From Staff Reports
Pioneer’s football team broke open a closer than expected halftime score with big plays in the second half in a 47-13 win at Frontier Friday night.
The Panthers led just 16-7 at halftime before outscoring the Falcons 31-6 in the second half.
“We hurt ourselves big time in the first half with turnovers and crucial penalties,” Pioneer coach Mike Johnson said. “They did a nice job of driving the ball and eating the clock and keeping the ball away from us.”
In the second half the big-play Panthers were too much.
Justin Mersch rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries to lead the Panthers (4-2, 3-1 Midwest Conference). He had TD runs of 42, 18 and 74 yards.
Sam Kiser rushed for 127 yards which included a 70-yard TD run. Tyler Hanna and Kamrin Buell had TD runs of 30 and 5 yards, respectively.
“The second half we came out and ran the ball,” Johnson said. “We took over the line of scrimmage.
“The first half I was a little disappointed. The second half was a lot better.”
Brandon Gallinger rushed for 127 yards that included a 64-yard TD run to lead the Falcons (0-6, 0-5). Tyler Wireman threw a 24-yard TD pass to Austin Byrd in the first half that made it a 9-point game at the half.
“They are getting better,” Johnson said. “They don’t do anything stupid on offense. They run the ball and shorten the clock and keep it tight.
“They could have won three ballgames coming in against Prairie, South Newton and Caston. They should have beat Caston.”
The Falcons dropped their 34th contest in a row.