It's been said that the Cobra is one of the deadliest creatures on earth, but Friday night the Panthers of Gold Beach High School pulled the Central Linn Cobra's fangs and proved that - at least in OSAA 2A football -- the Panther is the deadliest of all.
Gold Beach High School beat Central Linn 35-0 in a game where the Cobras could only enter the Panthers' redzone, but never score.
"I think the defensive line played an outstanding game," senior defensive end Brandon Adams said following the game. "We had a lot of heart. Now we just need to stick to gether and play together as a team."
Adams was instrumental in forcing a number of fumbles and tackling the visiting Cobras for losses on the defensive side of the ball.
The closest the Cobras got to scoring on the Panthers was in the fourth quarter when with 9 seconds remaining they threatened to score their first touchdown of the game. The Panthers' defense held though and the Cobras went home scoreless.
"They played the best they could, they left it all out there," Central Linn Head Coach Dusty Burchfield said. "Gold Beach is a good team and they're well coached. Their boys play hard and the have athletes in the right spots."
The Panthers were a little slow to get started on Friday with their first touchdown not coming until there were just four seconds remaining in the quarter.
Junior running back Colton Pearson opened the floodgates with a 45-yard touchdown run and the Panthers didn't look back.
Following the opening salvo in the twilight of the first quarter the second quarter looked like a game of give and take, where both teams seemed to have difficultyholding onto the ball.
With 5:33 remaining senior running back Michael Romasa took a hand off from senior quarterback CJ Maxwell on a 7-yard jaunt to score the Panthers' second touchdown.
Maxwell connected with wide receiver Dustin Carter for a 77-yard touchdown pass just minutes later and the Panthers were up 20-0 after converting the two-point try.
"I feel really good about the win. I loved it," Maxwell said. "They had my back and I had theirs."
The third quarter refused to give up any of its secrets and the Panthers walked away empty handed.
In the fourth quarter the Panthers opened up a further lead with a fake punt run by Carter that went 45 yards for a first down that led to an eventual 12-yard touchdown by Romasa with 10:07 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Senior wide receiver Garrett Litterell got in on the scoring action with a touchdown in the fourth quarter at the 8:55 mark to bring the score of the game to its final resting place.
With the clock winding down the Panthers made one defensive stand keeping the Cobras out of their endzone for good.
"I'm very happy," Head Coach Kevin Swift said. "Today was a statement for today. We got better today."
The Panthers will need that improvement as they head into the next round of the playoffs.
With the game between Nestucca and Grant Union scheduled for today (Nov. 9) at 1 p.m. , the team won't know who they play until the game concludes.