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Panthers, Pointers in key OVC matchup

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

In an era of spread offenses and high-scoring games, a good defense is even more vital.

Defense will be the calling card Friday when the Chesapeake Panthers visit the South Point Pointers in a key Ohio Valley Conference game.

The Panthers and Pointers are similar in their offensive and defensive philosophies. They both prefer to run the football on offense and play tough defense.

Chesapeake coach Andy Clark said the Pointers’ defense will be tough to decipher.

“Defensively they worry me. They do some things differently than other teams and it can give you problems. Their defensive line is a lot different than last week. They’re smaller and quicker. (Mason) White is a handful,” said Clark.

Last week the Panthers beat Fairland 34-26 who had a huge offensive and defensive line.

Chesapeake (4-2, 1-0) had won four straight while the Pointers are now 2-4 and 0-1. Clark said this week’s game takes on added importance.

The Panthers not only need a win to keep pace in the OVC, but it is important they keep winning to keep postseason playoff hopes alive.

“Right now this is the biggest game of the year. If we want a shot at the conference and a shot at the playoffs we’ve got to win Friday,” said Clark.

The Pointers lost four-year starting quarterback Gage Townson before the season to a knee injury. They are now led offensively by running backs James Leonard and White. The quarterback is Drew Adams and the top receiver Stephen Wagoner.

“They’re still running the same offense, but they’re running the ball more because their two best players are White and Leonard,” said Clark.

“The quarterback makes good reads and Wagoner is a threat. They play hard as a team. (Jacob Damron) impressed me with how hard he plays.

Playing fundamental football will be the key for the Panthers’ offense.

“It all comes down to how well we block them. The question is how much trouble will they cause us defensively. We’ve been stopped at times on offense and we have to avoid that,” said Clark.