Panthers dominate, stay in ECC title race

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


CODY KUHN, Plymouth wide receiver, is about to be tackled by an unidentified Campbellsport player after catching a short pass in Friday’s football game. Tight end Zach Albers (left) blocks for Kuhn while the Cougars’ Austin Narges (15) closes in. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley CODY KUHN, Plymouth wide receiver, is about to be tackled by an unidentified Campbellsport player after catching a short pass in Friday’s football game. Tight end Zach Albers (left) blocks for Kuhn while the Cougars’ Austin Narges (15) closes in. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers weren’t about to leave their guard down as they celebrated Homecoming Friday night with a 51-0 dismantling of Campbellsport in an East Central Conference football game.

With a key battle against Kewaskum awaiting them and dealing with Homecoming week, the Panthers stayed focused and looked sharp in their impressive win over the Cougars. PHS seized control of the game early and never let up.

“Homecoming is always a hard week to gauge how focused the guys are at times but we preach to them about the importance of not looking past anyone, and focusing on what’s important about the week and that’s winning a football game,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus whose team has won four in a row.


GAVIN FALK, Plymouth quarterback, eludes a Campbellsport pass rusher as Panther lineman Derek Schweiger looks to block in Friday’s football game. Falk was able to complete a short pass to tight end Zach Albers on the play. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley GAVIN FALK, Plymouth quarterback, eludes a Campbellsport pass rusher as Panther lineman Derek Schweiger looks to block in Friday’s football game. Falk was able to complete a short pass to tight end Zach Albers on the play. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley “I thought the team played well in all aspects of the game – offense, defense and special teams. I was pleased with our execution.”

The Panthers blew the game open in the first half as they built a 37-0 halftime lead. PHS scored on its first five possessions of the opening half, highlighted by senior tailback Samuel Staehling’s 70-yard touchdown dash.

Staehling, taking advantage of strong blocking up front, led PHS in rushing with 182 yards on just 18 carries. He also ran for four TDs.

The Panthers upped their ECC record to 5-1 (5-3 overall) and stayed in a second-place tie with Berlin. PHS plays at league-leading Kewaskum (6-0 in the ECC) Friday at 7 p.m. in a showdown for the ECC title. The Panthers need a win to earn a share of the championship with Kewaskum and possibly Berlin.

PHS rolled up 286 yards on the ground. The Panthers’ defense held the Cougars (1-5 in the ECC and 2-6 overall) to zero yards passing and only 75 yards rushing. Campbellsport, which runs an option/veer offense, had minus-30 yards rushing and zero first downs in the fi rst half.

“We were jacked up for this game. We practiced hard all week and came to play,” said Panther left tackle Ryan Brooks. “We played really good.”

“We had a shaky start [on offense] with a couple of leaks in the line but we fixed it quick and by the end of the game we were playing the best we ever had,” said PHS left guard Mitch Meyer.

“We have a real strong offensive line this season. We’re not the biggest line but we know our assignments and hit hard for the most part.”

“We were very focused. I saw a lot of energy on the team,” said PHS junior middle linebacker Erik Ohman who contributed two solo tackles and an assist.

Ohman said the keys to stoppoing the Cougars’ running game were the defensive players reading their keys and tackling their keys.

“Everyone knew what they had to do [on defense] and they did it,” he said.

Ohman, who also had a 60- yard TD run from his running back position, suffered a broken hand in the opener and missed the next three games.

“I thought the defensive line played well and gave nothing up the middle, and that was very key to our defensive success,” said Knaus.

“I thought the offensive line started a bit slow but after the first quarter opened some nice holes for the backs.”

Senior defensive end Ethan Keller led PHS in solo tackles with five and total tackles, 11.


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