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It's All About Bad Calls, Golden Opportunities, and Spoiled Myths
This football season has been a roller coaster of emotions for all area high school football fans.
The Knightstown Panthers have been a couple of plays away from turning games around repeatedly this season, only to see a player from the other team come up big instead. The same can be said for Eastern Hancock, who Coach Kyle Johnson said, “Stood around and watched Shenandoah make the plays Friday night.”
Things started going bad for the Panthers Friday night after they came out fired up and stopped Lapel on several possessions. But Knightstown gave up several big plays in a short period of time, allowing the Bulldogs to put 22 points on the board in about seven minutes.
The two teams were in a scoreless defensive struggle when Lapel was facing a fourth down and 10 at the Panther 25 yard line. Quarterback David Sower hit receiver Brandon Freeland with a pass at the 14 right in front of where I was standing. As Freeland’s momentum took him directly toward me, I began back-pedaling as I watched him drop the ball and then land on top of it. He slid toward the sideline and my feet, grabbed the ball back and was awarded with the catch, which resulted in a first down. Two plays later Lapel scored what would prove to be the game-winning points.
As bad as the breaks have been for the Panthers this season, they didn’t need that bad call to make things worse. However, to be fair to the official, he wasn’t as close to the play as I was and likely didn’t see the drop from his lengthy distance of 12 feet away.
Without thinking I turned to another newspaper guy standing next to me and said, “Wow, that was a bad call. He didn’t make the catch.” The other guy agreed.
The official, placing the ball on the field directly in front me at the 14-yard line, turned his head, reached for his yellow flag and asked, “Are you a coach standing all the way down here?” The official was obviously aware that he had blown the call and apparently didn’t like someone standing that close pointing it out.
All I could think to say was, “No, but I was a Lamaze coach once. You know, breathe and stuff. It was a boy!”
Later I felt kind of bad. He put the flag back in his pocket and the guy didn’t pull it out the rest of the game. Some officials are just too sensitive.
While Eastern Hancock finishes the regular season part of its schedule with powerful Clinton Central, Knightstown plays what should be the weakest opponent on its schedule.
The Panthers have a golden opportunity to put this five-game losing streak behind them and gain some momentum heading into sectional play.
The Trojans are 1-7 and last week lost to Wes-Del 39-32.
The Panthers are 2-6 and have been in enough games this year where a few breaks could have turned that record around. This is a good statement game for the Panthers and carries the potential to be a major confidence-builder heading into the sectional, when Northeastern visits.
If this Panther team plays to its potential anything can happen.
“If Knightstown just plays the way they did against us,” Eastern Hancock Coach Kyle Johnson said, “they should win Friday and their first two games of the sectional. They really could be playing for a sectional title next month.”
How Time (and a tall tale) Flies
In my “How Time Flies” column in last week’s Banner, I reprinted an article from 1984 which told of former Panther and current Tri High head coach Bryan Peggs tearing his ACL during a high-five with a teammate before the game against Shenandoah. Now 22 years later Bryan’s sister, Cara, sheds a little light on that legendary injury.
From the email bag, Cara writes:
“Bryan Peggs previously had injured his knee in a farming accident. The high five ACL tear is a myth. Unfortunately, it makes for a good story for it (the knee) to give out at the precise moment he was giving a high five to a fellow teammate. For the record he is still remembered at Methodist Sports Medicine by the surgeon who performed the repair as the kid who blew his ACL doing a high five. I must, as his sister, put this myth to rest.”
Thank you, Cara, for bringing the truth to surface and in the process, spoiling all the fun.
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