By Chris Johnson


The Lena-Winslow Panthers got what they needed on Friday night, Sept. 2, as they handily defeated the Pecatonica Indians football team 42-0.

A running clock appeared to be the only thing the Panthers were working against, preventing them from adding to their total.

Lena-Winslow found holes and exploited them. They found gaps in the Pecatonica defense and took advantage of them. Even the air had friendly outcomes for the 1-1 Panthers.

Traditionally, Lena-Winslow gets stronger as the season moves forward. Following a 28-14 loss to 2A powerhouse Eastland-Pearl City on opening night, the Panthers were provided with an opportunity to relax a little and attempt to do even more offensively.

Head Coach Ric Arand and his team will run the ball and they proved they can be imposing on the defensive side of the line. As a regular matter of events, Lena-Winslow easily worked around the defense the Indians were posing.

First downs were hard to come by for Pecatonica, as the Panthers defense closed holes and trapped plays in the Indians’ backfield. As the game moved on, Lena-Winslow players were regular members of the Pecatonica backfield.

With the needed win in the books, the Panthers now look forward to another statistically easy match, as they prepare to play host to the program from Hanover.

The River Ridge Wildcats are 0-2 on the season and have yet to score a point, having lost back-to-back matches to the Polo Marcos, 22-0, and the Stockton Blackhawks, 38-0. The 2-1 mark the Panthers appear to be prepared to carry into their week four match will keep them one game out of first place, at least according to the records.

In week four, the Panthers take on a team that has struggled, as they start the season. It isn’t typical to see the Galena Pirates sitting with an 0-2 mark and possibly looking at even more losses lining up with tough matches still in front of them. Lena-Winslow could be looking at their week four match as a very winnable game. If they are to keep pace with Forreston and Dakota, it has to be.

Amboy-LaMoille provides a challenge for Lena-Winslow as September comes to a close in their week five game. In week six, the Panthers could either be looking at the possibility of climbing back to the top of the NUIC Northwest, or see themselves fall two games behind. It all depends on how well they approach the Forreston Cardinals.

The season closes with back-to-back home games against East Dubuque and West Carroll. It is expected that Lena-Winslow will be looking at positioning themselves for a first-round home game, when the Class 1A Tournament kicks-off on Friday, Oct. 28.

The Pecatonica Indians have problems waiting for them. The road is going to be difficult. This Friday night, the Indians travel to Pearl City to face the front-running EPC Wildcats. In week four, the West Carroll Thunder pay a visit as the Indians celebrate Homecoming.

The Galena Pirates appear next for Pecatonica in their week six game, as they play on the road in Jo Daviess County. The following week, the Dakota Indians pay a visit. The 2016 fall sports season comes to a close for Pecatonica following an Oct. 14 home game against Amboy-LaMoille and a season closer at Forreston on Friday, Oct. 21.

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