Fighting Indians blank Westwood Panthers 38-zip

VERO BEACH — The Vero Beach Fighting Indians’ spread offense may be turning heads on the Treasure Coast but their defense had Westwood’s offense spinning.

Vero coach Lenny Jankowski said he was proud of the effort his offense gave but he was especially pleased with the defense.

“Our offense played well even though we started off a little slow, but it was great to see our defense flying around like that,” the coach said.

Vero’s defense notched their first shut-out of the season and explosive hits by Cole Ripple, Dravious Wright, the Gallo brothers, and Jason Pierre kept the Panther’s offense in check all game.

“Dravious, Charles (Ivory) and I take pride in our no fly zone,” Vero defensive back Sean Paul Garthner said, “We want to shut down every team’s group of receivers.”

Coach Jankowski also complimented the Fighting Indians’ efforts on special teams.

“We did a nice job on special teams and some new players got involved and made a difference,” he said.

A familiar face also contributed to the win. Charlie Miller returned a Panther punt 55 yards with 2:43 left in the first quarter for Vero’s first score.

In the second quarter Vero Beach lit up the scoreboard as quarterback Nick Madden hooked up with wide receivers Rakeem Marcell and Jeremy Bell for touchdown completions of 29 and 19 yards respectively.

Madden also ran in a score from three yards out, and junior kicker Carson Dietrich added a 26-yard field goal to give Vero a 31-0 halftime lead.

Vero scored once more in the third quarter when EJ Pryor struck pay dirt from three yards out.

Defensive lineman Luke Oliver’s fourth quarter sack that resulted in a Fighting Indians fumble recovery sealed the deal.

Vero Beach improves to 3-0 on the season by defeating Fort Pierce Westwood 38 – 0. Vero will host West Boca next Friday at the Citrus Bowl and the 0-3 Panthers will play Jensen Beach.

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