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Lapel Runs Past Panthers 41-13; Biehl has Broken Fibula
October 15, 2008 - Knightstown Panther football games have taken on a very unusual pattern this season. In the sixth consecutive game involving the Panthers, one team has scored at least four unanswered touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Panthers, it was their opponent’s turn to pull off the trick.
Lapel responded a 7-0 Knightstown lead with 27 consecutive points on its way to a 41-13 win over the Panthers Friday night. The game marked the sixth in a row involving Knightstown in which one team has scored at least four unanswered touchdowns.
The previous week, the Panthers scored 26 consecutive points in a win over Tri. That happened one week after Shenandoah scored the game’s first 27 points against Knightstown in a Panther loss. The week before that, the Panthers scored the first 33 points of the game against Eastern Hancock, which followed 32 straight against North Decatur and 46 unanswered points against Wes-Del.
Whatever the reason, one team has been able to score in a hurry in seven of the eight Panther football games this season. Lapel set the tone in the second quarter after Knightstown led 7-0. The Bulldogs scored the next 27 points after finding gaping holes in the Panther defense. Lapel senior tailback Josh Owen scored on touchdown runs of 62, 46, 90 and 24 yards. He finished the game with 271 rushing yards, which ended up being nearly 100 more than the entire Knightstown team offensive totals.
In eight games, Owen has run for 1,221 yards, so those numbers aren’t exactly a surprise.
What was a surprise for the Panthers has the team’s injury bug, which hit as often as the Bulldogs’ blitzing linebackers. With backup quarterback Nolan Hall out nursing an injury, there was little room for any more damage to the position. But Brice Biehl suffered a broken fibula, ending his football season and putting doubt into when he could return for the upcoming basketball season. That injury forced third-stringer Drew Martin into action.
Eventually the Bulldogs hammered Martin, sending him to the sideline after he had played well in the third and fourth quarters. The Panthers had to finish the game with 136-pound freshman Will Milton behind center. When he lined up for the snap, the Lapel front four outweighed him by more than 125 pounds per man.
Knightstown actually played well in the first quarter of the game, forging ahead 7-0 after a great defensive play that forced a Bulldog turnover. An incomplete pass behind the line of scrimmage was recovered by Martin, giving the Panthers field position at the nine-yard line.
Lane Fields then went off left tackle those nine yards for paydirt. Jordan Hauk’s PAT gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead that they held through one period.
Knightstown continued to look good defensively, holding the Bulldogs’ powerful offense in check. But on the offensive side of the ball the team could do little. Biehl rarely had more than a split second to react after taking the snap because a speedy Lapel linebacker was in his face before he could roll either direction.
The defensive stalemate lasted until the midway point of the second quarter before the Bulldogs seized control of the game. On its next three possessions, Lapel had to run a total of just five plays to score three touchdowns.
Owen scored the first time on a 62-yard run on the first play of the series. The second score came on a 46-yard Owen run on the second play, and the third occurred on a 17-yard touchdown pass following a 15-yard penalty on the Panthers. Over a span of just over four minutes, the game changed from a 7-0 lead to a 20-7 halftime deficit for the Panthers.
Knightstown was down at the half and also had lost Biehl, regulating them to Martin, who had not played the position since being used sparingly last season during mop-up duties.
Lapel then stuck a dagger in deep early in the third quarter when Owen, following a Panther turnover at the Bulldog 10, went 90 yards for another touchdown. That increased the lead to 27-7 with 8:29 to play.
But Knightstown showed some resilience by responding with a scoring drive with Martin in the captain’s chair. Ethan Pearson set up the score with a 33-yard return on the kickoff. A couple of clutch runs by Fields, Travis Titus and Martin moved the ball down field. A 15-yard penalty on the Bulldogs helped, and then Fields went the last 10 yards for a score to cut the lead to 27-13.
Knightstown forced a punt near the end of the quarter. Back on offense early in the fourth period the Panthers appeared to be position to cut the lead down to one touchdown. But they were unable to move the ball and the Bulldogs took advantage again with the big play. Owens ran untouched 24 yards for another touchdown and it was out of reach at 34-13 with 9:26 to play.
The Panthers ran one play and fumbled, setting up the Bulldogs at the 18-yard line for another relatively easy score. Shelby Weeks scored four plays later and it was 41-13, a final score that is very deceiving compared to what happened on the field.
Milton ran the offense for the game’s last seven minutes, directing the team to three first downs in what had to be a great learning experience.
The win secured a second place finish in the White River Athletic Conference for the Bulldogs. The game also marked what will go into the history books as the final conference game between the two schools. The WRAC is being disbanded after this season after Lapel announced they were leaving and Wes-Del departed after last year.
Knightstown fell to 4-4 on the season and will be looking to right the ship in the final regular season game Friday night. Tri-Central will be the opponent and the Trojans picked up their first win of the year by thrashing Wes-Del 47-22.
Last year Tri-Central defeated the Panthers on their home field 28-20. It was the only game the Trojans won last season.
Knightstown 7 0 6 0 - 13
Lapel 0 20 7 14 - 41
K – Lane Fields 9-yard touchdown run (5:55), Jordan Hauk kick, 7-0.
L – Josh Owen 62-yard touchdown run (8:01), Scott Shepherd kick, 7-7.
L – Owen 46-yard touchdown run (4:10), Shepherd kick, 7-14.
L – Evan Roberts 17-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Scott (2:32), kick failed, 7-20.
L – Owen 90-yard touchdown run (8:47), Shepherd kick, 7-27.
K – Fields 9-yard touchdown run (5:25), kick blocked, 13-27.
L – Owens 24-yard touchdown run (9:26), Shepherd kick, 13-34.
L – Shelby Weeks 7-yard touchdown run (7:13), Shepherd kick, 13-41.
First Downs: 15 (K), 10 (L)
Rushing: 41-426 (K), 55-157 (L)
Passing: 2-7-0 (K), 2-6-1 (L)
Passing Yards: 25 (K), 18 (L)
Total Yards: 451 (K), 175 (L)
Penalties-Yards: 9-87 (K), 2-29 (L)
Punts-Average: 2-33.0 (K), 7-33.0 (L)
Fumbles-Lost: 3-2 (K), 7-2 (L)
Time of Possession: 20:23 (K), 27:37 (L)
Rushing: K - Lane Fields 20-114, 2 TDs; Travis Titus 8-40; Drew Martin 10-19; Will Milton 3-7; Danny Ortman 3-5; Brice Biehl 11 (-28). L – Owen 16-271, 4 TDs; Weeks 17-129, 1 TD; Guion 1-9; Scott 2-2; Freeland 2-5; Roberts 1-10.
Passing: K - Biehl 2-3-0, 18 yards; Martin 0-3-1. L – Scott 2-7-0, 25 yards, 1 TD.
Receiving: K – Ortman 2-18; L – Roberts 2-25, 1 TD.
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