Pandora-Gilboa bounces back for half lead vs. Mohawk

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PANDORA — Pandora-Gilboa gave up an early touchdown but bounced back with a pair of impressive scoring drives to lead Mohawk 14-6 at the half in a Division VII second-round playoff game.

Mohawk struck first with a steady diet of Mason Danner, who had eight carries for 109a yards by halftime. Working out of the Wildcat formation, Danner took direct snaps and reeled off runs of 20, 26 and 12 yards before hitting paydirt on a 3-yard run just over two minutes into the game. The Warriors missed their two-point conversion run attempt.

Pandora-GIlboa responded near the end of the first quarter with Silas Schmenk’s passing game picking apart Mohawk’s defense. Schmenk hit Pugh on a short swing pass to the left, and Pugh maneuvered upfield for a 34-yard gain to the 20. A play later, Pugh caught Schmenk’s fade pass in the back-right corner of the end zone. One extra point later, the Rockets held a 7-6 lead.

Bryce Basinger added the Rockets’ second score on a nice pick play. He caught a short pass and used his teammate’s block to start moving toward the goal line. He eluded two tacklers before breaking free on the 11-yard scoring play and the 14-6 lead.

Schmenk was hot in the first half, completing his first six passes before finally getting an incompletion at the 7:13 mark of the second quarter. He completed 10 of 11 passes for 114 yards by halftime.

The winner faces No. 1-seeded Lima Central Catholic, who won Friday night by forfeit. The Thunderbirds’ opponent, Delphos St. John’s, ceded the game Thursday after the coronavirus appeared in the school.

Pandora-Gilboa, 3-3 going into Friday’s game and the No. 8 seed in the region, came off a 42-0 win at home against Minster in an extra regular-season game. The Rockets were scheduled to face Cory-Rawson in the first round of the playoffs, but the Hornets forfeited the game and pushed the Rockets forward.

The Warriors, the No. 9 seed and 5-2 entering Friday’s game, cruised in with three lopsided wins in a row. They outscored opponents 173-15, including a 67-0 win in the first round against Ridgedale.

Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.