnecks’ first series by running the ball 11 yards into the endzone, followed by a successful two-point conversion to Emmanuel Butler. Later in the first half, Sinnett put together a nice sustained 11-play drive ending with a J.J. Molsen field goal, bringing the score to 11-9 in favor of the Roughnecks.  

But after that, the Panthers’ defense made their presence felt. Not to be outdone in the scoring action, the Panthers’ defense contributed a gutsy tipped ball interception by safety Kai Nacua. The older brother of L.A. Rams rookie sensation, Puka Nacua, has been outstanding on the season and along with Frank Ginda, leads the team in tackles. Now, he can add an interception to his impressive stats. 

Special Teams Providing The Kickstart 

The Panthers took a 12-11 lead into the half on the strength of Jake Bates‘ superlative kicking. Bates, the pride of the Panthers, continued to pad his impressive resume with a 55-yard field goal and a 46-yard field goal. 

The Panthers’ defense stepped up and defensive tackle Breeland Speaks delivered a punishing sack to Sinnett that briefly pulled him from the game. The defense held Houston out of the endzone until late in the game when Reid connected on a one-yard touchdown to Justin Hall. The Roughnecks also have a very reliable kicker in J.J. Molsen who delivered from 25 yards and 35 yards. Molsen is now perfect on the season with a 6-6 record.

Early in the second half, Isiah Hennie, the return specialist for Houston provided one of the game highlights when he scooped a 75-yard kickoff return from Jake Bates and dashed to the Michigan 20-yard line. The return led to Molsen’s second field goal of the day from 35 yards.

The Panthers are now 2-1 on the season and the Roughnecks loss drops them to 0-3. The Panthers travel to San Antonio next week to take on the Brahmas while the Roughnecks host the Arlington Renegades. 

Main Image: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

0 0 votes
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
0 0 votes
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x