The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA), 2015 Gridiron Bowl begins this Friday, November 4, at several different locations across the state.
This Friday at Rhea Stadium, the Russellville Panthers (8-2) begin their march to Western Kentucky University in December for the Class 1A State Championship Game.
The Panthers will host the Fort Knox Eagles (3-7) and kickoff will be at 7 pm.
This opening-round game is set to be an exciting one. The fast-paced Russellville offense will be proud to be back at Rhea Stadium after closing out the regular season with three straight road games.
Here is a general overview of each team and a snapshot of their seasons.
First the visiting Fort Knox Eagles. Coached by Samuel Wilson, Jr., the Eagles compete in District two of Class 1A. They earned a 3-7 overall record and were winless in District play this season going 0-3.
The Eagles biggest win was a 74-44 victory at home over McCreary Central back on October 9. In that game the Eagles rushed for 507 yards and allowed 516 yards. Quarterback Andre Yarbrough passed for 94 yards, going four for six with three TDS and one interception. Number 25, RB Kaylon Luster rushed for 262 yards in only 12 carries.
In the season, the Eagles scored 147 points and allowed 448 points. Fort Knox finished 25 out of 32 in the Class 1A Standings.
And the Russellville Panthers. The panthers are coached by an outstanding staff led by Head Coach John Myers. The Panthers compete in Class 1A District 1. They earned an 8-2 overall record and were the 3-0 Champions in District play.
In their largest margin of victory this season, the Panthers played the Fulton County Pilots at Rhea Stadium (in fact, this was their last home game this year), and won 66-8. In this game Joshua Bigbee gained 54 yards in only three carries. QB Jaylyn McMurry passed for 62 yards making each pass count as he went two for two for two TSs and zero interceptions.
The Panthers have outscored opponents 448 to 234. Winning the First District in Class 1A, the Panther finished sixth out of 35 in the Class 1A standings this season.
Next up for the winner of Friday’s game at Rhea Stadium is a matchup against the winner of the Fulton City versus Campbellsville game that will also be played on Friday night at Campbellsville.
Russellville has earned the home field throughout the playoffs. All of Panther Nation hopes to be back at Rhea next week for Round two.