Panthers primed for good playoff run

SPORTSBEAT
Greg Ceilley • REVIEW SPORTS EDITOR

The Plymouth Panthers could be a tough out in the state football playoffs. PHS is heading into the postseason with a head of steam after trouncing Waupun, 49-7, Friday night which earned the Panthers a share of the East Central Conference title.

When the Panthers run the ball like they did against Waupun and play tough, physical defense, they are hard to beat. The Panthers have a three-headed monster in seniors Gavin Falk and Cody Kuhn and junior Derek Novotny who spearhead a potent ground attack which poses a difficult challenge for opposing defenses.

Falk is a double-threat at quarterback with his ability to pass and run. Kuhn and Novotny are a lethal duo at running back, and Kuhn also plays wide receiver where he is dangerous on running and passing plays. Kuhn, Falk and Novotny possess good power, speed and elusiveness.

The PHS defense has improved a lot since the beginning of the season. The Panthers play hard-nosed, disciplined defense and work together as a cohesive unit. PHS has a strong run defense and a ballhawking secondary. The Panthers’ pass rush often times puts good pressure on the quarterback which compliments the defensive backs’ pass coverage.

One thing which can’t be overlooked is how well the Panthers are prepared and focused for games, and the coaching staff deserves much credit for that.

The energy, teamwork and determination this team has shown all season have also been keys to its success.

PHS head coach Dan Knaus talked to his team after the Waupun game about what it will take to advance in the playoffs.

“For you seniors especially, you only have one more guaranteed game and if you want this to keep going you can have five [to reach the state finals],” Knaus told the team.

“It’s up to you, how much do you want it? How much are you going to focus this week [preparing for the playoff opener]? It doesn’t matter who we play, let’s go after it and see what we can get out of it and make this last as long as we can.

“To keep it going, we have to be focused, go after it and play hard,” said the coach.

Look for the Panthers to take their coach’s message to heart and give it all they can in the playoffs and hopefully make a good run.


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