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 Change to Class 2A Moves Raiders, Panthers into Unfamiliar Territory

August 15, 2007 - Shenandoah, Centerville, Heritage Christian and Knightstown appear to be the favorites in Class 2A Sectional 29, although most of the teams in the field are returning some talented players from last season.

The Raiders return 17 players who saw action from last year’s 8-3 team, but lost Panther killer Kyler Gray, their two-year starting quarterback, as well as six other two-way starters. Familiar names returning to the Raiders this year include Cory Hiatt, Kyle Arnold and 6-6, 280-pound offensive lineman Sam Poole.

Centerville, Knightstown’s opponent in the season opener, is coming off a 7-3 season and will be without six graduating seniors. They return quarterback Drew Schauss, who just destroyed the Panthers in last year’s season opener. Also back this year will be running back Alex Jones, a 6-2, 220-pound bruiser who ran wild against Knightstown last season.

The Bulldogs graduated eight seniors, including all but one of their offensive linemen. Like Knightstown, the offensive line is their biggest question mark.

Heritage Christian is coming off a 6-4 record last season, their first winning record in the history of the program. Now in their sixth year of football, the Eagles feature 6-5, 200-pound all-state receiver Morgan Cook, and quarterback Garrett Meador returning to their starting positions this season.

The Eagles have 15 players returning who saw considerable time last year, but lost six key men to graduation. Four of those six are playing college football, including all-state running back Matt Cook.

The Washington Continentals are coming off an 0-10 season. They are big, as their defensive line will average better than 220 pounds. But they are also inexperienced, and will rely on a freshman running back that has all-state potential. Just seven players with varsity game experience return, meaning the Continentals are probably going to search hard for an end to their losing streak.

Lawrenceburg won their sectional in 2005, but heavy graduation losses saw the team suffer through a 2-8 campaign last year. It figures to be another rebuilding year for the Tigers, who are heavy on sophomores and juniors, and have to fill key skill positions on both sides of the ball.

Triton Central blasted through the regular season averaging more than 43 points per game, and allowed just 33, or less than four points, while compiling a 9-0 record and a number 7 Class 2A ranking.

They then lost their first sectional game to Clarksville. They return quarterback Adam Persinger, as well as seven more starters. The Tigers lost two primary weapons on offense in their top running back and wide receiver, and a total of 11 starters, some of which went both ways.

On paper, Union County is the scariest team in Sectional 29. But that’s really thin paper.

The Patriots return nine starters on offense, but that was from a team that didn’t win a game and averaged just six points per contest. They compiled a record of 1-9 last year, and were awarded a win against North Decatur due to forfeit. They actually lost that game 62-18.

They return 14 players who saw considerable action, but looked completely lost in the preseason scrimmage Friday night against Knightstown, giving up seven touchdowns. The Patriots may be a sleeper come sectional time, once the team has nine games under its belt and better understands Coach Rich Padgett’s system.



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