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Panther, Royals to Battle for Plowshare & Anvil Friday
September 17, 2008 - Could this be the year that Bob Prescott gets the Eastern Hancock monkey off of his back?
The third-year Panther head coach is 0-3 against the Royals, losing twice in his first season and 20-6 last year.
At stake Friday night at Panther Stadium is a White River Athletic Conference game, as well as possession of the traveling trophy, the “Plowshare & Anvil”, which was introduced two seasons ago for the two teams who have met on the football field every season since 1974. Eastern Hancock has won both battles for the trophy. Should the Panthers win, it will be the first time KHS has managed to gain possession of the “Plowshare & Anvil.”
The Royals enter the game with an 0-4 record, while the Panthers are 2-2. That is exactly where both teams stood last year before Eastern Hancock celebrated on the field after their victory.
Royal coach Mark Reddy, in his first season leading the program, has seen improvement in his squad this season despite the 0-4 record. Eastern Hancock’s first four opponents are traditionally very tough, and this year is no exception. They lost to 3-1 Triton Central 55-21 in the season opener. The lone Tiger loss was to second-ranked Heritage Christian.
The Royals then lost to Indianapolis Scecina (3-1, ranked in Class A), 30-18, before getting crushed by Indian Creek (2-2), 33-0. Last weekend the Royals lost to WRAC opponent Lapel (3-1), 33-12. The combined record of the teams beating Eastern Hancock is 11-5, and all four of their opponents have received votes in the Coaches and Associated Press writer’s polls.
Knightstown counters with a 2-2 record, losing two very close games to Centerville (4-0), 21-18, and Hagerstown (3-1), 6-0. The Panthers have clobbered Wes-Del (1-3) 46-6, and North Decatur (2-2), 32-0. In its last three games, the Knightstown defense has allowed just 12 points, and on the season they are giving up just eight points per game. The combined record of Panther opponents is 10-6.
Both teams have made deep playoff runs in their history, and between the two schools, there have been three trips to Indianapolis to play in a state championship game.
The Royals won it all in 1985 and Knightstown finished as runner-up in both 1997 and 2005.
Last Friday night Eastern Hancock had a 12-6 lead against Lapel, and then could do little to stop the Bulldogs in the second half. Lapel scored on the last play of the first half, and then added three touchdowns over the last two quarters for the easy win.
The Royal offense is led by talented sophomore quarterback Steve Stunda, who threw two touchdown passes to Jeff Cushing in the first half against the Bulldogs. Stunda passed for 148 yards in the game.
But that was pretty much the end of the good news for the Royals. Stunda was intercepted four times in the second half, five overall in the game, and finished just 13-of-37 passing. Lapel blitzed often in the second half and that resulted in five quarterback sacks to go with those five interceptions.
With Knightstown’s uncanny ability to blitz the quarterback due, at least partly, to its overall team speed, Stunda could be forced into rolling out on every passing down. The Panthers sacked North Decatur quarterback Justin Huber 11 times last Friday night.
Junior Doug Spegal is the main go-to-guy for the Royals offensively. He rushed for 78 yards and added 26 yards receiving against the Bulldogs.
Eastern Hancock has allowed 151 points in four games, while the Panthers have given up just 33 points on the year. That statistic is deceiving because the Royal opponents have not included the likes of Wes-Del and North Decatur.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Panther stadium.
2007 – EH 20 KHS 6
2006 – EH 15 KHS 12
*EH 35 KHS 7
2005 – KHS 30 EH 7
2004 – EH 30 KHS 12
2003 – KHS 20 EH 14
*EH 13 KHS 7
2002 – EH 26 KHS 16
2001 – EH 41 KHS 21
2000 – EH 30 KHS 7
*EH 22 KHS 0
1999 – KHS 16 EH 14
1998 – KHS 36 EH 12
1997 – KHS 25 EH 0
1996 – KHS 21 EH 20
1995 – EH 26 KHS 6
1994 – KHS 26 EH 0
*KHS 33 EH 0
* denotes Sectional games.
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