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Panther Big Black Sack Attack Was ‘Dogs’ Demise
Centerville quarterback Drew Schauss didn’t have to worry about the sun getting in his eyes last Friday evening. He spent most of the game being shaded by the black jerseys that were constantly knocking him to the ground.
It was the Big Black Sack Attack.
This Knightstown defense may be undersized, but they make up for it on pure team speed. Schauss, surprisingly mobile at 6-4 and 200 pounds, suffered a literal ground force invasion. The veteran three-year starting quarterback, who appears on several website and magazine pre-season all-state lists, took an absolute pounding.
I’m not the official statistician, but I had the Panthers with at least 10 total sacks.
A dominating performance by the defense was led by 2.5 sacks from Justin Sanders, who had at least a dozen more quarterback pressures.
Ethan Pearson and Lane Fields both had 1.5 sacks, while Zach Lake, Brett Morris and Cory Wisehart each had one. Nick Hochstedler, Rusty Asberry, Kyle Freeman and Travis Titus got into the sack act as well. Brad Carrender and Aaron Forshey each also had one half-sack.
Schauss was looking to throw the ball most of the game because Centerville never did get its ground game going. Consider this: the Bulldogs had 32 yards rushing in their first drive, and finished the game with 46 yards on the ground. Of their last 20 rushes, more than half lost yards, and those plays were primarily Schauss getting sacked on roll-outs.
Every time the guy tried to roll either direction, he was nailed. When he dropped straight back, it was a three-step drop and then boom, another blitzing Panther linebacker took him down.
It was so much fun to watch, we’ll revisit some of the more crucial ones:
* On the first play of the second quarter, Centerville had a 2nd-and-4 at the Panther eight-yard line. Schauss scrambled and was nailed by Nick Hochstedler and Ethan Pearson at the 13 for a loss of five yards.
* On the next play, now 3rd-and-9, Schauss scrambled again and was drilled by Justin Sanders, who was assisted by Aaron Forshey, at the 18 for another loss of five yards.
* On 1st-and-10 from his own 22, Schauss was sacked by Lane Fields for a three-yard loss.
* On the next play, Schauss was caught again by Fields, Travis Titus and Justin Sanders for a six-yard loss to the 13.
* On the next play, Sanders again nailed Schauss at the 10, forcing a 4th-and-22.
That all happened in the first half. Sanders was in on three of the five sacks, and Schauss wasn’t a happy man. He gave his offensive linemen a piece of his mind on the way to the locker room.
It didn’t help.
* Late in the third quarter, Schauss scrambled on a 3rd-and-5 and was promptly hammered by Pearson for another sack and a five yard loss.
* On 1st-and-10 from their own 16 following a Panther fumble, Schauss dropped back to pass and was crushed by a sack from Justin Sanders for a seven-yard loss to the nine.
* Trying to throw on the next play, Schauss was planted once again by Lake and Brett Morris at the seven.
* Following another Panther fumble, Schauss scrambled on 2nd-and-9 from his 40 and was buried in a collective rush of Morris, Wisehart and Lake.
* Schauss completed a pass to the Knightstown 49-yard line, and went back to work with about two minutes to play and the game still in question.
* On 3rd-and-5 from the Panther 44, he did a three-step drop and was once again buried by Wisehart and Lake at the 47.
Then came the point in the fourth quarter that Schauss looked like he was a whipped Bulldog. Facing a 4th-and-8 with just 95 seconds to play, Schauss rolled right and was immediately pursued by three black jerseys. His pass was overthrown and fell harmlessly to the ground well beyond the reach of anyone. The veteran quarterback had seen enough of the Big Black Sack Attack.
The Panthers are going to be hurt on both sides of the ball with the loss of Trey McColley, and Joe Haase will likely miss at least this week’s game at Hagerstown. That’s going to change a lot of things this team wanted to do, but they are still more than capable of having an outstanding season.
If this defense continues to play at that level of aggressiveness, they are still going to be a very hard team to beat.
Up next is a bigger challenge in Hagerstown quarterback Chad Lieberman, who passed and ran for a combined 2,663 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. That’s going to make for one interesting showdown this Friday night at Hagerstown.
Oh, and by the way, here’s a little tidbit that might end up being kind of important. The last time Knightstown played at Hagerstown, in 2005, the Panthers won 72-7.
I kind of doubt the Tigers have forgotten about that.
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