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Panthers Look to Avenge Last Year's Upset to Tri-Central
October 15, 2008 - The Knightstown Panthers have one more game to try and figure out what went wrong with their blocking schemes and where the colossal holes came from in the defensive alignment against Lapel last week. That final test will be Friday night at home against Tri-Central, a team that comes into the game with a 1-7 record and a 12-game road losing streak. Their last road win was on Sept. 1, 2006. The two schools have met just five times in history, with Knightstown leading the series 5-2.
Tri-Central picked up its first win of the season against Wes-Del last Friday night, 47-22. The Trojans had scored just five touchdowns and 31 points all season until breaking out against the Warriors. Tri-Central actually scored more points in the fourth quarter against Wes-Del, 33, than they had in their first seven games combined.
The game against Wes-Del was tied 14-14 entering the final period, when Trojans scored five touchdowns to pick up their first win in nearly a year. The victory ended an eight-game losing streak that dates back to last season, when the Trojans knocked off Knightstown, 28-20, for their lone victory.
The Trojans like to get speedy 5-5, 135-pound sophomore Keegan Pyke some running room. Against the Warriors, Pyke had just 12 carries, but they resulted in 182 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran a fly pattern and scored on a 73-yard passing play from quarterback Corban Fiscus, getting both of the Trojan touchdowns in the first half.
Tri-Central got its 33 fourth quarter points primarily because they were playing against Wes-Del. They scored on a variety of touchdown runs by several different players, and also got a 98-yard interception return for touchdown. They like to use fullback Jared Goodnight, who had a 44-yard touchdown run and is a load to tackle. Last season, Goodnight was a two-way lineman for the Trojans.
Last year the Panthers dominated the game defensively, but turned the ball over four times, including twice inside the Trojan five-yard line.
Depending on health of key Knightstown players – the Panthers ended the Lapel game with quarterbacks Brice Biehl, Nolan Hall and Drew Martin all on the bench – the Friday night match-up could be a very good one.
One thing is for sure: quarterback Brice Biehl is out for the year after suffering a broken fibula against Lapel. His primary backup, Nolan Hall, is still suffering from headaches and will likely miss the game. Defensive and offensive line stalwart Jacob Wooldridge suffered a concussion at Lapel and will likely miss the Tri-Central game as well – a huge loss on both sides of the ball for the Panthers.
Against common opponents, both the Panthers and Trojans are 1-2. TC lost to Lapel 40-13, and KHS fell to the Bulldogs 41-13. Against Shenandoah, TC lost 41-0 while KHS fell 41-20.
Both teams beat Wes-Del, with KHS winning 46-6 and TC winning 47-22.
Tri-Central has played a fairly difficult schedule. Their opponents have a combined record this season of 41-23, and six of the eight teams they have played currently have a winning record.
Knightstown’s four losses have been to three teams that are 7-1, and one that is 6-2. The combined record of the four teams that have defeated the Panthers is 27-5. All four of the Panther wins have come against teams that are 2-6 this season.
Senior team members will be recognized Friday night prior to kickoff, which is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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