Panthers roll past Tiverton, into playoffs

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By ALEX SPONSELLER

The Johnston football team continued to impress last week, rolling to a 38-6 win over visiting Tiverton to improve to 3-0 on the season and qualify for this week’s postseason.
The Panthers jumped out to a quick lead when Martins rushed for a score on the opening possession. Forte would then haul in an interception on the ensuing Tiverton drive, and Johnston would double its lead when Deremy Stubbs rushed for a score on the first play of possession to make it 12-0.
The Panther offense stayed hot in the second quarter when Remington connected with Dillon Stubbs in the first minute to extend the lead to 19-0. Remington would then connect with Thomas Zednik on a big touchdown pass on the next Panther drive to make it 26-0.
Remington rushed for one last score late in the half to make it 32-0 at the break.
“That’s a good start for any game,” said Johnston head coach Joe Acciardo, who was happy to spread the ball and put it in the hands of his seniors on senior night. “We wanted to play to win, we wanted to put a few scores up (early), we wanted to move the ball around. If possible, inside the realm of winning, we wanted to get the ball to our seniors and get them a few touchdowns. That worked well for us. Then when it got up there in score we let some of the younger guys play which is good for them too.”
Dillon Stubbs would take over at quarterback midway through the third quarter and rushed for a score to extend the lead to 38-0. Tiverton managed to rush for a score in the fourth to avoid the shutout and set the score to 38-6.
The Johnston defense was also stout through the contest and had relentless pressure up front.
“We played well, but like anything, you have to go back to the film and find the small mistakes that add up to big ones. We’ve still got some things to polish up, we made some mistakes. The good thing about a game like this though is that we were able to polish a few things which is good since next week is win or go home … there is no tomorrow if you lose,” said Acciardo, referencing the playoffs. “We can’t have those mistakes. In the playoffs and hopefully the Super Bowl, you have to be perfect.”
This will end the Panthers’ lengthy playoff drought, and Acciardo is proud of the seniors that helped the team get back to the big dance.
“We’ve talked about (this season), we told them that this isn’t a normal scenario, everything is rushed. Miscues are to be expected but we just need to clean them up as much as possible and come back stronger next week. The kids have done a great job though, we’re happy to be out here, we’re excited.”

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