Pella — The Knoxville Panthers could be 4-0 if not for a few plays in the past two games.
After last week's last-minute loss to the Winterset Huskies, following a controversial pass interference call, the Panthers looked primed and ready to get back on the winning side of the column when they traveled to Pella last night to take on the Dutch.
On the first play from scrimmage, Quarterback Gerritt Davis connected with Ryan Douglas to take it to the house to put the Panthers up 7-0 early.
The Dutch were quick to respond, however, and tied it up 7-7. A second touchdown was scored by the Dutch before the Panthers could reach the end zone again.
While Knoxville struggled to get across the goal line, it made several trips to the red zone. On two of them, Davis was intercepted by the Dutch defense on passes that could have been taken in for easy Panther touchdowns. The Panthers also missed an opportunity when a field goal attempt went wide right.
The Panthers did get back on the board when Colton Spaur ran across the goal line, following a face mask call. (Penalties hindered the Panthers and the Dutch alike in this Little Hawkeye Conference showdown.)
On the ensuing point after attempt, the Dutch were successfully able to block the kick, leaving the score at its final, 14-13. Coach Troy Rider said, following the game, that he considered going for two, but he chose not to.
"These kids played their hearts out," Rider said. "They didn't deserve to lose this game."
The Panther offense had one more opportunity late in the fourth, but the Dutch defense continued to push them back.
Up next for the Panthers is a trip to Dallas Center-Grimes. Pella is traveling to Carlisle. Look for more on the Panther-Dutch showdown in the Sept. 21 Journal-Express.
Results for Marion County's other teams from last night include Melcher-Dallas crushing Moravia 76-0 in the Saints' homecoming game; Twin Cedars beat Meskwaki Settlement 63-28; Pella Christian beat Des Moines Christian 43-20; and Pleasantville fell to Pekin, 61-21.