Dwyer 34, Jupiter 0: Top-ranked Panthers' defense proves too much
Friday, September 07, 2012
by Matt Porter
Dwyer is still figuring out its quarterback situation, and some players are making small mistakes that raise their coaches' blood pressure.
Aside from that, there's little to worry about.
The top-ranked Panthers (2-0) look every bit a nationally-ranked state-title contender, proving that with a 34-0 win over Jupiter on Friday night that was largely thanks to second-string players.
Jupiter (0-2) hasn't scored a touchdown this year and is rebuilding under first-year coach Doug Uccellini.
As it was in a 30-9 win over Glades Central last week, Dwyer's defense appeared almost unfair.
It held Jupiter to minus-15 yards rushing on 21 attempts, bullying the Warriors up front and causing the pocket to disappear in seconds. Junior defensive end Mark Kelly had two sacks. Also collecting sacks: senior end Ted Taylor, senior end Malik Brown, backup senior end Jeremy Boykins and Austin Cameron -- a sophomore end and the brother of former Jupiter quarterback Tyler Cameron, now at Wake Forest.
In the air, the Panthers allowed 43 yards on 6-of-19 passing. Backup cornerback Julian Bembry, a senior, had two interceptions. Sophomore corner Jarius Adams had one.
"They can do anything," Uccellini said of Dwyer's defense. "They're very versatile. They recover so fast. They make it very difficult."
Dwyer senior Cortney Lowery accounted for the bulk of the offense, rushing for 119 yards and a 1-yard first-quarter touchdown on 19 carries. Junior Alonzo Smith added a 25-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The big question for Dwyer might be answered: It appears senior Clay Meister will be Dwyer's starting quarterback going forward.
Meister started the game and went 11-of-19 for 119 yards, throwing a 33-yard touchdown pass to junior Ezra Saffold (five catches, 76 yards) in the second quarter. He also scored on a 5-yard option run in the first quarter. Sophomore Daniel Parr (5-of-10, 51 yards) looked better than junior Rob Nittolo, who completed one of two passes for 7 yards.
Dwyer coach Jack Daniels said he would name a starter before Friday's game at Seminole Ridge.
"It's time to make a choice," Daniels said. "We'll look at the film and figure it out this week."
Jupiter junior Steven DeMeo had a hard time establishing rhythm, finishing 5-of-14 for 35 yards and two interceptions.
While his first unit and backups dominated equally, Daniels wants to see more from both units.
"We were flat," he said. "We played sloppy."
Uccellini, whose team lost 41-0 to John I. Leonard last week, said he was proud of his team's effort, but "we've got to block better. We work on it every day in practice. We have to be better."
The game was attended by an estimated 2,300 fans.