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Maulers defense & special teams lead team to first home victory in 19-7 win over Panthers

Canton, OH- Pittsburgh Maulers Head coach Ray Horton had a short and simple postgame speech after his team put on a spectacular defensive performance Saturday afternoon against the Panthers.

"Another win. Just from the eye test the defense was phenomenal. Four picks, a 83 yard punt and holding them to seven points got us the win. We got their best today. I heard their pregame warmup and they were motivated. We were too. Our mantra this week was two minute and second half and they stepped up," Horton said postgame.

"The offense did everything we asked of them and I am extremely proud of the men here at the podium as well".

The Maulers started the game explosively with a 64 yard kick return from WR Josh Simmons, setting the offense up in fantastic position inside the Michigan 30. QB Troy Williams connected with Simmons on a 17 yard pass for a 7-0 lead. The Maulers never lost the lead for the rest of the game.

Jarren Horton, son of the Maulers HC dialed up the perfect plays for his defense to play with a stingy mentality. Panthers QB Josh Love threw four interceptions on the day with three coming in the first half. Linebacker Kyahva Tezino was on the receiving end of two of the four.

The Maulers defense forced back-to-back interceptions on consecutive drives. The first came as former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster tipped the ball before former Pittsburgh Steeler cornerback Mark Gilbert caught it and returned it for 16 yards. The second came off another tip to Tezino.

"We emphasized all week about creating turnovers in practice. We haven't been forcing turnovers lately and we had to make plays so you see the results. Coach Marty is a great coach on the other side so we had to mix up things and the guys were the ones on the field making plays. I just called them," Jarren said postgame.

The Panthers defense matched the intensity of the Maulers defense. After the first scoring drive the defense force three straight punts with two of the three drives going for negative yardage.

"I think we had a bunch of guys that were ready to go ball to the ball. I think basked off the talk we had yesterday we were ready. Coach (Mike) Nolan called a great game and people were executing. I think that's what we did in the first half," Panthers linebacker Frank Glinda said postgame.

Glinda led both teams in tackles with 13 to go along with a half sack placing him on top of leaders on the season in tackles with 93. He also leads the league in interceptions.

Both teams offenses were extremely flat in the first half with the Panthers leading the Maulers 97 total yards to 49.

Michigan started the second half looking like a refresh team with a stellar 5 play drive that resulted in a 12 yard touchdown pass from former San Jose State QB Josh Love to former Louisville tight end Cole Hikutini.

The Maulers put together two drives of their own after resulting in a field goal by kicker Chris Blewitt. Blewitt was a perfect 4 of 4 on the day.

Both the Panthers and Maulers have a record of 3-6. With their first home win on the season, the Maulers now control their own destiny of making the playoffs. They hold the second spot in the North division and face the New Jersey Generals next week who have a slim chance at making the playoffs.



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