The Bonney Lake Panthers won its first game of the season 38-19 Thursday on the road against the Decatur Gators.
Decatur was quick to score, taking a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
The Panthers struggled in the first half with penalties and turnovers when it looked like Bonney Lake’s offense was building momentum.
An illegal block in the back during the second quarter wiped out an 83 yard touchdown. After the touchdown was overturned the drive ended with a holding penalty and an interception.
The return after the interception brought Decatur to Bonney Lake’s 1-yard line where the Gators fumbled and the Panthers recovered the ball.
Decatur gave the ball over on downs and the teams went into halftime with Decatur leading 13-7.
From the opening kickoff in the second half, Bonney Lake came out with a different attitude than the first two quarters of play.
The biggest change during the game was that some of the older players stepped up coach Jason Silbaugh said.
Senior Robert Combs returned the kickoff for a touchdown and scored a 2-point conversion, giving the Panthers the lead 15-13.
Bonney Lake never looked back. They would go on to score three more touchdowns and a safety, increasing their lead to 38-13.
The Gators scored one more time with four seconds left in the game but it wasn’t enough. The Panthers won their first game of the season.
“It feels great to get the first win,” Silbaugh said. “It seems that sometimes the first win is the hardest to achieve, especially the longer into the season it takes.
The Panthers travel to Enumclaw to play the Hornets 7 p.m. Friday.