Kilties shut out Panthers

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The Johnston football team lost its third straight game last Friday night at Polisena Stadium, 42-0, to a bigger and quicker Mt. Pleasant team, whose defense capitalized on three interceptions. The three picks would lead to three 

Kiltie scores. With the loss, the Panthers fall to 1-2 in Division II-A, while Mt. Pleasant notched its first league win of the year and improved to 1-3. Johnston has now been outscored, 118-6, in its last three games.

“We could not handle them tonight,” said Johnston head coach Joe Acciardo. “They were coming right at us up front and we had a tough time holding them off at the line, they just kept on coming. Mt. Pleasant is well-coached and probably one of the most disciplined Mt. Pleasant teams we have seen in a while. They have some size up front and had some great skill positioned guys.” 

Kiltie quarterback, Ky’dale Spears, opened up the scoring for Mt. Pleasant with a 50-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter.

On Johnston’s first offensive possession, Elijah Burgess would come out of the game after his first carry. The Panther senior running back and team leader in rushing yards has been hampered by an injury all season, but toughed it out for the rest of the game, despite the fact that he wasn’t 100 percent. He was held to just 12 yards rushing on six carries.

Early in the second quarter, it appeared that Spears was going to be sacked for a big loss by the Panthers’ Kyro Monteiro, but somehow the Kiltie signal caller scrambled his way into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown and a 16-0 lead.

The Panthers had their best drive of the night as they tried to answer back by driving to the Kiltie 10-yard line, thanks to the running of quarterback Evin Califano, who led the team in rushing with 55 yards on the night. Califano tried to hit Burgess on a screen pass, but a Kiltie defender would read the play and intercept the pass and run it back 75 yards for a score and a 22-0 Kiltie advantage.

Late in the second quarter, Spears’s interception would set up the Kilties’ next score. The junior quarterback would find Joshua Richards for a 60-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead going into the half.

Mt. Pleasant added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a Spears to Quinton Nicolas 70-yard touchdown pass and a Richards interception run back for a 60-yard score. 

“When you are struggling, every opponent will not be easy,” said Acciardo. “You never take anyone lightly. We have our work cut out for us, we are thin and we have some young guys taking some reps. We have to take a good hard look at the lineup and see what we can do and reassess everything and see what the problem is.” 

The Panthers will be in action tomorrow night as they look to regroup against the Pilgrim Patriots at Michael A. Morry Football Field in Warwick at 6:30 p.m.

The Patriots are coming off a 49-14 loss to Westerly last week and are looking for their first league win. 

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