BICKNELL — It was as close of a North Knox-Linton football game that’s been seen in a decade, but it wasn’t enough for the Warriors to pull off the upset.
Miners’ quarterback Trey Goodman ran for two scores and threw for another, and Class 2A No. 6 Linton held off a game North Knox effort for a 28-13 victory.
Quarterback Reece Hammelman had his most prolific game for the 2A honorable mention Warriors (4-3). The junior threw for 167 yards and a score and added another 48 on the ground with a score. Fullback Zach Boyles had 83 yards on six career, both career bests.
Linton (6-1) had a 434-286 edge in yards in winning its 15th consecutive game in the series, but it was the first one decided by less than 20 points. Luke Lannan ran for 92 yards and had a pair of scores, while Lance Dyer was close by with 91. The area’s leading rusher, Cole Richter, went out with an injury in the first quarter and North Knox was held to 119 yards rushing. Rhett Sheren, replacing Richter, went 28 yards in 13 carries.
Two-way starters Troy Noland, Holtman Doades and Matt Urbain also missed part of the game with injuries.
“Our kids came to play. I was down four starters on defense in the second half, and we brought young guys in and they kept playing,” Warriors coach Josh Chambers said. “These kids are tough. They keep working and get after people. That’s not going to change.
“We picked on their defense, took advantage of some things that we thought we could. It was just a couple of times where the ball was on our finger tips that we didn’t get,” Chambers said. “We need to execute a little better, but I’m proud of my guys. I want another shot at them (in the sectional).”
It was another penalty marred-game, with North Knox flagged 12 times for 140 yards. The killer was a hotly-disputed pass interference called that extended Linton’s last scoring drive. It’s the fourth time that the Warriors have had at least 10 penalties in the last five games.
“That call was ridiculous. The official on our side thought it was offensive pass interference immediately, We should have had the ball there,” Chambers said. “But that’s OK. We still had our chances.
“Reece Hammelman had a heck of a game. Zach Boyles had a heck of a game,” he said. “We played a good football game. If you were a fan in the stands, I’m sure they were saying they were seeing two good football teams.”
The dagger came with 2:43 to go when Goodman sprinted up the middle for a 25-yard score, the only second-half points in the game.
Down 21-13, North Knox had its chances in the second half as its defense dug in.
The Warriors first drive after intermission reached the Miners’ 19. But Doades was tackled for a 7-yard loss on second down, and Hammelman was intercepted on fourth-and-16 from the 26.
On the last three drives of the game, North Knox didn’t get past Linton’s 44.
First-half momentum went to Linton after it called a second-quarter timeout, turning a 13-7 deficit into a 21-13 lead into intermission.
North Knox scored the first two times it had the ball. The Warriors took the opening kickoff and went 58 plays on 10 plays, with Hammelman plowing in from the 3.
After a Miners touchdown, the Warriors drove 71 yards in four plays. Doades jumped over a Linton defender for a 40-yard TD pass from Hammelman to retake the lead.
North Knox was driving again on its third possesion, going from its 9 to the Miners’ 46 when the visitors wanted a timeout. From that point until the end of the half, the Warriors went 20 yards in 11 plays and punted three times.
Linton scored three times in its first four possessions, with the other drive stopped at North Knox’s 9. Linebacker Jalen Conrad stuffed Dyer for no gain on fourth down-and-2 to end that threat.
Lannan, who scored on a 5-yard run earlier, tallied on a 37-yard screen pass from Goodman to give the Miners the lead for good at 14-13 with 4:30 to go before halftime. Goodman scored on a 1-yard sneak with 1:40 on the clock to extend the lead to eight.
The Warriors are at North Daviess at 7 p.m. next Friday.
LINTON 28, NORTH KNOX 13
First downs |20 |17
Passing (C-A-I) |11-20-1 |10-24-1
Passing yards |149 |167
Total yards |434 |288
Punts-avg. |1-45 |4-27.8
Penalties-yards |9-95 |12-140
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Linton |7-14-0-7 — 28
North Knox |13-0-0-0 — 13
NK — Reece Hammelman 3 run (kick failed) 7:53 1st qtr.
L — Luke Lannan 5 run (Jace Elmore kick) 6:52 1st qtr.
NK — Holtman Doades 40 pass from Hammelman (Doades kick) 4:57 1st qtr.
L — Lannan 37 pass from Trey Goodman (Elmore kick) 4:30 2nd qtr.
L — Goodman 1 run (Elmore kick) 1:40 2nd qtr.
L — Goodman 25 run (Elmore kick) 2:43 4th qtr.
RUSHING — Linton: Lannan 14-92 (TD), Lance Dyer 11-91, Goodman 12-69 (2 TDs), Cash Howard 5-33. North Knox: Hammelman 10-48 (TD), Rhett Sheren 13-28, Cole Richter 5-23, Doades 8-20.
PASSING — Linton: Goodman 11-20-1, 149 (TD). North Knox: Hammelman 10-24-1, 167 (TD).
RECEIVING — Linton: Dyer 3-42, Lannan 1-37 (TD), Devyn Robertson 3-35, Howard 2-19, Clayton Hauser 2-16. North Knox: Zach Boyles 6-83, Doades 2-58 (TD), Sheren 1-14, Troy Noland 1-12.