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8th Graders 7-0 After Win
October 15, 2008 - A late first half touchdown that was set up by an interception kicked the Knightstown eighth grade football team into gear. The young Panthers won their seventh game of the season by defeating Triton Central 18-6. Knightstown is a perfect 7-0.
The two teams ended the first quarter in a 0-0 stalemate after Dakota Smucker’s interception killed a Tiger drive. But the Panthers committed an untimely penalty that cost the team a touchdown run by Andre Loveall.
Knightstown moved the ball inside the Triton Central 20-yard line in the second quarter, but that drive was stopped when the Panthers fumbled the ball away. With 1:45 left in the first half, Jordan Jessup intercepted a Triton Central pass to set up the first score. Five plays later, quarterback Zac Cleek followed a great block by Jake Carter to score on a sneak and put the Panthers ahead 6-0.
Knightstown took the second half kickoff and marched the ball 67 yards on eight plays. Jessup scored on a five-yard run to up the margin to 12-0. The third quarter ended with Justin Mann making a great tackle, killing a Tiger drive on downs.
The Panthers then struck again by opening the fourth quarter with an impressive nine-play, 50-yard drive for paydirt. Cleek covered the last 11 yards with his second touchdown run of the night.
Triton Central scored an inconsequential touchdown late in the game to prevent the shutout.
Braxton Kortz led the Knightstown defensive effort with eight tackles. Both Dean Thomas and Jared Souder had six tackles apiece.
“Our defense stepped up and played a great game against a good team,” coach Joe Patton said. “Kortz and Thomas made some big plays for us.”
Offensively the Panthers rushed for 182 yards and passed for 39 more. Jessup led the way with 123 yards rushing and one touchdown. The Knightstown offensive line of Titus, Carter, Peck, Adkins and Masters opened up the running lanes for the backs throughout the game.
“Our offensive line won the battle in the trenches,” Patton said. “That allowed us to move the ball on the ground and contain the game.”
The win improved the team’s record to 8-0 on the season. They close their schedule and will shoot for an unbeaten season with a road game at Tri Thursday night.
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