Pioneer’s football team is taking its dominating 47-game Midwest Conference winning streak into Winamac tonight.
The Panthers haven’t lost an MWC game since 2006 to South Newton in the “Eric Watt game.” That was their only league loss in the last 12 years, as they’ve won 78 of their last 79.
But Winamac might present the biggest threat to that streak since South Newton did in the middle part of the last decade.
The No. 3 Warriors (1-0, 0-0 MWC) actually enter with a higher state ranking than the No. 8 Panthers (0-1, 0-0) for tonight’s 7 p.m. kickoff.
“They’re a very confident team at this point, and rightfully so,” Pioneer coach Mike Johnson said. “They won a sectional title last year and they played well in the regional against Lafayette Central Catholic, the state champion. They have every right to be.
“We are definitely the underdog going into this ballgame.”
The Panthers are coming off a 29-0 loss to Lewis Cass in which they accumulated less than 100 total yards from scrimmage and just three first downs.
“We’ll find out just how good Cass was or how bad we were,” Johnson said. “I think we still have a lot of question marks. We’ve got to find a way to move the football and defensively find a way to tackle.”
Against Knox last week, Winamac scored the game’s first 56 points in a 56-14 win. Senior fullback Tyler Katschke led the way with 169 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
“He’s a great back. He runs hard and can bounce outside and run between the tackles,” Johnson said. “They have a very athletic kid at quarterback [Parker Fox]. ... This is as good of a Winamac team as we’ve seen in a long time.
“We’ll have our hands full. We’ll definitely have to play a lot better than we did against Cass.”