Panthers start at 0-1

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The Knoxville Panthers football team took a tough road loss at Fairfield Friday night, 28-6.

Head Coach Eric Kellar said the team made too many mistakes – penalties, missed tackles, missed assignments and bad handoffs.

The Panthers went into halftime down only 7-0. Kellar felt good about the game as the team went into the locker room, but Knoxville could not get things moving in the second half.

Kellar added that the struggle was compounded by the fact that his varsity team includes many sophomores, all of whom were taking on a bigger Fairfield team.

Quarterback Christian Magana threw well when he had the opportunity, according to Kellar. Magana threw one interception in the game. When he was able to connect, the Panthers were able to gain significant yardage. Mike Hudson averaged 13.3 yards per catch and Ben Olson averaged 18. Kieran Nichols had a good night as a kick returner, in which he averaged 21.7 yards.

Knoxville’s score came on an 86-yard touchdown run by Keegan Cox. He led the team in rushing with 94 yards.

Kellar added that it was defensively in which the Panthers truly shined. The team remained aggressive and there were many opportunities for tackles for loss. Kyle Ramsey had three solo tackles for a loss against the Trojans.

Olson led the team in tackles with 8.5. Seven of those were solo tackles. Hudson had the Panthers’ only interception and was able to get a 31-yard return from it.

The Panthers will be home at historic Ken Locke Stadium Friday night to host Saydel.