FORT WAYNE – Snider started slow, but, oh, what a finishing kick.
The Class 5A No. 1 Panthers fell behind early but then ran off 38 unanswered points in a 38-6 win over South Side at Spuller Stadium on Friday.
"You regroup and try to limit your mistakes and just get to work," said Snider junior quarterback Colton Painter, who rushed for two touchdowns. "It was something we expected. We expected them to come out explosive, and then as the game wore on they would tire down because they have so few players on their team. We had to rely on bouncing back and getting focused."
Snider (2-0, 2-0 SAC) won its 13th straight regular-season game, while South Side (0-2, 0-2) lost its first two games of the year for the fourth straight season.
After falling behind 6-0 in the first quarter, the Panthers responded with 24 unanswered points – all in the first quarter. South Side opened the game with a six-play, 65-yard drive that took only 2:13 and ended with a 5-yard touchdown run by Donovan Clark.
Snider answered on the ensuing kickoff, with a 70-yard return by Anthony Wilkes and a 7-6 advantage.
"You come out and give up the kickoff return, and you get into a situation where your kids lose a little bit of confidence," South Side coach Eddie Fields said. "Every time we got something positive going, we would get a turnover or a penalty flag thrown. It was tough. We could never get anything positive consistently going."
Most of the scoring took place in the first quarter, which Snider led 24-6.
On a hot and humid night, the Panthers wore the Archers down with their depth. Snider used multiple players at different positions in a balanced effort.
Alec Reuille had 46 yards rushing and 42 yards receiving, while Neandre Billingsley and Jibri Bramley each rushed for 42 yards. Bramley scored a touchdown.
"Our kind of philosophy is the guys who work hard and are prepared to play ought to be able to play, so we are going to play a lot of guys," Snider coach Kurt Tippmann said.
Painter threw for 52 yards on only seven attempts, while Conner Haxton was 1 of 5 for 10 yards and an interception.
"On a night like tonight, hot and humid, it is nice to have a rotation where we can have guys in and out and fresh," Painter said.
After forcing seven turnovers a week earlier in a 34-12 win over Bishop Luers in the season opener, Snider got two first-half turnovers and three overall against South Side.
One South Side miscue resulted in an 18-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jessie Bates and a fumble recovery by Donavin O'Day gave Snider good field possession that eventually led to a Painter 4-yard touchdown run and a 24-6 lead.
Note: Snider's Michael Aduro suffered a leg injury in the first quarter, causing a 15-minute delay while an ambulance arrived on the field. Tippmann said after the game that Aduro was taken to the hospital but didn't know the extent of the injury.