Friday night lights were on in Timber Lake, showcasing two undefeated teams in the Little Moreau Conference. The Lemmon Cowboys have been tough on opponents all season, not allowing more than 14 points scored in any game; while the Timber Lake Panthers have only allowed one team to score more than 8 points, and that was the 22 points put up by the Faith Longhorns in the second week.
Going into Friday’s game, both Timber Lake and Lemmon had high-scoring offenses with the Cowboys scoring 192 points, compared to the Panthers, who had an edge with their 207 points scored in the season.
Defensively, the Cowboys had given up 34 points, again, with the edge going to the Panthers, who had given up just 30 points. All of this work was accomplished in just four games leading up to Friday’s showdown.
With both undefeated teams stacking outstanding performances, something had to give, and it happened early in the game. Each team came out fighting, trying to figure out how to stop the powerful offenses and dominating defenses each had. The Cowboys struck early with two passing touchdowns before the Panthers could answer with a rushing touchdown of their own. Lemmon struck one more time to end the first quarter of play, 20-8.
The second quarter saw both teams beginning to adjust to each other’s matchups; with two more scoring drives from each team. Lemmon and Timber Lake both scored on a rushing play and passing play, with Lemmon gaining four more points on the lead with successful two-point conversions, ending the half 36-20.
The second half of the contest saw the Lemmon Cowboys score one last time in the third quarter to increase the lead by another 6 points, with the Panthers defense stopping an attempted two-point conversion. The score would remain 42-20 for the remainder of the game as both teams’ defenses worked out how to stop the other team.
The numbers give clues to the outcome of the game — the Cowboys led in passing with 65 more passing yards than the Panthers. Timber Lake only trailed Lemmon by 29 yards in the rushing game.
Statistically speaking, the figures that really told the difference in the score were turnovers, downs and time of possession, with the Panthers doing well in every category, except these three.
Lemmon gave up the ball on turnovers just once on a fumble, while Timber Lake threw four interceptions, allowing the Cowboys to control more of the clock. This resulted in Lemmon having the ball for more than 29 minutes, compared to Timber Lake’s 18 minutes and 27 seconds.
There are only 48 minutes in a game and a team can accomplish more when they have more time in control. A team can have more first-down production, as evidenced with Lemmon leading with 24 first downs, compared to 14 by Timber Lake.
Offensively, Kendrick Martin, Hank Kraft, and Isaac Kraft led the Panthers. Martin had 118 yards passing on 24 attempts, while Hank Kraft led rushing with 100 yards, adding to his already impressive rushing yardage on the season. Isaac Kraft had 3 receptions for 73 yards to lead the receiving corps with an impressive 24.3 average yards per reception.
Defensively, Jayce Lawrence led the Panthers with 10 tackles and 1 sack. Hank Kraft, Taylor Goldade, Isaac Kraft, Jaiden Ducheneaux and Hunter Schrempp all added solo tackles. Matt Jewett, Slater Ducheneaux, Sawyer Holzer, AJ Lindskov and Dixon Booth all assisted with defensive stops.
The Timber Lake Panthers have what it takes to go the distance this season and while the game against the Lemmon Cowboys did not end the way they had hoped, it helped them identify some areas of improvement. We are excited to see what the Timber Lake Panthers can do on October 3, as they hit the road to face the New Underwood Tigers, who have yet to lose on their home field.