It was a rough go for both offenses in the “Downtown Showdown” between Friendship Capitol and McKinley.
Capitol finished with 5 total yards because of negative 50 yards rushing. The Golden Lions, however, made the biggest play of the game on their second snap. After an 8-yard loss to start, quarterback Colby Tucker moved around the pocket and McKinley’s secondary came out of coverage, leaving Diyon Woods wide open for a 48-yard touchdown pass.
The play was the catalyst to a strong defensive performance from Capitol (2-0) and a 12-2 victory. McKinley continued to play stout defense and only allowed Capitol to gain 15 yards and three more first downs the rest of the game.
It was a horrible start for McKinley (0-2), which began its opening drive at its 45-yard line. Penalties pushed the Panthers all the way back to their 16, and they ended up punting on fourth-and-51.
The penalties were the story for McKinley, which had 19 for 186 yards.
“Some of those penalties were questionable at best,” McKinley coach Robert Signater said. “I’ll have to go back and look at that film and see if it really was 19 penalties. If it was, it was, but some of them were questionable to me.”
Multiple times McKinley had the ball deep into Capitol’s territory, including a first-and-goal at the 5, but the Panthers failed to finish. On fourth down, John Joseph ran for 9 yards, 2 yards short of the goal line. It set up McKinley’s only points of the night.
The Panthers defense got to Tucker in the end zone and forced an intentional grounding call resulting in a safety right before halftime.
Things fell apart for McKinley’s offense in the third quarter. Two bad snaps inside the Panthers 20 gave Capitol the ball inside the 10-yard line on consecutive series.
Tucker snuck it in from the 1 to make the score 12-2, but the Lions failed to convert their second two-point conversion and didn’t score on the next drive that started at the McKinley 9.
The defense continued to hold for the Golden Lions . McKinley’s longest gain came on the last play of the game when running back Treavon Lowery picked up 37 yards. It was the second straight shutout for the Golden Lions.
The Panthers finished with 102 total yards and five first downs.
“We told the guys we believe, and we want you to believe in yourself," Capitol coach Dorsett Buckles said. “If you come to practice and get the work done, it’s going to happen and we’re going to win some games.
“And that’s a promise.”
“We’re just not that good right now,” Signater said. “Capitol wanted it, they played hard. They played like they wanted to win. We just went through the motions. We’re just not that good right now.”