Kieren Nichols

Panther quarterback Kieren Nichols was perfect as he hit 5-of-5 pass attempts and ran for over 100 yards in a big win over Saydel Friday evening.

Knoxville moved to 2-0 for the season with a resounding 56-0 whitewashing of the Saydel Eagles Friday night on the road.

Panther Head Coach Eric Kellar replied, “We executed the game plan in all three phases really well. Kids did their jobs, communicated on stunts, blocking schemes, etc. We played fast and very physical. It was nice to get all of the kids in the game.”

To tell you how efficient the KHS offense was take a look at the statistics put up by junior quarterback Kieren Nichols.

Nichols was 5-of-5 passing for 84 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown pass was of 53 yards to junior teammate Mike Hudson.

Hudson was the top receiver with three receptions for 62 yards. Ben Olson and Cooper worth had one catch each.

Neither Nichols or Hudson were done putting up numbers. Nichols ran the ball nine times gaining 111 yards with three touchdowns, the longest being from 26 yards out.

Also hitting the century mark for KHS on the ground was Keegan Cox who ran for 107 yards on six totes of the pigskin. Cox had two touchdowns in the game, the longest being a 53-yard dash to the end zone.

Brady Pearson had five carries for 53 yards.

Ben Olson ran 11 times for 33 yards which included a short 3-yard run to pay dirt.

So, with the Panther offense clicking on all cylinders with one touchdown passing and six on the ground, the defense found a way to score as well.

Hudson picked off a pass and rambled 30 yards into the end zone for his second score of the night.

Keegan Cox also had a pass interception.

The fourth KHS defensive turnover of the night was delivered by who else, Hudson, who was all over the field. Hudson had a fumble recovery to finish off a brilliant night.

Panther kicker Wyatt Darnell had his moment in the spotlight as well. Darnell split the uprights on all eight of his PAT kicks.

Knoxville was forced to punt only once in the game.

The leader on the KHS tackle charts was Olson with five and Hudson with four stops. Seven Panthers were credited with three tackles each, Logan Clark, Bode Cox, Darnell, Blaise Hubler, Kyle Ramsey, Cooper Worth and Dom Avon.

Odds and Ends

Knoxville beat Saydel in 2018 by the final tally of 19-13.

The Panthers were within a point of the school record for largest win. The mark is 57 established by the 1975 undefeated football squad when they drubbed the Chariton Chargers 57-0.

Knoxville is still dealing with a few injuries as they head into a non-district game Friday night in Centerville against the 2-0 Big Red.

Centerville lost to Knoxville a year ago 27-12.

Kickoff Friday night will be 7:30 p.m.

Perry Bell can be reached at sports@journalexpress.net or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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