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September 20, 2013

GRIDIRON MATCHUPS

Pioneer hosts Judson; Cass faces undefeated Peru squad

Pioneer’s football team had its struggles offensively the first two weeks of the season. But the Panthers have exploded for 66 and 62 points the last two weeks in wins over South Newton and Caston.

The Panthers (2-2) will see how they stack up against the North Judson Bluejays (2-2) tonight in a 7:30 p.m. game at the Pit.

“They are a very physical ballclub. They are big and strong,” Pioneer coach Mike Johnson said of the Bluejays. “Their new coach, Kirk Kennedy, coached at Lowell and won a state title and had a couple runner-ups. He’s brought a power running game that fits their personnel. They had a big win over an undefeated Boone Grove team last week and got some injured players back. It’ll be a real test for us.”

The Panthers and Bluejays will soon be conference opponents, maybe as soon as in two years.

Johnson said the newly formed conference will be named the Hoosier North Athletic Conference. West Central was admitted into the conference on Thursday. There are currently nine schools in the league and Johnson said they will be looking for a 10th. He added there will be a press conference on Oct. 9 in Culver.

The Panthers are coming off a 62-28 win at Caston.

“On the offensive side we have been playing better. We’re executing better,” Johnson said. “Hopefully we continue to get better, our young o-linemen get better. Our backs have to run hard and protect the football.

“Defensively we have to find a way to get some stops. We haven’t had enough of them. We have to have a few [tonight] to be successful.”

Tri-County (1-3, 1-2 MWC) at Winamac (4-0, 3-0 MWC)

The Class A No. 3 Warriors host the Cavaliers for homecoming.

The Cavaliers are coming off their first win of the season, a 36-16 decision over Frontier.

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