Chariton — After four tough losses, the Knoxville Panthers traveled to Chariton Friday night and came back with their third victory of the season, outlasting the Chargers by a score of 34-8.
The Panthers received the opening kickoff. On their first three plays from scrimmage, Gerritt Davis and Colton Spaur combined for three consecutive first-down rushes, all over 10 yards. Davis did not attempt any passes on this first drive, nor was it necessary, as Spaur took it the last yard-and-a-half to put the Panthers on the board first and early. With Tanner Dunkin's first extra point of the evening, Knoxville was up 7-0.
Following the first Charger three-and-out of the evening, the Panther offense got back to work and stayed on the ground for the first plays. Davis' first pass attempt was to Derek Glover, good for 12 yards.
Davis and Spaur maintained the rushing attack as the Panther offense kept control for the remainder of the first quarter. Less than a minute into the second, Dunkin caught a Davis pass for the Panthers' second strike of the night. Another successful PAT put the Panthers up 14-0.
The Charger offense continued to struggle. Rusher Marcely Pape appeared to have an opening to make something happen, until he ran into Ryan Douglas, who walloped Pape and likely stopped a long gain by the Chariton speedster.
On fourth down, the Chargers attempted a fake punt, but it did not fool the Panthers, who took over on their own 32. It did not take long for the Panther offense, on the legs of Spaur once again, to bring the score to 21-0.
Chariton made strides on the ensuing possession, until a pass got away from Christian Bengtson and fell into the hands of Glover. Two plays later, Davis was intercepted by Chasen Blue.
Aaron Crossett had been displaying his defensive prowess all night. He sacked Bengtson twice on this drive and once again, brought up fourth down for the Chargers.