Just five days after seeing its dreams of returning to a state-championship game dashed, the Imhotep Panthers football team took to a snow-covered Germantown Supersite field and avenged a loss to the MLK Cougars in last year’s Thanksgiving Day “Legacy Bowl.”
The Panthers, a highly-regarded team from East Germantown (11-2), scored early and often in Thursday’s 52-0 victory over a Cougars team (5-7) that won last year’s inaugural rivalry matchup on the last play of a memorable game created to honor the memory of Germantown High School’s community roots.
Just 34 seconds into Thursday morning’s game, Panthers junior halfback Mike Waters ran for a 45-yard touchdown on a field where every 10-yard line and sidelines had been cleared of snow.
Waters followed that with a 40-yard touchdown run that gave the Panthers a 16-0 lead with just under eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Things would not get much better for the Cougars, who fell short of their goal of repeating as Public League champions this year.
An Imhotep interception of MLK quarterback Nasir Boykin led to a third Waters touchdown of the first quarter.
The Panthers would drive their lead to 32-0 with a 74-yard receiving touchdown by senior wide receiver Kalihf Clemons and would tack another eight points on with a 60-yard touchdown reception by Naseir Upshur.
Imhotep’s 40-0 halftime lead meant a running clock throughout the second half.
DJ Moore breaks PL record
Those who headed home for Thanksgiving festivities early, however, missed a record-breaking Public League football moment with about six minutes left in the third quarter.
Imhotep’s star receiver DJ Moore —who has committed to playing at the University of Maryland next year — found a lane up the sideline on the supersite’s Gorgas Lane end and scored a 58-yard touchdown that gave him the most career receiving yards for a player in league history (2,046 yards).
Waters’ fourth touchdown of the game came with one minute left in the third quarter, clearing room for backup players to get some Legacy Bowl playing time.
According to statistics from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Imhotep senior quarterback Andre Dreuitt-Parks finished his career with 229 yards passing on the day.
Dreuitt-Parks had, earlier this season, also bested the Public League career record with 4,194 passing yards.
Asked if the victory was bittersweet since it marked the end of a season built on high expectations, Imhotep head coach Albie Crosby said, “Yeah, a little bit.”
Then, he went over to his players and coaches, reminded his seniors that he’ll be on top of their academic progress even though the season’s ever, told his juniors that “you are the new leaders” and urged all the youths to use the rest of their Thanksgiving as a chance to savor time with loved ones.
For his part, Cougars head coach Ed Dunn said he had a lot to be thankful for at the end of his second year on the job.
“Same as always: I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with these young people, to have the chance to make a positive impact in their lives,” he said.