Panthers dominate Louisville in Pigskin Classic

Matthew Smith socks a Louisville Central player in Friday's game.
Matthew Smith socks a Louisville Central player in Friday’s game.

Trevor Sherman and Jessica Miller

It was an exciting game Friday night. The beginning of the game was a defensive battle, but Knox drew first blood with 4:47 left in the first quarter when quarterback Jaxon Stewart threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tanner Wells. Nick Martin’s PAT attempt was good, putting the Panthers up 7-0.

Louisville Central punted early in the second quarter, backing Knox way up inside their own territory. On first down, a fumbled snap went into the end zone. Stewart tried to recover, but was sacked in the end zone for a safety. This made the score 7-2 in favor of Knox.

Jeremy Stewart runs the ball
Jeremy Stewart runs the ball

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Louisville Central took the lead with 7:47 remaining in the first half when Cory Johnson scored on a 15-yard touchdown run. Clavon Armstrong ran in the two-point conversion, giving the Yellow Jackets the 10-7 advantage.

Knox had to punt on their ensuing drive, and it looked as if Armstrong had run the return back for a touchdown. It was called back, however, due to a block in the back penalty. Louisville Central would still score on their next possession though, with quarterback Myron Norfleet running it into the end zone from 21-yards out at the 3:25 mark. The conversion attempt failed, but the Yellow Jackets remained in the lead, 16-7.

Louisville Central added to their lead with 8:51 to go in the third quarter when Shawn’Kel Knight-Goff intercepted a Jaxon Stewart pass and returned it for a touchdown. Norfleet threw to receiver Zachary White for the successful two-point conversion, making it 24-7 in favor of the Yellow Jackets.DSC_0025web

Knox drove to 1st and goal from the Louisville Central 10-yard-line to end the third quarter. They scored on second down via a one-yard Stewart quarterback keeper with 11:15 remaining in regulation. Martin’s kick made it 24-14.

The Panthers found themselves in a 1st and goal situation again with 4:50 left in the game. This time Jared Hall carried it in from one-yard-out, and another Martin PAT narrowed the gap to 24-21.

Knox recovered an onside kick and put together another scoring drive that was capped with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Stewart to Wells, who was wide open in the back of the end zone. The score occurred with only 0:40 remaining in regulation. Martin’s extra point gave the Panthers the lead again, 28-24, which ended up being the final score of the game.

Tanner Wells was named MVP of the game for Knox Central. The Panthers travel to Clay County this Saturday to play against Southwestern in The Appalachian Bowl at 6 p.m.