Essex airs it out against Charles City, defeats Panthers via shutout
Charles City’s reintroduction to football hasn’t been pleasant, as the team is yielding 61 points a game and have only accumulated six throughout the season. And with Region A favorite Essex meeting the Panthers for the first time since 2000, the youthful Panthers learned that that they must do the little things in order to be successful.
Trojan quarterback Ashton Ashlock tossed four touchdown passes in the first half, while teammate Takeyo Day accounted for three scores as Essex cruised to a 60-0 win over Charles City in Friday night’s affair.
While stats don’t tell the entire story, the hosts were gashed on big plays throughout the night. Ashlock connected with Avante Blanks on the first play of the game for a 39-yard catch and score. On the next series, Day was an 18-yard recipient of Ashlock’s pass. Day continued his antics on the next series, returning a Panthers punt 70 yards for the third score of the game to up the advantage to 20-0 for the visitors. Ashlock and Day connected again on the following series, this time a bubble screen that saw Day break tackles and race 42 yards for a score and a 28-0 lead.
Charles City began to string together some positives, as receiver Leo Charity caught three passes from quarterback Keondre Barnes. But Essex continued to work the clock and the offensive juggernaut proved too much for the Panthers to handle on the night.
Despite the lost, Charles City head coach said he hopes his team understands that they must compete and work as a unit to be successful.
“Our running back Ha’Ji Jackson has been taking a beating all season, so we are counting on other players like Leo [Charity] to step up,” he commented. “He has a lot of potential and I believe he can play ball, but he has to believe and help us groom other guys.
“Right now, we’re taking too many hits, but our young guys are stepping up,” Jones added. “Just like an early decision not to go for it, I just didn’t want to give up that much field position at that time.”
Charles City remains winless with a record of 0-4.