Bloomsburg @ South Williamsport, Friday August 31st
While Blake Rankin piled up gaudy numbers and attention during Bloomsburg’s run to the District IV AA championship game, the secret weapon in the Panthers’ late season run was the improved play of their defense.
After allowing 67 in a loss to Southern Columbia and 40 in a defeat at Hughesville, the Panthers did not allow more than 28 in a game the rest of the season. That was plenty for an offense which was not held under 27 in their first 11 games.
In their first game without Rankin as the starting quarterback since 2007, Bloomsburg hit the 27-point mark, but it was the struggles to contain the South Williamsport running game that contributed to a 34-27 road loss Friday night. The Mounties ran for 318 yards and four scores on 38 carries as they picked up their first Heartland Conference Division III win over Bloomsburg since the conference’s inception in 2008.