(Woodside) The Polytech Panthers continued their historic season with a 28-6 win in the DIAA Class 1A football tournament Friday night. The school has been fielding a varsity program since the early 1990’s as a member of the Henlopen Conference. This year they secured their first conference title with an all time record of 9-1. Following the game, Head coach David Eilers told us, “The team has really gone above and beyond our expectations”.
The home fans barely had time to find a seat at Jeff Adams Stadium when senior Jalen Anderson took the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. Jackson Sanders kicked the extra point giving the Panthers a lead they would never relinquish. Sanders said, “I saw the ball coming to me so I waited for my blockers and I did my job and scored”.
Brothers Isaac and Simon Balcerak figured prominently in the win. Isaac is the oldest and the team’s quarterback. He continually scrambled out of trouble and found Simon open downfield. The two connected five times for 98 yards and a touchdown. “I know when he’s going to break, what’s going through his mind”, is how Isaac described Simon and their ability to make plays.
Polytech grabbed a 14-0 advantage early in the second quarter after the defense forced Glasgow to punt from their own end zone. It took the Panthers just two plays to cover 10 yards as Isaac Balcerak ran in from 3 yards out.
The Dragons got on the board with 2:26 to play in the quarter, taking advantage of a fumble at the Panther 25. Sophomore Jamar Smith scored on a 14-yard run to make the score 14-6. However, the Balcerak brothers worked their magic as the two connected three times in the final drive of the half on pass plays covering 22, 37, and the final 10 yards for a touchdown. That momentum switch gave Polytech a 21-6 lead at the half.
The Panthers defense kept Glasgow out of the endzone for the remainder of the game. The Dragons threatened twice in the final half, but turned the ball over on downs at the Polytech 7 and 18 yard lines on two long possessions.
Glasgow had its four-game winning streak snapped and finished the season 4-7. Jamar Smith gained 75 yards rushing on 22 carries to lead the Dragons.
Polytech advances to the semifinal round and will host either St. Elizabeth or Charter School of Wilmington. Isaac Balcerak completed 12 of 17 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown plus he added a rushing TD. Noah Walker gained 68 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown, while Simon Balcerak caught five passes for 98 yards and a score.
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