The highly rated Frankfort Panthers came to Eminence Friday night and proved why they are a contender for the State Class A title this year, defeating the Warriors 58-0.
The Panthers came into the game with a record of 6-2. Their only losses were to two larger schools — Bullitt East, 21-7, and Franklin County, 51-36. The Panthers beat Shelby County 27-14 and enjoyed blowout victories over district foes Paris and Bracken County.
The Warriors came in at 5-3, but were without many key players due to injuries. Most notable among the walking wounded are quarterback Justin Mitchell, who is out with a back injury, and Shelby Armstrong, who had been racking up impressive rushing yardage until he suffered a knee injury against Paris last week.
So the short-handed Warriors faced an uphill battle as kickoff loomed. The Panthers meanwhile came in with confidence and swagger and immediately went to work proving why they have a big reputation.
The Panthers scored on their first possession to make it 7-0 and went on to score three more touchdowns in the first quarter, with only one drive stalling.
The Warriors, meanwhile, had difficulty getting their ground game going and managed only two first downs in the first quarter. One was on a DeMarcus Bailey run of more than 20 yards and the other was on a Cameron Mathis to Trevor Payton pass play for 23 yards. Aside from those two plays the Warriors had trouble generating positive yardage.
“Their overall athleticism is just so superior to anybody on our schedule and pretty much anybody in Class A,” coach Steve Frommeyer said. “Not only were we playing a quality opponent but we’re playing short-handed and have been all season. You can’t get good with the kind of in and out we’ve had with injuries.”
The Panthers added 17 more points in the second period and 13 more in the second to make it a 58 point margin of victory – their smallest by one point in district play this season.
“Had we had a healthy season it still would have been an enormous challenge, but it would have been more competitive,” Frommeyer said.
The Warriors wrap up the regular season Saturday at Cincinnati-Oyler before beginning post-season play on Nov. 8.