Michael Terra’s overall contributions for Quakertown stand out as much as the long hair that flows out from under the back of his helmet.
The senior said his hairstyle was inspired, in part, by the character of Tim Riggins, played by actor Taylor Kitsch, on the former hit television show Friday Night Lights.
“I’ve been growing my hair out since the summer of 2016,” Terra said. “I take some good-natured ribbing from teammates and classmates, but I like the look of it.”
Terra’s solid multipurpose efforts helped lift the visiting Panthers to a 20-13 triumph over Central Bucks East in the season opener for both teams Saturday at First Lt. Colby J. Umbrell Field.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder is a running back, receiver, outside linebacker, punter, and kick returner for the defending Suburban One League American Conference champs.
Terra hauled in second-quarter touchdown passes of seven and 34 yards from Brad Bryan as Quakertown built a 20-0 halftime advantage. He closed with three receptions for 56 yards.
The 17-year-old rushed 13 times for 104 yards. After the Patriots closed the gap to 20-13 and had the Panthers pinned at their 2-yard line with less than two minutes remaining, he clinched the win with a 48-yard burst.
Barreling along the Quakertown sideline, Terra impressively broke at least three tackles on the play.
“He’s strong, he’s got speed, he’s got good vision, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield,” Panthers coach George Banas said. “He does so many things for us.”
Terra, who helped limit C.B. East to 34 yards rushing and 59 passing in the first half, booted a 46-yard, third-quarter punt.
The Patriots’ first tally came on Evan O’Donnell’s 12-yard pass to Chris Lochetta in the third stanza. O’Donnell 22-yard toss to Anthony Giordano made it 20-13 with just under eight minutes to play.
“They made plays to get back in the game and have the opportunity to win at the end,” Banas said.
After a bad center snap to Terra on a punt attempt put C.B. East within 26 yards of pay dirt, the Patriots reached the 3 on five plays. But on fourth-and-2, O’Donnell’s pass into the end zone fell incomplete. Terra’s bruising jaunt came two plays later.
Terra, who registered two solo tackles, said he is “keeping his options open” when it comes to playing football in college. The same goes for his next haircut.
“We joke about his hair all the time,” Banas said. “But that’s Michael. That’s part of his personality.”
Quakertown 0 20 0 0 – 20
Central Bucks East 0 0 6 7 – 13
Q: Michael Terra 7 pass from Brad Bryan (pass failed)
Q: Terra 34 pass from Bryan (Gavin Croisette kick)
Q: Tyler Merwarth 45 pass from Bryan (Croisette kick)
CBE: Chris Lochetta 12 pass from Evan O’Donnell (kick failed)
CBE: Anthony Giordano 22 pass from O’Donnell (Ian Leff kick)