Lakeland Falls to Panas on Gridiron

Tommy Barnett plows through as Dylan Semenza blocks. Credits: Deena Bell

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. - The scene was simply spectacular when Lakeland’s football squad hosted sister school Walter Panas as the place was packed with the majority of the fans on both sides wearing pink T-shirts.

That was because it was Lakeland’s seventh annual “Tackles for a Cure” or “Pink Game,” which raises money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

Hornet coach Mike Meadows, who is a 2005 Lakeland graduate, was pleased to see how his community came out Sept. 28.

Sign Up for E-News

“It was an awesome scene,” Meadows said. “I am proud of the community for coming out together for a good cause, raising money, and raising awareness to fight such a horrible disease. Something like this is very unique and very special to what we do here at Lakeland. I’m just proud to be from here, I’m proud to teach here and I’m proud to coach here. Hopefully next year we can give them something to cheer about a little bit more.”

That’s because Panas beat Lakeland for the second-straight season, this time 28-7.

Panas came out on fire in the first half, jumping out to a 21-0 halftime lead. It could’ve been even more if not for the play of Lakeland senior captain Armando Smith (5 tackles, 3 sacks) just before halftime.

A sack by Smith of Panas quarterback Brandon Hodge forced a second-and-17 from the Lakeland 19. On fourth-and-7 on the same possession, Smith flew by the Panther offensive line and jumped high in the air to bat down a Hodge pass to end Panas’ scoring threat.

“I was thinking that we were still in the game. We still had a chance to come back,” Smith said. “We just didn’t execute, we didn’t make enough plays. We had too many penalties.”

Lakeland did find some cohesion to start the third quarter when it drove down the field 55 yards. That drive ended when Hornet quarterback Mike Capozzi (10 rushes, 39 yards) connected with Dylan Semenza on a fourth and goal from Panas’ 8-yard line, with Jorge Duque’s extra point cutting the deficit to 21-7.

“We eliminated the mistakes on that drive,” Meadows said. “We have to learn to finish. That was a drive that was a good example of learning how to finish, but unfortunately we had other opportunities that we couldn’t take advantage of.”

One of those opportunities Lakeland didn’t take advantage of came with 9:37 remaining in the fourth quarter, when Panas punter Jacob Liebert rolled out on a punt before accidentally putting his knee on the ground.

That gave Lakeland the ball at the Panas 13-yard line but the Panther defense forced a turnover on downs, essentially sealing the game for the visitors.

While disappointed with the defeat, Smith cherished the opportunity to play in front of a big crowd against a rival for a great cause.

“It’s an experience you can only live once, you have to enjoy while it’s here,” Smith said. “It’s too bad we couldn’t have come out with a win but we played hard. You just have to give it up to the Panas players—they played very well.”

Lakeland’s Tommy Barnett played well on both sides of the ball, rushing for 90 yards on 14 carries while making nine tackles with teammate Ray Stretz registering seven tackles.
The Hornets (1-4) will host Byram Hills at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, in their regular-season finale. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Are We Protecting Our Environment?

January 17, 2018

When a developer tells us that his or her plans will not cause any negative environmental impacts, should the town automatically accept their statement? Or, should the town review the developer’s statement to make sure that the town’s interests, and the interests of its residents, are protected?

If the answer to this question seems obvious, then Yorktown has a problem. A serious ...

Cigarettes, Drugs and Border Patrol

This is from the website Rare: “Seattle has decided to impose a 1.75 cent per ounce tax on all sugary beverages within the city with the hopes of raising a $15 million revenue stream that it will use for programs to help people ‘have better access to fresh fruits and vegetables,’ as Seattle station KIRO 7 explains. The price of Gatorade Frost Variety Pack at Costco, usually ...

Facing My Mortality

I couldn’t have been more than 5 years old when my parents took me to visit my third cousin, Anthony. On the way to the house, I had some concerns because my parents told me that Anthony was “very sick.” When we arrived, I was startled to see his shaved head. I just wasn’t sure how to act. He quickly put me at ease with his gregarious personality and friendly nature. He ...

Talkin' 'Bout Our Generations

People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

—Peter Townshend (The Who)

I’ve become obsessed of late with generations. Well, what ...

A Post-Apocalyptic House Cleaning

I’m usually pretty good about keeping track of what’s in my fridge. But over the course of a few weeks, the food containers seem to multiply and take over. By the time I get around to realizing that some items have been in there too long, the contents of the containers way in the back of the refrigerator either look like a science experiment gone awry or a refrigerated toupee.

This ...

Strategies for Test-Taking

Dear Dr. Linda,

Jenny, our smart, wonderful 10th grader, is in a state of panic because of her midterms. Last year, she did horribly on them and then she did just as poorly on her Regents and other finals. She did great in elementary school and middle school. She even does well in all her classes in high school, but scored in the 70s on last year’s midterms and finals.

The sad fact is ...

Demolishing Murphy's Is a Mistake

January 11, 2018

To the editor,

It is a shame that the rustic and pleasant Murphy’s Restaurant will be demolished, along with the handsome trees and shrubs that make outdoor dining in the garden a joy from May to October.

The replacement, a brick office building surrounded with blacktop, will be both less attractive and less kind to the environment, since blacktop creates heat and the trees that now ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, January 20, 10:00 AM

Muscoot Farm, Katonah

Nature Walk at Muscoot

Home & Garden

Sat, January 20, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, January 20, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Lagonia Joins Justin Veatch Fund Board

January 11, 2018

The Justin Veatch Fund is proud to announce that Yorktown attorney Sal Lagonia will be joining its board of directors. Lagonia, who was re-elected to a third term as Yorktown justice in November, has a keen interest in working with teens and has served on the board of directors of Student Assistance Services Inc., the Westchester County Youth Board and chaired the Yorktown Recreation ...