The Knoxville football team hosts Pella High tonight in a match-up of a pair of teams looking to regroup after lopsided losses in week one. Panthers’ Head Coach Troy Rider says not much went right in the 40-14 loss to PCM last week, and says his squad will have to match the physicality of the Little Dutch.
“They’re not doing a whole lot of misdirection – it’s no ‘slight-of-hand’ trick. They’re going to line up and play football and we’ve got to line up and be physical with them,” says Rider. “You can’t make mistakes. Pella is very disciplined in what they do, so if we get the opportunity, we have to take advantage of it.”
Rider adds that his coaching staff is trying to reduce the number of yards given up on the ground, after allowing 202 rushing yards last week. On the other sideline, Pella head coach Jay McKinstrey is hoping to see if his team can make the improvements from last week to this week that they’ll need to win.
“I really believe after this week of practice that we have improved. I think the difference you’ll see is how mentally prepared we come,” says McKinstrey. “I hope that you see a more physical football team from Pella tonight. I hope you’ll see a team that plays with more speed, that plays faster [and] with more confidence this week – that’s what I hope you’ll see.”
The Little Dutch are coming off of a 41-14 loss to Newton last week. You can hear the play-by-play on AM 1320 KNIA with Derek Cardwell and Mike Cunningham, starting with the pregame at seven; as well as on 92.1 FM KRLS with Jamie Brockman and Randy Sikkema providing the call. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. and is also available at kniakrls.com. Kickoff from Ken Locke Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight.