It was not going to happen, not this time.
The last two years, the Snider football team did not play a full four quarters in its game with Bishop Luers. It showed time and again it could play with and even dominate the Knights, but not for a full game.
On Friday, the Panthers left no doubt that they could do just that.
When junior defensive lineman Donavin O'Day dragged Bishop Luers quarterback Quinn Cook to the ground to end the game, pandemonium erupted on the Snider sideline as they stormed the field.
The Pig could almost hear a collective exhale as well.
There was a question of whether the Panthers could slow down the playmakers of Luers. The Pig had his doubts about Snider showing up and playing on equal terms with the top-ranked team in Class 2A, which had dominated the second halves of the last two match-ups between the two elite city programs.
But on Friday it was different. When the Knights scored to cut the lead to three with just over five minutes remaining, The Pig thought to himself, 'Here it comes, the inevitable momentum turn.' And while it see-sawed back and forth in those final frantic minutes, the Panthers did not cower, they did not cave, and they brought the heat.
Knight star Jaylon Smith was limited to just 48 total yards of offense in the game. The Notre Dame recruit was neutralized by the swarming Snider defense.
Snider coach Kurt Tippmann said earlier in the week that it wasn't about shutting down a particular player or players, it was playing a particular part of the field and staying disciplined. The Panthers did that, they did not allow Bishop Luers to get the ball to their playmakers in space.
On the final few drives of the game, Cook was able to build a rapport with Michael Rogers, but the majority of those passes were short and to the outside, not allowing the Bowling Green recruit to run down the field at will.
Offensively, Snider went about its business, particularly in the trenches. When the Panthers turned the ball over twice in the first half, the next possession Snider went right back to work instead of carrying that disappointment into the next possession. The offensive line was able to open holes as well as protect Brandon Phelps at quarterback for the majority of the game.
And special teams was impressive as well. One letdown on a kickoff or punt return could have made all the difference on Friday. A spark from Purdue recruit Tyvel Jemison or Kendrick Mullen would have given Bishop Luers the confidence it needed to begin to turn the tide. But the Panthers did not let it happen.
Now, the question is. Can Snider sustain its consistent play?
While it may be early, The Pig cannot help but mention that the Panthers last went undefeated in the regular season in 2005. Penn will present a significant challenge, but if Snider plays as it did on Friday, no one will touch them in the Summit Athletic Conference.
Perhaps the most positive thing for Snider on Friday?
The Panthers can play better.