The Panthers opened up the 2017 season on the road in Stockton as they faced the San Joaquin Delta College Mustangs. The game, originally scheduled for 1pm, was adjusted (as most games were in the North) to start at 10am due to the forecast for another 110 degree September afternoon.
The Mustangs got the scoring started on the first possession of the game, driving 65 yards on 7 plays. Having added the extra point the host led 7-0 just 2:46 into the game. The Panthers' Tayvian Cunningham would return the ensuing kickoff 89 yards to put City on the board. The extra point by Justin Knauf tied the game 7-7. The Mustangs offense went right back to work and scored on a 68 yard TD reception by a receiver on their 2nd play of the drive. At the end of the 1st quarter the Mustangs led 14-7.
In the 2nd quarter the Panthers defense buckled down and held the Mustangs to just a 26 yard field goal with 12:08 on the clock. City scored their 1st offensive touchdown as QB Jayden Machado connected with Jordan Moore on a 5 yard TD with 6:04 left in the half. That's how the score would stay heading to halftime.
The Panthers received the 2nd half kickoff and started with good field position as the Mustangs tried a pooch kick that was covered by City's Aarmon Euwing at the SCC 40 yard line. Jayden Machado started the drive with a 6 yard completion to Jordan Moore and then Tre Bussey reeled off 24 yards (of his 117 yards he had on the day). Jayden Machado then hooked up with Jonas McMillian for a 26 yard pickup. An illegal formation by the Panthers took a 4 yard TC run by Daniel Wright off the board, but on the next play Jayden Machado found Aidan Martinez for a 9 yard TC reception. The extra point by Elijah Siemering put the Panthers on top 20-17, and they would never look back. On the 5th play of the Mustangs next possession, Peyton Bailey would intercept the ball at the 41 yard line and return it the distance for a pick six (Elijah Siemering with the point after) to add to the Panther lead.
Delta would answer back with a 5 play drive that covered 75 yards and cut the lead to 27-24 with 9:23 left in the 3rd quarter. The Panthers offense was up for the challenge and capped off a 6 play, 69 yard scoring drive when Jayden Machado delivered a strike to Tim Robinson for an 18 yard TD reception. Elijah Siemering added the PAT and City was back on top by 10 (34-24) with 6:59 left in the period. The Mustangs bounced back again and went 60 yards in 9 plays to make the score 34-31m, which is how the 3rd quarter would end up.
The Panthers would close out the 3rd quarter and start the 4th quarter on a 12 play drive that netted only 30 yards, but ate up 6:08 on the clock. After the Panthers punted, the defense made a stand forcing a 3 and out. The offense would have good field position once again and drive 62 yards on 76 plays as Tre Bussey scored on a 1 yard TD run (Justin Knauf extra point) with 7:36 left in the game. Sac City's Jaylen Swanigan would intercept the Mustangs QB at the Delta 35 yard line and return it 24 yards to the Mustangs 11 yard line. Two plays later, Tre Bussey would finds the end zone again, this time on a 10 yard TD run. The point after by Justin Knauf made it 48-31 in favor of the Panthers.
Delta made one last push and drove the ball 70 yards on 6 plays to cut the lead down to ten with 2:24 left in the game. The Mustangs tried another pooch kick, which was picked up by SCC's Rayveon Slayton. The Panthers seemed content with running the ball and using as much time as they could, when Tre Bussey ran for 11 yards on first down. Delta would call a timeout to stop the clock at 2:29. Isaiah Montanez would get the handoff on the next play, make one cut and bounce the ball to the outside where he found daylight and 60 yards later another Panther touchdown. Jalen Smith prevented the Mustangs from scoring one last time as he intercepted the ball at the Panthers own 8 yard line with seconds left in the game. Victory formation and a kneel down is how the game came to an end at Lawrence A. DeRicco field on the campus of SJ Delta College.
Panther Offensive Leaders:
Jayden Machado – 19 of 31 for 278 yards and 3 TD's
Tre Bussey – 14 carries for 117 yards and 2 TD's
Isaiah Montanez – 7 carries for 82 yards and a TD
Jordan Moore – 8 catches for 922 yards and a TD
Tayvian Cunningham – 2 returns for 93 yards and a TD
Panther Defensive Leaders:
TJ Poloai – 8 tackles
Christian McFarland – 7 tackles
Chris Le – 7 tackles (1 for a 7 yard loss), 2 breakups
Jalen Smith – 1 interception
Jaylen Swanigan – 6 tackles and 1 interception
Peyton Bailey – 4 tackles and 1 interception
The Panthers home opener is Friday, September 8th at 6pm against Contra Costa College...kickoff at 6pm