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 Sectional 29 Field Has 5 of Class 2A’s Best Teams; Friday Night Will Be a Statement Game For The Panthers

I’ve heard from quite a few disappointed people after they watched their beloved Knightstown Panthers get absolutely creamed by Shenandoah last Friday night. It was ugly before halftime when the Raiders scored four times on five possessions and led 27-0. A huge Homecoming crowd left fairly disappointed, and I know there were more than a few players on the field disgusted with themselves.

The fact that the team responded and outscored the Raiders 20-14 the rest of the way again showed that this group of kids is going to hang in there. If the embarrassment of that home field shellacking doesn’t get the light turned back on, then some players need to be checked for a pulse.

With that said, I believe coach Bob Prescott’s kids will win out the rest of the season schedule and be 6-3 entering sectional play. They should, anyway.

The huge annual rivalry is Friday night at Tri. Coach Bryan Peggs and his kids will bring it just like they always do against Knightstown, but the Panthers should disappoint that huge throng of Titan fans who always turn out for the big game.

The Panthers then have a very tough game at Lapel (4-2) and finish out the season at home against Tri-Central (0-6). I’m guessing both of those will be payback games for Knightstown after last year’s fiascos. Since September 1, 2006, Tri Central has won just one game – last year against the Panthers.

Heading into the sectional with a 6-3 record would be an impressive accomplishment. But it would also be the fifth best record in the field.

The Class 2A Sectional 29 field is the best in the state.

We are now two-thirds of the way through the regular season and Sectional 29 stands second to none. There are three unbeaten teams in the field, including Centerville, Lawrenceburg and top-ranked Heritage Christian. Shenandoah and Triton Central are both 5-1.

It’s possible that at the end of the regular season Sectional 29 will have at least two if not three unbeaten teams in Centerville, Heritage Christian and Lawrenceburg, although the Tigers’ remaining schedule includes two 5-1 larger schools. Shenandoah and Triton Central will likely win out, meaning there will be five schools in the field with at least a record of 8-1.

Centerville has Hagerstown (5-1) this week, but closes the season against Union County and Winchester, both 2-4. Heritage Christian is probably unbeatable in Class 2A, and they finish with 5A Tech (5-1), and Park Tudor (0-6), before running into unbeaten Class A Ritter (ranked #2) in the high school game of the year.

Lawrenceburg has its toughest test Friday against 5-1 Class 4A East Central, and they finish at 3A Charlestown (5-1). Winning out is not likely, but an 8-1 record against their brutal schedule is impressive.

Shenandoah’s program has returned under new coach Scott Widner and his team will have no problem winning out. This is the best Raider team since the 2004 squad that went 12-1 and won the sectional. They have Tri-Central (0-6), Eastern Hancock (1-5), and Park Tudor (0-6), a combined 1-17 slate, to finish the season.

Triton Central finishes up with Park Tudor (0-6), Indian Creek (4-2) and Milan (3-3), and will win those games. Indianapolis Washington should win two of its last three, as should Union County.

The current combined record of the eight schools in Sectional 29 is 35-13, and just two have a losing record. Heritage Christian has outscored its six victims by a combined 270-21 margin. They are averaging 45 points per game and allowing just 3.5.

Lawrenceburg’s numbers aren’t as scary, but are impressive as well. Their six-game scoring advantage is 193-60, for an average win of 32-10. Centerville has outscored its opposition 210-60, averaging a 35-10 win. The only team to give the Bulldogs a game was Knightstown, which lost 21-18 at Centerville.

Shenandoah has put up 210 points while allowing just 74 for an average win of 35-12. Triton Central has rolled over opponents to the tune of 236-86, averaging a 38-14 win. Their only loss was to #1 Heritage Christian, 27-0.

Those five schools are a combined 28-2. Knightstown, despite being just 3-3 this season, has nonetheless outscored the opposition 177-88. The Panthers average 29.5 points and allow less than 15.

Unless the Panthers stumble at Lapel, the team should win out the rest of the way. That will make for an extremely interesting sectional field with five of the top Class 2A teams in the state.

For Knightstown, it all starts this Friday night at Tri High. This is the game in which the Panther football team needs to make a statement and leave the previous struggles behind. If they do that, they’ll have something to say when play begins in that brutal sectional.


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