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Panther Defense Keys 32-0 Blowout Win Over Charges
September 17, 2008 - In keeping with tradition, the Knightstown Panthers and the North Decatur Chargers played yet another blowout football game.
An absolutely stifling defense and vicious pass rush propelled the Panthers to a stunning 32-0 win over the Chargers, giving the team its second straight victory. Over the last two games, Knightstown has outscored its opponents by a combined 78-6 margin.
Led by monster games from Anthony Forshey and Cory Wisehart on the defensive side, the Panthers choked the North Decatur offense and gave them very little to work with. Forshey sacked Charger quarterback Justin Huber four times and Wisehart registered 16 tackles in the game. The Panther defense sacked Huber 11 times in the contest, including three from Lane Fields and one apiece by Jordan Back, Zach Sanders, Aaron Forshey and Danny Ortman. Aaron Forshey and Sanders also turned in 13 tackles apiece in another outstanding game by both players.
It was an absolutely smothering defense that, for the third straight week, just refused to break.
The Chargers had one 29-yard carry and managed a 45-yard passing play. But on their other 54 plays in the game, they totaled just 36 yards of offense.
Special teams also played a major role in the win. Knightstown’s kickoff coverage was outstanding, allowing North Decatur just 69 total return yards on five kickoffs. None of Ethan Pearson’s three punts were returned by the Chargers, giving him a net average of 38 yards per punt.
It was a dominating performance despite the fact that the Panthers turned the ball over four times and had 100 yards in penalties.
So smothering was the Panther defense that North Decatur managed just 110 total yards, getting 51 rushing on a whopping 42 carries. The Chargers finished with 59 passing yards, but the 11 Panther sacks resulted in a combined loss of 80 yards.
North Decatur was taken out of the game immediately by the Knightstown defense. In the first half the hosts ran 23 plays and netted just 34 yards. Eight of those plays were for minus yardage.
In the meantime, the Panthers racked up over 300 yards of offense and for the second straight game bolted out to an early lead. But the offense wasn’t as smooth as the defense.
On Knightstown’s first possession quarterback Brice Biehl hit Ortman for a 25-yard pass, but was intercepted on the next play. Biehl quickly atoned for that mistake on the next series, carrying the ball three times for 19 yards before hitting Travis Titus with a perfectly-placed touchdown pass. Titus ran a fly pattern down the right sideline and Biehl launched a bomb to the corner of the end zone, hitting Titus in stride for a 32-yard scoring strike. Jordan Hauk’s PAT made it 7-0.
On the next series the Chargers got a pretty good idea of how this game was going to play out. After Anthony Forshey, Back and Ortman combined to sack Huber at the North Decatur eight-yard line, the Chargers were looking at a 4th-and-37 scenario. The punt from the end zone set Knightstown up at the ND 35 yard line, and it took just three plays and just over a minute for the Panthers to score again.
Lane Fields followed great blocks by Jacob Wooldridge and Wes Hammer and rocketed 31 yards to the four-yard line. Two plays later Fields went into the end zone untouched and it was quickly 13-0.
The Knightstown offensive line of Wooldridge, Hammer, Wisehart, Ethan Paul and Nick Hochstedler continued to open up gaps in the Charger’s massive defensive front, despite once again giving up nearly 60 pounds per man. At times the ND defensive line weighed in at 275, 252, 263 and 266 pounds. But on this night, it was speed that made the difference.
Despite turning the ball over on another interception deep in ND territory in the second quarter, the Panthers extended their lead to 20-0. That was set up by another great punt by Pearson and a Charger penalty, pushing them back to their own 13-yard line.
Charger Matt White attempted to run right and was hammered by Ortman, who literally stripped the ball from the tailback at the seven-yard line. The brilliant play set up Knightstown’s one-play drive when Fields hit paydirt again on the seven-yard run. At the 4:59 mark of the second quarter it was 20-0 and, for the most part, the game was already over.
The Panthers turned the ball over a third time early in the third quarter at their own 38, setting up the Chargers in excellent field position. After ND moved to the ball to the Panther 25, Biehl provided perhaps the biggest hit of the game. He slammed into Huber with a vicious hit that resulted in both players (both teams’ quarterbacks as well) lying on the ground and stunned momentarily. As he lay on his back, Huber congratulated Biehl on the hit. Both walked off the field on their own, but went to the sideline for a few plays.
Drew Martin then knocked down a pass and Fields got another sack to kill the drive.
Knightstown upped the lead to 26-0 on a seven-play, 62-yard drive that included a 13-yard run by Titus and a 39-yard pass from Biehl to Ortman to the three-yard line. Biehl then took the ball in for the score.
The final Panther score was set up by a fumble recovery by Biehl. The six-play, 44-yard drive was capped by a 22-yard run for paydirt by Fields, his third TD of the night, giving him six in the last two games.
Knightstown finished with 333 yards of offense, while holding the Chargers to just 110. Fields was again the workhorse on the ground, gaining 97 yards on 13 carries and scoring three touchdowns. Biehl finished hitting on 4-of-7 passes with one touchdown and one interception. His 97 passing yards went to Ortman (2-for-64, 1 TD) and Titus (2-for-33).
Knightstown 13 7 6 6 - 32
North Decatur 0 0 0 0 - 0
K – Travis Titus 32-yard touchdown pass from Brice Biehl (6:48), Jordan Hauk kick, 7-0
K – Lane Fields 1-yard touchdown run (3:58), kick blocked, 13-0
K - Fields 7-yard touchdown run (4:59), Hauk kick, 20-0
Biehl 3-yard touchdown run (3:31), kick failed on bad snap, 26-0
Fields 22-yard touchdown run (11:10), kick failed on bad snap, 32-0
First Downs: 12 (K), 7 (ND)
Rushes-Yards: 35-236 (K), 42-51 (ND)
Passing C-A-I: 4-8-2 (K), 5-14-0 (ND)
Passing Yards: 97 (K), 59 (ND)
Passing Touchdowns: 1 (K), 0 (ND)
Total Plays: 43 (K), 56 (ND)
Total Yards: 333 (K), 110 (ND)
Avg. Yards Per Play: 7.8 (K), 1.9 (ND)
Penalties: 8-100 (K), 6-50 (ND)
Punts-Yards-Avg.: 3-114-38.0 (K), 5-122-24.4 (ND)
Punt Returns-yards: 2-26 (K), 0-0 (ND)
Kick Returns-yards: 1-36 (K), 6-69 (ND)
Fumbles-Lost: 4-2 (K), 5-2 (ND)
Time of Possession: 20:16 (K), 27:44 (ND)
Rushing: K – Fields 13 carries, 97 yards, 3 touchdowns; Biehl 12 carries, 53 yards, 1 touchdown; Danny Ortman 4 carries, 42 yards; Titus 1 carry, 13 yards; Nolan Hall 3 carries, 14 yards; Zach Sanders 5 carries, 23 yards. ND – Stephen Speer 15 carries, 34 yards; Justin Huber 20 carries, minus 17 yards; Matt White 6 carries, 33 yards; Chad Bedel 1 carry, 1 yard
Passing (Com-Att-Yds-Td): K – Biehl 4-7-1, 1 TD, 97 yards; Hall 0-1-1. ND – Huber 5-14-0, 59 yards
Receiving: K – Ortman 2-64 yards; Titus 2-33 yards, 1 touchdown
Punt Returns: Biehl 2-26 yards
Kick Returns: Ortman 1-36 yards
Quarterback Sacks: Anthony Forshey 4, Lane Fields 3, Zach Sanders 1, Aaron Forshey 1, Danny Ortman 1, Jordan Back 1
Fumble Recoveries: Ortman, Biehl
Leading Tacklers: Cory Wisehart 16, Zach Sanders 13, Aaron Forshey 13
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