ROYAL CENTER — ROYAL CENTER — Pioneer was in an extremely unusual position of being out of a football game at halftime against Lafayette Central Catholic in their sectional showdown Friday night.
“I was telling coach [John] Bingaman at the sidelines that I don’t remember the last time that happened,” Pioneer coach Mike Johnson said. “They’re just dominating.”
The Knights jumped out to a 31-0 lead at halftime and went on to a convincing 47-6 win at The Pit. The two-time defending state champions look well on their way to a third straight state title after dominating the second-ranked team in Class A.
“It was a mismatch, a big mismatch,” Johnson said. “Wow, unbelievable. They’re certainly good, very, very good. Better than what we thought. We didn’t think that we’d play that poorly, but they just dominated us, dominating. It could have been anything they wanted it to be.”
Many Pioneer fans were discussing the fairness of the ballgame at halftime and after the game. The Indiana Football Coaches Association has a proposal that needs approval from athletic directors and principals before it goes to the IHSAA. The proposal includes a “tradition factor” that in effect would bump Central Catholic up to Class 2A because of its dominance in Class A in recent years.
“That might pass,” Johnson said. “But I don’t know if that’s the discussion for now, but that might get done.”
The Panthers (9-1) didn’t have a bad start to the game. They forced a fourth-and-6 at their 35-yard line on the first drive of the game, but the Knights (10-0) faked a pass in the flat to Purdue recruit Danny Anthrop, and quarterback Austin Munn hit Timmy Mills with a perfect pass in the end zone to make it 7-0.
On their first possession the Panthers moved the ball with a couple first downs, but on fourth-and-5 from the LCC 35-yard line they were stuffed on a run play.