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 Knightstown, Tri High History Rich in Drama

Sept. 26, 2007 - Although Knightstown and Tri High have met on the football field every year since 1971, rarely have the two teams battled when they have brought identical records to the game. This year will be an exception.

Both the Titans and Panthers carry 3-3 marks into this year’s showdown. The last time that happened was in 2000, when both teams were 3-3 and Tri pulled out a thrilling 33-27 victory at their Homecoming.

Some of the more memorable games between the arch-rivals over the years, in chronological order:



*1971, the first-ever meeting in football between the two schools. Knightstown won going away, 39-18.

*1972, Richard Richey set what was then a KHS record with 241 rushing yards in a 26-0 Panther victory.

*1973, Eugene Litton and Jon Strader, two of the best defensive players ever at KHS, each scored a defensive touchdown had 13 solo tackles in a 43-6 win over Tri. KHS finished 9-1 that season.

*1974, in just it’s fourth year of varsity football, the Titans upset the Panthers 33-20, ending a 13-game Big Blue River Conference winning streak for KHS, and handing the Panthers their first-ever BBRC loss.

*1975, the game marked the first showdown between the teams as major powers. Both were unbeaten, and Tri improved to 7-0 with a 13-9 win.

*1976 – Mark Heim ran for 204 yards and Mark Todd ran for two touchdowns as the Panthers upset the Titans 26-16. KHS had 375 rushing yards in the game, spoiling Tri’s unbeaten BBRC record, as well as their Homecoming.

*1977, after the Panthers had stunned 2nd-ranked Eastern Hancock 35-28 in overtime and clobbered Triton Central 53-7, the Titans upset the 3rd-ranked Panthers 16-14. At that point, the rivalry rose to a level unequaled on the Panther schedule.

*1981 in the Panther Homecoming, Tri led unbeaten Knightstown 18-7 at halftime. Quarterback Mark Lawrence and fullback David Mattix led the Panthers to a second half rally and they eventually won, 28-18, qualifying for the state playoffs.

*1983, Tri spoiled Knightstown’s Homecoming with a late touchdown, knocking KHS out of the conference race as well.

*1988, Chris Bundy scored on a touchdown pass from Tommy Smith with 21 seconds to play to give Knightstown a 35-34 win.

*1990, in the midst of losing 20-of-21 games, the Panthers fell to Tri High 60-0 in the most lopsided score of the series.

*1991, Tri turned back Knightstown 20-7 in the championship game of the sectional after the Panthers again went winless during the season, but charged to the final of the sectional.

*1992, Knightstown returned the favor with its first sectional title in a 24-22 overtime thriller over the Titans in the championship game.

*1994, 3-2 Tri nearly upset eighth-ranked Knightstown, falling 26-24 in the final seconds when a two-point conversion failed.

*1997, 5-1 Tri gave the third-ranked 6-0 Panthers all they wanted before losing 28-7. KHS would make its first RCA Dome appearance later than season.

*1998, Tri was 5-1, winners of five straight, and ranked ninth in the state. KHS was 2-4, losers of three straight, and upset Tri 27-24 in the Titans’ Homecoming.

*2001, Knightstown upset Tri 36-35 in triple overtime. Tri was 5-1 and ranked in the top 10, while KHS was 3-3.

*2003, 1-5 Tri nearly upset seventh-ranked, 5-1 Knightstown, losing 15-12 in a slugfest.

*2006, the 4-6 Panthers upset the 7-3 Titans in playoffs 32-29, after Tri had won 35-14 during the regular season. Tri scored three touchdowns in 21 seconds to close the Panther 32-7 lead to within a field goal.

*2007, here we go again?


All-Time Series Results

Knightstown leads the all-time series against Tri High 22-17, including a 2-1 postseason mark, since the teams first played in 1971. The Panthers have won 12 of the last 17 times the schools have played. That streak follows a stretch in which the Titans won four straight from 1989-1991, including one game that Tri smothered the Panthers 60-0.

The biggest margin of victory for the Panthers in the series came in 1973, when the Panthers won 43-6. The Titans have not won at Knightstown since 1993.


Previous Knightstown and Tri High football games *Denotes playoff game

2006: Tri High 35, Knightstown 14         *Knightstown 32, Tri High 29

2005: Knightstown 32, Tri High 7

2004: Tri High 14, Knightstown 7

2003: Knightstown 15, Tri High 12

2002: Knightstown 28, Tri High 26

2001: Knightstown 36, Tri High 35 3 OT

2000: Tri High 33, Knightstown 27

1999: Knightstown 6, Tri High 0

1998: Knightstown 27, Tri High 24

1997: Knightstown 28, Tri High 7

1996: Tri High 39, Knightstown 12

1995: Knightstown 14, Tri High 6           *Knightstown 26, Tri 12

1994: Knightstown 26, Tri High 24

1993: Tri High 18, Knightstown 12

1992: Knightstown 20, Tri High 14         *Knightstown 24, Tri High 22 OT

1991: Tri High 18, Knightstown 16         *Tri High 20, Knightstown 7

1990: Tri High 60, Knightstown 0

1989: Tri High 28, Knightstown 12

1988: Knightstown 35, Tri High 34

1987: Tri High 20, Knightstown 12

1986: Tri High 12, Knightstown 0

1985: Knightstown 13, Tri High 6

1984: Knightstown 30, Tri High 21

1983: Tri High 28, Knightstown 22

1982: Tri High 14, Knightstown 0

1981: Knightstown 28, Tri High 18

1980: Knightstown 14, Tri High 0

1979: Knightstown 36, Tri High 22

1978: Tri High 18, Knightstown 13

1977: Tri High 16, Knightstown 14

1976: Knightstown 26, Tri High 16

1975: Tri High 13, Knightstown 9

1974: Tri High 33, Knightstown 20

1973: Knightstown 43, Tri High 6

1972: Knightstown 26, Tri High 0

1971: Knightstown 39, Tri High 18