Scecina began its rally with a big return following Mireles’ touchdown. Starting from the Elwood 40, it took the Crusaders just seven plays to reach the end zone. A 13-yard touchdown run by Jordan Brown, who also had more than 100 yards on the ground, cut the Panthers’ lead to just six at halftime.
Scecina erased it completely with an 84-yard kickoff return for a score to start the second half and never looked back.
The poor kick coverage was just one of the many things Wells said his team simply cannot do against a good team. The Panthers also can’t afford to be careless with the ball, and on Friday they committed seven fumbles, losing two. Penalties cost Elwood as well -- 15 for 115 yards.
It’s all evidence of the Panthers’ inexperience and lack of depth.
“We had to replace three guys up front, and that showed at times. There were also times where there were some holes, but we didn’t particularly run it very well either,” Wells said. “So it was a combination of when we did have some success up front, the backs wanted to push it too far wide. And when we didn’t have any success up front it showed.”
Next week doesn’t get any easier for Elwood. The Panthers host fourth-ranked Tipton. Wells thinks the team’s issues are fixable, but it’s going to take some commitment from the entire squad.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do and a short time to do it. We talked at least twice that’s it’s gotta get fixed on our practice field,” Wells said. “It’s gonna be a good football team coming in. The team that’s gonna come to town next week is going to be better than the team we played tonight.”