Palo Verde’s Brandon Wright has done plenty of damage to opposing defenses, topping 1,000 rushing yards in just five games.
But Thursday night it was Jonathan Maxwell’s turn.
Wright was held under 100 yards rushing for the first time this season, but Maxwell ran for 172 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries as the Panthers (6-0, 4-0 Northwest League) rolled to a 49-0 home victory over No. 10 Cheyenne (2-2, 1-2).
“They were really keying on Brandon,” Palo Verde coach Darwin Rost said. “Everywhere he went, they were all over him. We came into the game thinking about giving the ball to Maxwell, and he had a really good game.”
Maxwell had touchdown runs of 16 and 3 yards in the first half as the second-ranked Panthers took a 35-0 lead.
Maxwell added a 59-yard TD run in the third quarter, and Palo Verde’s reserves played most of the second half with a running clock.
"He kept his feet driving, read well, and two of his touchdowns were all him," Rost said of Maxwell, who entered the game with 235 yards on 39 carries.
Wright wasn’t entirely shut out. The senior rushed for 57 yards on 10 carries, including TD runs of 8 and 21 yards.
Palo Verde’s defense, meanwhile, did a good job of stopping Cheyenne’s dynamic duo of Kenneth Counts and Tyler Spight. Counts and Spight had combined for 731 yards in the team’s first three games but managed just 27 yards on 21 carries Thursday.
"I knew if they just did their assignments and did what the defensive coaches told them, we'd have a shot at these guys," Rost said. "Both of those backs are really good backs; they just never got the edge on us."
Palo Verde, which didn't attempt a pass, also got a 57-yard punt return for a touchdown from Ryan Beaulieu, and a 22-yard TD run by Donald Anderson.