By Kale Calvert

The Gibson Southern Titan JV team hosted Evansville Reitz Monday, stifling the Panther running game while putting up five scores before the half, en route to forcing a running clock and a 6-0 record.

The Panthers received the opening kickoff but turned it over on downs just inside Titan territory after a short drive.

Gibson Southern took advantage of the short field and got on the board with a 37-yard scamper from sophomore running back Michael Herren.

The point-after attempt was knocked through by Baker Calvert, making it 7-0 early in the first quarter.

Starting from their own 22, Reitz was able to chip away at the Titan secondary to put up a score of their own with a nine-play, five-minute drive, putting the ball in the air seven times and connecting on six.

The two-point conversion pass was good, putting the Panthers up for the only time of the game at 7-8.

Sophomore kick returner Mason Scheller fielded the ensuing line-drive kickoff at the Titan eight and streaked down the Gibson Southern sideline to squash the brief Panther celebration.

The point-after attempt was good, as the Titans regained the lead at 14-8 late in the first quarter.

The Titan defense forced a Panther punt on the next drive, with Reitz pinning Gibson Southern inside their own 20 to start the next series early in the second frame.

Sophomore signal-caller Tanner Boyd and the Titan offense needed just three plays to hit paydirt, with a 45-yard contested strike to sophomore wide receiver Maxx Wilson, extending the lead to 20-8, where it stayed after a missed PAT.

The touchdown reception was Wilson’s third of the season, leading all Titan receivers.

Reitz went back to the air on their own the next series, putting up nine passes in ten plays, with the only rush going backward when junior defensive end Brock Fauquher dropped the Panther runner for a five-yard loss.

The Titan secondary, now playing with a bend-don’t-break mentality, kept the passing game in front of them for the duration of the drive, giving up small chunks but playing to make the tackle and live to fight another down.

At the Titan 20-yard-line, junior outside linebacker T.J. Lewis stepped in front of a Panther pass to pick it off and return it 14 yards, handing the ball back to the Gibson Southern offense.

Back with the ball, Boyd called his own number on the first play from scrimmage, rumbling 42 yards down to the Reitz 24.

One play later, however, Boyd’s first-down pass was batted at the line and ended up in the hands of a lucky Panther defender.

The Gibson Southern defense forced a quick three-and-out to set up the Titan special teams for their second big play of the evening.

The Gibson Southern defense forced a quick three-and-out to set up the Titan special teams for their second big play of the evening.

Punting from their own 23, the Reitz punt was blocked when junior middle linebacker Luke Foster was able to slip through the Panther line and leap above the second-level blockers to get a piece of the ball.

Floundering toward the Reitz sideline, the blocked attempt was covered up by Fauquher at the Panther 21.

Gifted a short field, the offense needed just two plays to get back on the board for the fourth time of the half, set up by a 12-yard scamper from junior running back Devan Roberts, Boyd would score a nine-yard touchdown on the ground.

Boyd was able to convert the two-point attempt and level the score back up to 28-8.

Reitz stayed with the passing attack on the next series but were stymied by junior cornerback Tristan Boyd, who faced the brunt of the Panther passing attack all evening.

Holding his own, Boyd made a tackle for a loss on the Panther first down pass for a loss and held the third-down conversion attempt to only a short gain, ultimately forcing Reitz into turning it over on downs one play later.

Starting inside Panther territory, Gibson Southern needed little time to put a fifth score up when Tanner Boyd ran in a touchdown from 42-yards out on a fourth-and-nine play with just over 30 seconds remaining in the half.

The kick was pushed wide right, leaving it 34-8 were heading into halftime.

The Boyd score was his seventh rushing touchdown on the season.

The Titan offense started their first drive of the second half by adding more points as Roberts punched in a one-yard touchdown for the score.

The drive was set up by runs of 25, three, and twelve yards from Herren, Boyd, and Roberts.

The PAT was good, extending Gibson Southern’s lead to 41-8 and closing the books on the Reitz visit to Jack Jewell Memorial Field.

Gibson Southern’s defensive front strangled the Panther rushing attack Monday night, holding Reitz to -1 rushing yards in the first half and 20 total yards on the evening from 18 carries.

Of those 18 rushes, ten went for a loss or no gain.

The fantastic and formidable front four of juniors Fauquher, Garret Heldt, Jackson Redding, and sophomore Brayten Reinhart consistently won the battles in the trenches, causing havoc for the Reitz running game in the backfield before it was able to get started.

The linebacker corps, consisting of juniors Luke Foster, T.J. Lewis, and sophomore Jack Rose, maintained a high gear all evening, spreading themselves from sideline to sideline and making big plays during passing downs.

The defensive backfield, led by juniors Macade Chandler and Tristan Boyd at the corners and sophomores Scheller and Gabe Bryant at the safety positions, kept the high-octane Panther passing attack in check for most of the night.

The group forced three pass breakups and limiting big plays from a group of talented Panther receivers on their 33 attempts over the evening.

The Titan offense kept the ball primarily on the ground, amassing 262 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns, with an astounding 17-plus yard per carry average.

Anchored by sophomore tackles Jackson Adams and Kevin Ruff, junior Guard Zach Rose and sophomore Teagan Baker, and sophomore center Shayne Marsh, the offensive line opened holes for the Gibson Southern running game to dice apart the Panther defense.

The Gibson Southern Titan JV squad puts their undefeated record on the line and travels to Boonville to close out their season on Monday, October 18, with kickoff at 5:30 p.m.

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