The Hershey Panthers won their second football playoff game in history Wednesday, upsetting Blue Hill 34-20 at Summers Field.After beating Perkins County on the road in the first round of the playoffs, the Panthers (6-4) hosted Blue Hill and behind an excited home crowd, built a 14-8 lead in the first half after Blue Hill got the first touchdown on a pass interception.
In the second half, Hershey kept the Bobcats (8-2) on their heels and scored three more touchdowns to notch a second-straight playoff upset.
"Wow, we played so well tonight," Hershey Head Coach Ryan Smith said. "I am very excited about our defense. They were just outstanding."
The Panther defense held Blue Hill to just two scores and 232 yards of total offense, about half their season average, and set the Panther offense up with good field positions.
"We did a lot of important things," Smith said. "We only had one turnover and only had to punt three times. We scored when we had the opportunities."
Smith said his offensive line is really starting to gel.
"I guess if there is a time in the season you really want them to gel, it's now," he said. "Our kids are playing with a lot of confidence now, and like we've talked about all season, true confidence can be very dangerous to the opponents."
In the quarterfinals, the Panthers will need to continue to play well. They head east to play the 10-0 Sutton Mustangs. Sutton, the No. 1 seed in the western bracket, handled powerhouse Hastings St. Cecilia 30-14 on Wednesday in its second round game.
Hershey: 0-14-7-13 - 34
Blue Hill: 8-0-0-12 - 20
1st quarter: Blue Hill TD - INT Mitchell Ruybalid - 20 Yards (2 pt Conversion Good).
2nd Quarter: Hershey - 38 Yard Pass from Colton Marshall to Landan Maassen (2 pt Conversion pass from Marshall to Josh Margritz). Hershey - 55 Yard Pass from Colton Marshall to Gaige Marshall (PAT No Good).
3rd Quarter: Hershey - 15 Yard Pass from Colton Marshall to Dylan Johnson (Landan Maassen Kick - Good).
4th Quarter: Blue Hill - 14 Yard Pass from Parker Trumble to Mitchell Ruybalid (2 pt Conversion No Good). Hershey - 95 Yard INT Return - Colton Marshall (PAT - No Good). Hershey - 70 Yard INT Return - Dylan Johnson (Maassen Kick - Good). Blue Hill - 1 Yard Run Garrett Sharp (2 pt Conversion - No Good).