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Saturday, September 16, 2023

Tri-County North Panthers Victors Over Arcanum Trojans


The Tri-County North Panthers controlled the line of scrimmage on offense and utilized an opportunistic defense in their 42-20 victory over league rival Arcanum. The team ground out yardage inbetween the tackles where Colten VanWinkle earned the bulk of the Panther gains.  They used a double wing offense for the entire game.  Arcanum, on the other hand, had their quarterback in the backfield most of the game and mixed in the pass along with the run.

Coach Smitherman, "Our offensive line has really done a good job of taking care of business. They come to work with their hard hats on and they try to get after it.  They do what the coaches ask them - and the coaches have done a fantastic job coaching them." 

North's defense was hard hitting and they had the edge in turnovers.They held Arcanum on 3 4th downs and got 3 interceptions (VanWinkle,Mason Givens - 2) and a fumble recovery. North did cough up the ball once, but the Trojans were not able to capitalize.

Coach Smitherman, "I am really proud of the defense. They are behind the 8 ball and they are trying to get better - being at the right spot at the right time. They did what they were supposed and got some turnovers for us. This helped us offensively to punch in the ball [after a turnover]."

The Trojans did put together a few nice drives, but they kept giving North favorable field position.  They also had some problems with snaps - there were 3-4 muffed snaps to the quarterback that put them in long yardage and then a problem with the snap on a punt gave North a short field.  They did keep the game within striking distance for 3 quarters, but North put them away in the 4th quarter.

North struck first as they received the opening kick off and Logan Flory ran around 90 yards to give North a lead that they would keep the rest of the way.  North was up 2 scores when VanWinkle later ran the ball in from about 14 yards out.  

Arcanum's Luceas Midlam put the Trojans on the board with a 69 yard run and now it was a game.  At the end of the opening quarter it was 15-6 North. Givens ran 18 yards for North's next score on a 4th and 3 play on the 18 yard line.  North's offense was also making big plays on 4th down.  

Arcanum made a hard charge at the end of the half.  They scored on a 4th down play themselves. Truman Knaus caught a Bishop Cartwright pass for a 25 yard touchdown towards the end of the quarter.  Coach Macy decidied to go with an onsides kick - this was recovered by Arcanum's MJ Macy with seconds left on the clock.  Arcanum tried for another score before the break, but a Givens interception sent the Trojans to the locker room.  At the break it was a close game, North 22 - Arcanum 12.

The 3rd quarter was scoreless as both teams had turnovers and could not find the endzone.  Although at the end of the quarter, North had driven to the Arcanum 13. And so they completed this drive at the start of the final quarter with a 13 yard TD. 

Down by 3 scores Arcanum now came out firing on their next possession.  But VanWinkle snagged a pass and ended that drive and put the ball on the Arcanum 30. Working with a short field, North slowly punched the ball towards the endzone.  Culiminating the drive with a 2 yard plunge by Garret Hutchison. 

Arcanum's last score was by Dakota Kendig, he ran 6 yards for his touchdown with a little over 5 minutes on the clock.  It was North's VanWinkle who provided the final margin of victory when he rambled for 28 yards for the final touchdown of the game.  The win puts North at 3-2 on the season and Arcanum is 2-3.

North's coach, Trace Smitherman, was still a little gimpy from a hit he took on the sideline when players went out of bounds, "This is a big win, our group of seniors has not beat Arcanum so we are glad that they had this opportunity. The team is really starting to come together defensively. We haven't played our best but we continue to get better every week. We have to continue to do that. " 

Next week North will journey to Tri-Village and Arcanum will host National Trail.

Game Pics at:  MediaFire

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