“Definitely a different look for us this year,” Panthers head coach Mike Lapsley said over the phone Wednesday.
The last time the Panthers had more than 300 yards passing through the first three games was in 2017, a year they started 1-3. This year, first-year signal caller Ryan Seery has formed a connection with senior wide receiver Manuel Cardoza, who has collected 252 yards receiving. The two have joined forces for three touchdowns through the air, with junior Tyson Fousel adding two catches for scores.
Lapsley said he knew his offense had to develop in different ways in order to keep opposing defenses on their toes.
“We knew we had to get there, too,” he said. “Obviously, we had a ton of success running the ball the last couple of years, and making that transition to be able to throw is something we knew would be valuable to our success.”
The Eagles, who have been known to throw the ball more in years past than the Panthers, are showing much the same kind of balance on offense as their crosstown rivals. Bewley has put up 479 yards passing, currently the third most in the region, to go with five of his team’s passing touchdowns. Against Bradshaw Mountain in Week 2, the senior QB had a 78-yard TD pass to Ryan Tagle.
“We work on that passing game, and when somebody gives us a good look at something, we try to take advantage,” Eagles head coach Todd Hanley said Wednesday during a phone call. “It’s kind of a home-run-swing offense, or a knockout punch type thing; we are not trying to dink and dunk, we are trying to set up the big play.”