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High School Football Game of the Week Preview – Reitz vs Castle

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The Panther’s look to bounce back after last week’s lost to Louisville Central during the Bluegrass High School Football Showcase at Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville.

It won’t be easy as they play host to the visiting Castle Knights, last year’s Southern Indiana Athletic Conference (SIAC) champs who went undefeated in the regular season, ultimately losing in the sectional championship against Bedford, are 2-0 on the young season after an opening week 35-24 win against Terre Haute North at home followed by a 26-0 victory over host New Albany last week.

One of the few schools in the area that managed to avoid any major losses due to graduation, the Knights return a number of key players including quarterback, Mitch Gilles who will see his first action of the season after serving a two-game suspension for an off season violation of team rules. Gilles was one of the state’s passing leaders last year throwing for 3,099 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Also back for Castle are two of Gilles’ favorite targets, Jon-Marc Anderson and Cameron Parus. Anderson caught 48 passes for 1,103 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Parus found himself the recipient of 52 of Gilles’ passes for 1,117 yards and 16 touchdowns. No doubt they’ll be out to prove that they’re a team that should have made a deeper run in last year’s playoffs.

In order to have a legitimate shot at another SIAC title, they’ll have to get through a Reitz Panthers team who are also looking to prove they’re better than their 47-27 loss to Louisville Central may seem.

I expect the Panthers to once again rely heavily on Senior running back, KeAndre Vaughn who picked up 161 rushing yards including two scoring runs of 57 and 36 yards. He also got the game off to an exciting start by taking the opening kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown. Unfortunately, it was one of only a few highlights of the day for Reitz as they found themselves allowing Louisville Central to stay in the game late by giving up a few big plays on third and fourth down.

A trend they must stop in order to pick up a win in a game Friday night that’s not only their home opener, but their first game of the season in Indiana (they opened up the season at Henderson County). The Knights will no doubt look to air it out which will require the Panther’s defensive backs to be on their toes and not allow the Castle receivers to beat them in a foot race.

Offensively, the Reitz receivers must find a way to get open and give quarterback Drew Johnston someone to throw to. Johnston had a day against the Yellowjackets of Louisville Central he’d rather forget as he went 3-7 for zero yards and one interception. The Panther’s offensive line will also need to shore up against the Castle offensive line as Johnston found himself scrambling several times last week in order to buy himself time to throw a pass.

It has the making of a great game under the lights of the Reitz Bowl Friday night. Remember you can catch every play on Newstalk 1280 and online at Newstalk 1280.com

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