By Heather Bremer
For The Herald Bulletin
MIDDLETOWN, Ind. — On a perfect fall night, the Shenandoah Raiders played to near perfection in a dominating 62-0 homecoming win over Knightstown.
Led by a powerful running attack and relentless defense, the Raiders moved to 6-0 on the season, impressing the large hometown crowd and their coach.
“They played a heck of a football game tonight,” Shenandoah coach Scott Widner said. “I felt like that’s the best that we played so far this year. We had a couple of times we put it on the ground on offense, but our defense was outstanding. Other than those times we put in on the ground, we played pretty well on offense also.”
Shenandoah senior Lane Young led the Raiders on the ground, rushing for 192 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. Young’s size and strength make him difficult to tackle, a fact never more apparent than during his bruising 44-yard run to the end zone in the second quarter. Knightstown’s defenders were helpless against the 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior’s stiff arms.
The Panthers were pretty helpless against the rest of the Raiders’ rushing attack as well. Shenandoah used 10 different rushers and got touchdowns from four players in addition to Young. Senior Chandler Hale (56 yards on six carries) and junior JJ Myers (36 yards on five carries) had two TDs each. Junior Jarrett Vardaman ran 66 yards for a score in the third quarter, while junior Adam Lovan 34-yard TD run in the third.
Widner said the running game’s strength comes from the strength of each of its parts.
“I think it’s the whole offensive line, I think is where it starts, and then we’ve got some good backs,” Widner said. “We’ve got some kids that can make plays and make people miss or they’ve got some power to them as well. I think it’s just the whole mix of unselfish kids, No. 1, and then just great physical linemen.”
Shenandoah also put up 109 yards through the air. Junior Zack Farmer had three catches for 92 yards, 16 more yards than Knightstown’s entire offense. The Panthers were led on the ground by junior Sam Moore with 28 yards. The Raiders’ defense allowed just three first downs, one on a 19-yard pass the first play of the game.
“I love how we’re playing against the run right now. We’re playing pretty good against the run,” Widner said. “Our backers played great tonight, just flowing and getting to the football and getting there in a hurry.”
The win sets up a potential battle of the unbeatens in two weeks against Eastern Hancock, who also won its game Friday 62-0. But, for now, Widner and the Raiders will enjoy the homecoming win and stay focused on next week.
“We’ll take care of Monroe Central, we’ll be on to them tomorrow morning,” Widner said. “And then we’ll worry about whoever’s next after that.”