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Pike Valley High School Football Shutout Leads to Must Need Win

The Courtland Journal of Courtland, Kansas

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The Pike Valley Panthers lost their District two road game with Axtell on Friday, October 16 by the score of 22-0. The Axtell Eagles came to the field energized and well prepared to stop the running attack of the Panthers, while Pike Valley failed to turn any spark into a fire.

Senior Quarterback Colton Bussing returned from an injury to help bolster and lead his team with skill and emotion. The Eagles were prepared well for the Panther offense and had the talent and motivation to execute their plan.

The first quarter saw several trips up and down the field by both teams with defensive stops holding each team at bay with no scores.

Axtell was finally able to put up six points in the second quarter with the Panthers denying the conversion attempt. Late in the second quarter the Panthers took the ball to the third yard line when DaVonte Hammer connected with Lane Peters on a spectacular 36 yard blind pass with 32 seconds to go. With Axtell's quick defense stacked in the middle the Panthers elected to pass for the touchdown only to be undone by a fingertip interception allowing the Eagles to shut down the Panthers attempt to tie up the game.

The Panthers troubles continued as Axtell's defense refused to yield anymore breakout play to the Panthers, limiting Lane Peters to 38 yards rushing on the night. Axtell was able to grind out two more touchdowns with successful conversions in the second half as they played clock control football.

The Panthers were able to make a step forward in defending the pass but took a hefty hit in penalties (75 yards) as well as two turnovers which stopped the Panther's momentum.

The Panthers managed only 199 yards of offense to Axtell's 281 yards. Coach Don Melby stated it simply, "Axtell was able to capitalize on their opportunities more than what we did."

The loss opens the way for Axtell to lead the District with Pike Valley needing a win over Linn who is also 2-1 in District 2. Pike Valley needs to rebound and defeat Linn to secure the District 2 Runner-Up position and have a birth in the playoffs.

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Original Publication Date: October 22, 2015

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