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 8th Grade Crushes Driver 38-6

September 24, 2008 - Knightstown eighth grade football team got off to its patented slow start, and then exploded for a 38-6 win over Driver (Winchester) last Thursday.

After leading just 12-6 at the half, Knightstown erupted for 26 second half points in the blowout win. In three games this season, the young Panthers have outscored their opposition 100-12. In the first half this season Knightstown has outscored its opponents 32-12. But in the second half, the Panthers have dominated their three opponents by outscoring them 68-0.

The game against Driver pretty much followed the early-season script. Knightstown stopped Driver on its first possession and then quickly scored. Jordan Jessup galloped 26 yards on one run, and two plays later Jarod Souder added another 26-yard carry. That set up a 13-yard run for paydirt by Zac Cleek and a 6-0 lead.

But a Panther turnover set up a Driver touchdown and the game was tied. Knightstown regained the lead after Dakota Smucker had a 24-yard return on the ensuing Driver kickoff. Souder then had a tough 34-yard gain before Cleek scored from the two-yard line to give the Panthers a 12-6 halftime lead.

In the third quarter Andre Loveall returned the opening kickoff 29 yards. On a broken play, Cleek reversed field and got a huge block from Walker Titus. Cleek gained 32 yards on the play. Cleek later scored from the three-yard line.

Dean Thomas came up with a quarterback sack that returned the ball to Knightstown on downs as the third quarter ended.

Opening the fourth quarter, Cleek then scampered 58 yards around the right side for his third touchdown of the night. That opened the flood gates.

Tommy Masters recovered a fumble and Cleek hit Smucker with an 18-yard touchdown pass. Smucker then recovered fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Loveall scored a touchdown on a 26-yard run. Masters carried for the 2-point conversion to cap the scoring.

Defensively for Knightstown, Keegon Wells, Jack Adkins, Thomas, Souder and Jessup all had quarterback sacks. The team’s leading tacklers were Braxton Kortz, Grant Kennedy, Jessup Masters and Souder. Dusty Littleton had several nice stops on special teams and defense.

“Kortz and Kennedy were very active defensively,” coach Joe Patton said. “They were able to get in the backfield and make things happen.”

On offense, Knightstown had 232 yards rushing.

“Offensive line blocked well, especially the receivers,” Patton said. “Zane Neal, Austin Darling and Cody Gray were especially effective on the wide running plays. Cleek had a nice game running the football and made good decisions. Souder and Jessup ran hard all night. The offensive line did a great job opening holes and holding their blocks.”

The win improved the 8th graders to 3-0 on the season. They are scheduled to play Lapel at home Thursday.


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