PHS falls to Indians in ECC showdown

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


DEREK NOVOTNY, tailback, follows the blocking from his Plymouth teammate Korey Friederichs (left) in Friday’s football game versus Kewaskum. Watching are Plymouth’s Jack Nytes (middle) and Kewaskum’s Faton Elmazi (13). – Photo by Tyler Luedtke DEREK NOVOTNY, tailback, follows the blocking from his Plymouth teammate Korey Friederichs (left) in Friday’s football game versus Kewaskum. Watching are Plymouth’s Jack Nytes (middle) and Kewaskum’s Faton Elmazi (13). – Photo by Tyler Luedtke KEWASKUM – Plymouth’s hopes for an East Central Conference football title took a big hit with a 27-21 loss to unbeaten Kewaskum here Friday night.

The Panthers (3-3 overall) slipped to 2-2 in the ECC, two games behind co-leaders Kewaskum and Berlin who are both 4-0.

“Another one we let get away. We didn’t capitalize enough to come out with the win,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

“They made a few more big plays then we did.”

The Panthers missed scoring chances in this game, similar to the Berlin contest which PHS lost, 28-21, on Sept. 8.

Tailback Josh Koll’s 71-yard touchdown scamper, followed by Greg Werner’s PAT pulled the Panthers within 27-21 with 9:51 left. PHS missed a golden opportunity to take the lead after Koll’s TD. On their next possession, Indian quarterback Tony Steger was sacked and then fumbled. PHS defensive end Gabe Haun recovered the ball at the Kewaskum 16-yard line.

The Panthers were unable to cash in on the turnover. After two running plays netted only 2 yards, quarterback Cade Knaus passes on third and fourth downs were incomplete. His fourth-down pass intended for Mason Guell in the end zone was broken up by Cade Peterson with 7:26 remaining.

Kewaskum then ran out the clock with an 18-play, 60-yard drive. The key play was a 16-yard pass from Steger to Dan Kreis on third-and-16 which gave the Indians a first down at the PHS 39.

PHS had a chance to erase a 10-6 deficit late in the second period but gave up the ball on downs at the Kewaskum 9, although it appeared that fullback Jack Nytes had gained a first down with a run from the Indians’ 11 to just inside the 8.

One play later, Cole Surprenant hauled in a 50-yard pass from quarterback Gabe Christenson to the PHS 40. On the next play, Christenson rifled a 40-yard TD pass down the middle to Steger who also played wide receiver. The TD and Cade Peterson’s PAT gave the Indians a 17-6 lead with 1:27 left until halftime.

PHS answered with a TD on its next possession, with Knaus hitting tight end Ben Olsen who made a nice, one-handed catch near the goal line. Knaus’s two point conversion pass to Mason Guell made it 17-14 at halftime.

“I though our offensive played well for the most part and Gabe Haun, Kody Hitsman [ends] and Jack Nytes [linebacker] played very well on defense,” said coach Knaus.

“We did many good things but also made a few too many mistakes to come out with a win.”

Tailbacks Derek Novotny and Koll sparked the PHS offense with 111 and 85 yards, respectively, on the ground. Novotny’s 41-yard dash led directly to Plymouth’s first TD, a 1-yard plunge by Nytes, which gave PHS a 6-0 lead in the first quarter.

Linebacker Mackade Mella had an interception for PHS. Haun led in solo tackles with seven.

“This is a really big win. Plymouth is a very good team and we expected a good battle,” said Indian head coach Jason Piittmann.

“We made key plays to keep the chains and the clock moving in our favor. I’m so proud of the kids. It was a great team effort.”


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