There isn't a whole lot of mystery to Maumee's offense, but when you have a playmaker like Jake Schneider, you don't need much.
The junior quarterback accounted for all four of the Panthers' touchdowns in a 28-14 win over Springfield Friday night at Kazmaier Stadium.
Schneider was 18-of-25 passing for 254 yards and three touchdowns, along with an interception. He also rushed 19 times for 147 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown run with 1:19 left in the third quarter that put the Panthers (7-2, 5-1 NLL) ahead 28-7.
“He's a playmaker,” Maumee coach John Boles said of Schneider, who also snagged a pair of interceptions on defense.
“He throws the ball well and he runs it well. And sometimes he creates things when nothing's there. He's a threat all the time.”
That playmaking ability was on full display on Schneider's TD scamper. He faked a handoff to running back Brandon Phenix, then sprinted right through the center of Springfield's defense — disappearing as he cut through the scrum at the line of scrimmage and then reappearing at the 30-yard line en route to the end zone.
“It was a great night,” Schneider said. “It's a really great feeling [when the offense is clicking]. Coach Boles puts us through great preparation and we were able to do a good job tonight.”
Springfield (4-5, 3-3) delivered the first blow on senior running back Denrick Milletti's 33-yard touchdown run on the Blue Devils' first play from scrimmage.
Set up with great field position after Maumee was forced to punt, Milletti took an offtackle run left to the house to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 advantage just 2:24 into the contest. Milletti rushed for 70 yards on five carries in the first half, and finished with 91 yards on eight carries.
“They came out, they hit us hard, and they were ready to play,” Schneider said. “I'm not going to say we were lackadaisical, but I don't think we were ready for that. But as the game went on, they got tired and we kept working hard and things happened for us.”
Maumee answered later in the quarter on Schneider's 35-yard TD pass to senior wide receiver Corbin Frankhouse. After taking the snap, Schneider rolled right, drawing the defense with him, then turned and fired back across the field to Frankhouse, who tied it at 7 with 2:27 left in the first.
Schneider connected with senior wideout Robbie Cole for a 16-yard TD pass with 1:49 left in the first half, capping a 13-play, 60-yard scoring drive that gave the Panthers a 14-7 halftime lead.
Schneider and Cole hooked up again on Maumee's first possession of the second half on a 73-yard TD bomb down the left sideline that made it 21-7.
“They have a very explosive offense, and we couldn't get off the field defensively,” Springfield coach Rob Materni said. “That's a good football team right there.”
The Blue Devils scored on junior quarterback Leroy Alexander's 10-yard pass to senior wide receiver Jordan Takats with 8:45 left in the contest, but couldn't muster any more offense after Alexander was picked off by Schneider on Springfield's next possession.
“We knew this was going to be a very tough game for us,” Boles said. “They're a talented, physical football team. I'm real proud of our kids. We just tried to keep stepping up.”
Contact Zach Silka at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6084.
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