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Flat Panthers Pummeled by Shenandoah, 41-20
October 1, 2008 - One week earlier, Knightstown came busting out of the gates to take a 33-0 first half lead against Eastern Hancock. Friday night, the roles were reversed and it was the Panthers who came out flat, allowing Shenandoah to build an early 27-0 lead en route to a 41-20 victory over the Panthers.
The win all but wrapped up the White River Athletic Conference crown for the Raiders, and sent Knightstown players and coaches scrambling for answers.
Shenandoah’s Luke Hamm ran for 202 yards and three touchdowns. The Panthers rarely had an answer for Hamm, who had the benefit of running behind all-state offensive linemen Sam Poole (6-5, 305-lbs.) and Jacob Davis (6-0, 340-lbs.). Those mammoth linemen both had a more than 100-pound advantage on Knightstown’s biggest defenders.
The win upped the Raiders to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in WRAC play. It also marked the seventh consecutive victory on Knightstown’s field for Shenandoah.
Despite losing the game by three touchdowns and falling behind by 27 points, the Panthers made a good run and actually got back into the contest. Knightstown scored its first points of the game after quarterback Brice Biehl hooked up with Danny Ortman on a 37-yard passing play on a crucial 3rd-and-14 play. After Ortman ran the ball for 10 more yards, Biehl hit Travis Titus with a deep pass in the corner of the end zone with 56 seconds left in the first half. Jordan Hauk’s PAT kick made it 27-7, but gave both teams something to think about during halftime.
The Panthers then took the second half kickoff and put a scare into the Raider sideline. Ethan Pearson returned a deep kickoff 20 yards, and Titus picked up 15 yards on a sweep. Moments later Lane Fields rocketed 53 yards for a touchdown and all at once the Panthers had cut the lead to 27-14 just over a minute into the third quarter.
Knightstown then held Shenandoah to a 4th-and-3 at the Raider 41-yard line, putting the team into a punting situation. The momentum had clearly shifted to the Panthers’ favor at that stage, with the team having scored 14 unanswered points and getting the ball back for the offense. But it wasn’t in the cards.
Knightstown jumped offsides, the five yards were marked off, and the Raiders were given the reprieve with a first down. On the very next play a stunned Panther defense reacted slowly while senior Tyler Pugsley bulldogged his way 48 yards to the Knightstown 11. Two plays later Hamm was in the end zone and the lead was back up to three touchdowns.
The Raiders scored on four of their first five possessions to bolt out to that 27-0 lead. The game’s opening drive took just three plays, covered 76 yards and ended with a two-yard run for paydirt by Hamm. He also had a 53-yard run on the drive.
Ethan Pearson dropped a near-perfect, 47-yard punt at the Raider 11-yard line, but that poor field position didn’t stop the visitors. They put together a methodical 14-play, 89-yard drive that included converting on third down four times. Quarterback Zach York hit Pugsley with a three-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.
In the first quarter, Shenandoah had run 17 plays, gained 165 yards and had six first downs. On the flip side, the first four Panther possessions were uneventful on this Homecoming night.
In the first quarter, Knightstown ran eight plays and gained five yards. The Panther defense was on the field for most of the quarter. The first four Panther possessions in the game included 15 plays, three punts, an interception, 17 yards of total offense and a negative seven yards on the ground.
By then, Shenandoah had possessed the ball five times, scored on four of those, and it was already 27-0. The Raiders drove the ball deep into Panther territory one more time at the close of the first half after a 38-yard run by Pugsley. A field goal try as time expired was no good.
The Raiders increased their lead to 41-14 in the fourth quarter before Knightstown put together a nice scoring drive. The 11-play, 65-yard scoring drive was highlighted by a 14-yard run by Pearson and multiple short runs that consumed more than four minutes of clock.
Backup quarterback Nolan Hall converted a 4th-and-9 when he hit Kelton Lane in the end zone on a 26-yard strike with 3:57 to play.
Aaron Forshey stripped the ball from the Raider ball carrier on the next possession, but time ran out on the Panthers at the Shenandoah 45-yard line.
Hamm rushed for 202 yards and also caught a pass for 12 more, giving him 216 total yards, with TD runs of two, 12 and three yards. York completed 7-14 passes for 64 yards and also ran for 26 yards, including a four-yard touchdown run.
Knightstown’s running game was kept in check by the Raider defensive front, which weighed in at more than 1,000 combined pounds and had a 60-plus pound advantage. Because of a couple of sacks, Biehl was held to a minus-23 yards on the ground, while the Raiders keyed on Fields and held him to 66 yards on 10 carries. Fields had 53 of those yards on his touchdown run.
Knightstown 0 7 7 6 - 20
Shenandoah 14 13 8 6 - 41
SH – Luke Hamm 2-yard touchdown run (11:19), Trevor Geiger kick, 7-0.
SH – Tyler Pugsley 2-yard touchdown pass from Zach York (1:22), Geiger kick, 14-0.
SH – Hamm 12-yard touchdown run (10:33), kick failed, 20-0.
SH – York 4-yard touchdown run (3:15), Geiger kick, 27-0.
KT – Travis Titus 18-yard touchdown pass from Brice Biehl (0:56), Jordan Hauk kick, 27-7.
KT – Lane Fields 53-yard touchdown run (10:52), Hauk kick, 27-14.
SH – Hamm 3-yard touchdown run (8:34), York pass to Cody Young for 2-point conversion, 35-14.
SH – Zach Cole 5-yard touchdown pass from York (8:13), kick failed, 41-14.
KT – Kelton Lane 26-yard touchdown pass from Nolan Hall (3:57), kick failed, 41-20.
Passing: Brice Biehl 4-9-1, 70 yards, 1 TD; Nolan Hall 1-2, 26 yards, 1 TD.
Rushing: Biehl 11-(-23); Fields 10-66, 1 TD; Hall 4-15; Danny Ortman 5-20; Travis Titus 4-18; Will Milton 3-4; Ethan Pearson 2-16.
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