ERIE – Imagine putting up 201 yards rushing on 30 carries and scoring four touchdowns ... and still not being the player of the game.
In fact, it wasn’t even enough for Fulton’s Austin Regenwether to help his Fulton Steamers get a Friday night football win.
Topping that was Nick Williams of Erie-Prophetstown, who rushed for 261 yards on 26 carries, also scoring four touchdowns, to lead the Panthers to a thrilling 41-27 homecoming victory.
“Unfortunately, we did see a little bit of that kind of shootout,” said E-P coach Chuck Milem. “They are similar to us scheme-wise.”
The game lived every bit up to its billing of Williams vs. Regenwether, the Nos. 1 and 2 leading rushers in the area. Williams came in averaging 154.3 yards per game, Regenwether 132.2.
EP is tied for the top in the Three Rivers North at 2-0, 3-1 overall. Fulton falls to 1-3, 0-2.
“We knew they had the capability to score a lot,” Fulton coach Patrick Lower said of the Panthers. “We just wanted to try to score, as well. Both teams did a nice job of finding weaknesses in the defense.”
Fulton went up 7-0 early on Regenwether’s first TD, but EP fired back with a decisive second quarter, with Williams scoring three times. Chris Bauer added a 3-yard TD for a 28-point quarter and a 28-14 halftime edge.
Williams surpassed his season rushing average before halftime, hitting 177 yards. Regenwether eclipsed his shortly after halftime.
The key to EP’s win, though, came from elsewhere. Three-year starting quarterback Ethan Howard broke away for a 76-yard TD run with 1:25 left in the third quarter to give the Panthers the cushion they needed, going up 34-20.
“In our option, he’s done that time and again,” Milem said of Howard, who finished with 120 yards rushing. “When the game’s on the line, he takes care of it for us.”
“We knew it would be that kind of night,” said Lower. “I’m proud of our guys in the way they played one of the better teams in the conference. If we fight like we fought, we’ll be fine the last 5 weeks of the season.”