Panthers’ ground attack buries Warriors

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


MASON GUELL, Plymouth wide receiver, makes a leaping catch over Waupun’s Blakely Wiesman during the 3rd quarter of Friday’s ECC football opener. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke MASON GUELL, Plymouth wide receiver, makes a leaping catch over Waupun’s Blakely Wiesman during the 3rd quarter of Friday’s ECC football opener. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke PLYMOUTH – The 1-2 rushing punch from tailbacks Josh Koll and Derek Novotny sparked the Plymouth Panthers to a 41-6 dismantling of Waupun in an East Central Conference football game here Friday night.

PHS rolled up a season-high 339 yards on the ground, led by Koll’s 161 and Novotny’s 106.

The duo, helped by a dominant performance from the offensive line, shredded the Warrior defense with an impressive combination of speed, power and elusiveness.

Novotny, a senior, and Koll, a junior, ran for two touchdowns each.

The Panthers’ defense was also strong – holding Waupun to only 196 yards. Senior defensive back Mason Guell had a 31- yard interception return for a TD which gave PHS a 21-0 lead late in the first quarter.

The contest was the ECC opener for both teams. PHS improved to 2-1 overall and Waupun dropped to 0-3.

“Our offense played well. Our defense was solid,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

“The offensive line did a really good job and won the battles up front. We were bigger up front and we took advantage of that.

“Josh and Derek are running hard now. With those two guys it doesn’t matter who we have in there,” said Knaus.

PHS-BERLIN PREVIEW

The Panthers travel to Berlin Friday, Sept. 8 for a key ECC match-up. PHS and Berlin are expected to battle for the league title along with Kewaskum.

These three teams shared the ECC title last year.

Berlin is 1-0 in the ECC (2-1 overall). The Indians routed Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson), 42-6, last Friday.

“We are a bit bigger, otherwise I would say very similar in all the other areas,” said Knaus when comparing PHS and Berlin.

“They are very athletic and play hard. They like to run the ball. Chris Werch [running back] and their fullback Alex Olafson both run it hard.

“They play a very solid team defense that works well together.

“Play physical, smart football with no turnovers,” said Knaus when asked what the keys to the outcome will be.

Dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball will be crucial for the Panthers to emerge the winner, said the coach.

“We have been getting better each week. We must continue to improve like that throughout the season,” Knaus emphasized.


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