Lena-Winslow improved as the game went on, beating Tri-Valley 28-21 in the 1A championship game.
The championship game was a microcosm of the Panthers season. Just like in their regular season campaign, the Panthers struggled early but played their best football when it was most important. Lena struggled in the first half, but got two fumble returns for touchdowns from Tyler Oakley.
In the second half, the Panthers didn't just hang on, they were the superior team. They held Tri-Valley scoreless in the second half, and converted red-zone opportunities into short-yardage scores from quarterback Ben Moest and Oakley to take a lead they would never relinquish. Oakley, who starred throughout the playoffs, finished with 93 yards on 25 carries and three total touchdowns.
This weekend has Fred Van Vleet's name stamped all over it.
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