HANOVER, Ind. – The Panthers enter the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference match-up with Defiance, 4-1 overall, 2-0 HCAC after a convincing 70-0 victory over Anderson on Homecoming.
HOMECOMING REVIEW: The Panthers scored early and often in the contest with the Ravens as they finished the game with 581 total yards of offense, including 10 touchdowns. Leading the way for the Blue and Red was junior, quarterback, Noah Wezensky (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and junior, running back, Shawn Coane (Evansville, Ind.). The duo combined for eight touchdowns, with Wezensky tallying 359-yards through the air. On the defensive side of the ball, freshman Devonte Hardiman (Princeton, Ind.) registered three tackles, with a team-leading two sacks. Hardiman also had three tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Junior Austin Steurer (Warsaw, Ky.) led the special teams' efforts as he posted a season best nine points and tallied 328-yards on six punts.
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK HONORS: Steurer garnered the Panthers second HCAC Special Teams Athlete of the Week honor after his performance in the team's shutout victory of the Ravens. The junior tallied a season-best nine points in the contest, going a perfect 9-for-9 on extra point attempts. With his performance, the Blue and Red now lead the league in XPT with 29, 27 of which belong to Steurer.
LAST MEETING: The 2018 season clash saw the Panthers defeat Defiance, 48-7 with senior AJ Breit (Louisville, Ky.) leading the charge. The quarterback had 256-yards of offense with four touchdowns and 27 completions. On the ground, Coane dominated the Yellow Jacket defense as he rushed for 148-yards on 16 carries and a score. As a team, the Blue and Red had 451 total yards of offense with 256-yards coming through the air.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Wezensky currently ranks among the conference best in yards per game (270.0) and touchdowns (9) with a team-best 1,350-yards of offense and a 154.8 efficiency rating. Joining him among the league's best is Coane, ranking first in rushing touchdowns (8) and second in yards per game (111.2). As a team, the Panthers have scored 209 points on 27 touchdowns. They have churned up 2,379-yards of total offense, averaging 475.8 yards per game. Defensively, the Panthers have allowed just 18.6 points per game, ranking them second among the HCAC. Leading the efforts are senior Carson Plessinger (Alexandria, Ky.) and junior Kyle Treber (Mishawaka, Ind.). Treber enters the contest with a team-leading 42 tackles, averaging 8.4 per game. Plessinger makes his presence known in the back field as he has tallied a team-best 3.5 sacks this season.
SCOUTING DEFIANCE: The Yellow Jackets are currently 0-5 overall, 0-2 HCAC after falling to Mount St. Joseph, 59-6. Defiance was led in the contest by, quarterback, Reggie Washington with one touchdown and 96-yards of offense. His main target appeared to be Jacob Vorce with three receptions for 38-yards, averaging 12.7 yards per catch. The team has scored 68 points this season with 1,394-yards of total offense. The Purple and Gold averaging 278.8 yards per contest, with 163-yards coming through the air.