Panthers-Redmen big impact game

Published 2:13 am Thursday, October 20, 2016

Jim Walker

Looks can be deceiving.
It might not seem to be an important game on the surface, but there’s plenty at stake for the Chesapeake Panthers and Rock Hill Redmen as they meet Friday at Redmen Stadium.
Chesapeake comes into the game 7-1 on the season and 4-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Panthers need to win to keep their title hopes alive and to try and earn a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
Rock Hill is 6-2 and 3-2 in the league. While the winning a the league is a longshot, the Redmen need to win their final two games to have at least a chance at the postseason.
And while Chesapeake is the favorite, both teams remember a similar situation last season when Rock Hill stunned the Panthers 27-20 in overtime.
The teams run similar offenses but the Panthers have game-breakers in quarterback Casey McComas and halfback Cecil Fletcher.
“We have to limit our turnovers and we need to make them drive the ball. They have big play threats everywhere,” said Rock Hill coach Todd Knipp.
“Offensively we have to be effective and eat the clock. They’ve got skilled guys everywhere and we’ve got to keep them off the field. They’re pretty good.”
But the Redmen aren’t without their weapons. Chesapeake coach Andy Clark said the Redmen have a more power offense with fullback Trystan Matney and halfbacks Brady Knipp and Logan Hankins.
“What they run is tough to defend. It fits their players. They’ll play hard and hopefully we will, too,” said Clark.
“They’ve got a big fullback who runs hard. You focus on him and he’s got Knipp and Hankins who can hurt you and their quarterback is underrated as a runner. We can’t let them control the ball and have long drives.”
Ironton gave Chesapeake its only loss by controlling the football and keeping the Panthers offense off the field.
Clark said the difference will come down to execution.
“At this point in the year we pretty much know each other. It’s going to come down to execution, turnovers and special teams. We’ve played each other for years. The team that does all three phases of the game and takes care of the football wins these types of games,” said Clark.
Kickoff for senior night is 7 p.m.

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