BEDFORD, N.Y. – Brian Powell did not mind the stinging sensation in his right hand because the Walter Panas football player had just made the biggest play of the game against Fox Lane Friday.
Powell had just blocked Fox Lane’s extra point attempt that would have evened score in the third quarter. Instead, Panas held its’ lead and went on to a 17-13 victory in the season-opener for both teams.
The Panthers’ special teams deserved the game ball. Along with Powell’s blocked extra point, Anthony Guzzo blocked a punt to set up Chris Beato’s 24-yard field goal. Nick Beato converted two extra points.
“Special teams is an important one-third of the game,” Powell said. “Sometimes you will win a game with special teams, and you can lose a game with special. It happened to us last year against Hen Hud."
Powell, who was not in the game on Fox Lane’s converted first extra point, noticed an overload to his side when he lined up. Even with the additional blocking, Powell was not going to be denied.
“I just bull-rushed my way through and did my thing,” Powell said. “It felt good.”
Powell’s play allowed Panas to keep the lead at 14-13 with 1:34 remaining in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Guzzo crashed through the line to block Fox Lane’s punt. Guzzo chased the ball down and fell on it at the Fox Lane 4-yard line.
“That was a great play,” said Powell. “I have been playing football with Anthony since fourth grade. He’s dedicated. And this week he was an honorary captain.”
Powell credited the Beato brothers with their impact on the game. The brothers switched from soccer to football this season and have proven accurate in preseason.
“We now have two new kickers that will allow us to do things we’ve never done before,” Powell said.
Panas grabbed a 7-0 lead on a John Brophy 22-yard run two minutes into the second quarter. Later in the quarter, quarterback Liam Hagens hooked up with Chris Spell on a 46-yard touchdown pass. Spell made a great adjustment to the ball, stopping from a full sprint to catch the ball and cruise into the end zone.