The Knoxville Panthers were disappointed following their 38-10 setback to the Grinnell Tigers in Class 3A District play in Grinnell.
The loss dropped the Panthers to 4-2 overall and to 0-2 in district action. The win moved the Tigers to 4-2 and 1-1 in the district.
Panther Head Coach Eric Keller stated, “We came out flat last Friday and didn’t tackle well. We had some opportunities on both offense and defense that we just barely missed that could have turned the game around. We never quit, but the energy just wasn’t there”
Knoxville got off to a fast start as Carter Bailey rambled over 80 yards to set up the first points of the night.
Bailey scored from a yard out and the Panthers led 7-0.
The Tigers were held in check most of the first half, despite leading 13-7 at the intermission break.
The third quarter did in the Panthers as the Tigers widened the advantage to 31-7.
A field goal by Wyatt Darnell from 19-yards out brought the Panthers to within 31-10, but that was as close as it got.
The Tigers tacked on a later score to make the final 38-10.
Knoxville struggled to stop Wyatt Hunter. Hunter had 27 carries for 192 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. He also had four receptions for 92 more yards and a 16-yard touchdown pass.
Hunter’s longest touchdown run was of 84 yards and proved to be a back breaker.
Owen Coffman had a touchdown reception of 21 yards and Cole McGriff hauled in a touchdown pass from 30 yards out.
With the exception of Carter Bailey’s 146 yards rushing the Panthers struggled to get the offense in rhythm.
Kieren Nichols ran for 60 yards on 20 totes of the pigskin and Keegan Cox added 36 yards on seven tries.
In the air, Nichols was just 5-of-20 for 62 yards and had one pass picked off.
Cox and Mike Hudson each caught two passes for the Panthers, while Ben Olson snagged one pass.
Knoxville turned the ball over once, while the Panther defense forced the Tigers into two turnovers.
Hudson intercepted a pass and Brady Pearson recovered a Tiger fumble.
On the KHS tackle charts Ben Olson led the way with 9.5 stops, Logan Clark had 7.5, Ian Crossett had 5. The rest of the tackle leaders were Wyatt Darnell and Ben Brewster with 4 tackles each and Mike Hudson with three.
In looking ahead, the Panthers look to snap the two game losing skid as they play host to the South Tama Trojans Friday night for Homecoming.
Kellar replied, “The kids are excited to defend our home field this Friday and give the school and community a W.”