Football: Celtics — two in particular — outman Panthers, 34-16

Rappahannock County freshman quarterback Dylan Hitt unloads a pass against Roanoke Catholic. Photo by Christine Krapf.

Coaches love to talk about the team concept.

No one player, they say, can defeat a team.

But in Roanoke Catholic’s case, two players can be responsible for a win.

“They had two players,” Rappahannock County head coach Terrence Johnson said, “and we were in position against them, but couldn’t match up. We were bouncing off them like pinballs.”

Those two players, juniors Nick Ollie and Matt Moats, accounted for four touchdowns as the Celtics (5-1) outmanned the Panthers, 34-16, last Friday night (Oct. 15) at Panther Stadium.

Ollie, who stands 6-1 and weighs 215 pounds, scored three times in the first half, as Roanoke Catholic built a 20-8 lead at intermission. He caught a 12-yard pass from Moats for the first score.

Later, he ran 78 yards to give the Celtics a 14-8 lead in the second quarter. Then, Ollie returned a punt 80 yards.

Moats, who is 6-7 and 260 pounds, alternated between tight end and quarterback. He had a four-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

“We did well against them, but we wouldn’t stop those key players,” Johnson said. “You can’t coach size and speed.”

The offensive show that Ollie and Moats gave overshadowed what had been a nice, overall effort that the Panthers (1-6) had.

Freshman Dylan Hitt, starting in place of senior Matt Fletcher, had the Rappahannock County offense marching up and down the field. Mistakes, however, halted drives and even caused a touchdown to be called back.

“Once we got close and in the red zone, we fell short,” Johnson said. “A false start. Being offsides. Block in back. Dropped passes. That kept us out of the end zone. Dylan did a nice job at quarterback for us. I commend him for that. It wasn’t his fault.”

Tim Ridgeway and Matt Lombardi scored for the Panthers. Ridgeway had a 10-yard run in the second quarter. Lombardi’s eight-yard run was the only score in the fourth quarter.

Johnson said that Rappahannock County’s offense was hampered by an injury to freshman fullback Billy Hogan. During the second offensive series of the game, Hogan had a hand banged up and had trouble gripping the ball on a handoff from Hitt. He remained in the game but mainly for blocking purposes.

“Just being out there,” Johnson said of Hogan, “they had to key on him.”

The Panthers hope to rebound Friday night (Oct. 22) as they travel to Chincoteague.

“We need to eliminate the mistakes, and focus on our fundamentals and discipline,” Johnson said.

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