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GREENSBURG — Having numerous opportunities throughout the night to gain a lead, South Decatur was hit with penalties and costly turnovers that ultimately led to a 28-20 loss to Knightstown in Mid-Indiana Conference play.
Cougars senior quarterback Chris Johannigman provided much of the spark the Cougars needed to stay in the game for the first half, throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Myles Lewellyn and rushing for a 20-yard touchdown.
Johannigman’s touchdown run cut Knightstown’s lead to 21-12 with 46 seconds left in the opening half.
Lewellyn scored the game’s first touchdown, and then the Panthers responded with 21 unanswered points.
The Cougars’ defense was haunted by a number of penalties, letting the Panthers take control with their strong rushing attack that was responsible for two touchdowns by Panthers’ backs Kaleb Kinnaman (six yards) and Riley Ruble (two yards).
Johannigman kept the Cougars offense rolling, throwing a 13-yard touchdown on the first drive of the second half to senior Chris Meadows to pull South Decatur within a point at 21-20.
But the Panthers responded another rushing touchdown, a six-yard rush by Brennin Harper, to regain control.
South Decatur had another shot when Kinnaman fumbled in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers took over at Knightstown’s 37. Johannigman drove the Cougars to the 3-yard, but a late sack by the Panthers sealed the win.
Johannigman had nine completions for 165 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Leading the ground attack for South Decatur were junior Randall Canady, who ran 14 times for 45 yards; junior Damen Martin, who had six rushing attempts for 38 yards; and Johannigman, who ran three times for 19 yards and a touchdown. Johanningman also scored a two-point conversion.
Junior Brayden Helms had three attempts for 10 yards for South Decatur.
Among Cougar receivers, Meadows had two grabs for 49 yards with one touchdown, while Lewellyn had one reception for the touchdown.
Senior Andrew Wullenweber had two catches for 34 yards, and Helms caught two passes for 29 yards.
Junior Nick Schwering had one grab for 28 yards, while Canady caught one pass for 20 yards.
Next Friday, the Cougars will host Edinburgh in nonconference play for their homecoming game.
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