ST. GEORGE Justin Ence found Tanner Wood on an 80-yard touchdown strike on the Pine View's first offensive play and the Panthers held off a late rally to beat Dominguez (Cal.) 24-21 Friday to cap off a perfect day in Utah vs. The Nation competition.
Ence also ran for a pair of scores and picked off a pass to help the Panthers improve to 2-0.
"That deep pass to start the game really loosened up the defense," Pine View coach Ray Hosner said. "That kept them from putting eight or nine guys in the box. Justin is the leader of this team and we're going to ride him as far as he can take us."
The Panthers built a 21-0 lead in the first half, but then got a bad case of the turnovers. All three Dons' touchdowns came on drives of less than 30 yards and immediately after a Panthers turnover.
Dominguez pulled to within 21-7 by halftime and was within 21-14 when Mike Stephenson booted a 33-yard field goal with under nine minutes to play.
Pine View held defensively, but then coughed the ball up on a fumble. Dominguez scored to make it 24-21 with 3:31 left and on PV's next possession they coughed the ball up again.
But the stout Panthers defense held on downs and Ence was able to kneel the clock out.
"Our offensive line is amazing. They kicked butt," Ence said. "I have a lot of confidence behind them knowing they've got me protected."
Ence's two rushing TDs gives him five in two games. He rushed and passed for more than 100 yards for the second straight week.