New Lexington Defense to Face Stiff Test in Maysville

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Chase Roberts led the Maysville Panthers (1-0) to a 43-7 victory over the New Lexington Panthers (0-1) last year, but New Lexington’s defense has made significant strides since then.

New Lexington lost to Fairfield Union last week, but surrendered only seven points. The game showcased the positives of a strong defense, but the negatives of a shaky offense.

“We’ve got to execute. We’ve got to get better at that,” head coach David Rupe said, “If we can’t execute, all our hard work driving the ball down the field is almost for nothing,”

Quarterback Mitch Wycinski and running back Dalton Chapman will carry the load on offense and be responsible for finishing lengthy drives.

Defensively, defensive end Antonio Villaloboz, who Rupe described as a “crazed animal,” and company will have the tall task of containing the three-headed rushing monster that is Roberts, Chase Himmelspach, and Johnny Runkle. Combine Roberts and Himmselspach’s speed with Runkle’s brute strength and it’s easy to see how opposing defenses can get worn out in a hurry.

That attack, however, is only as good as the offensive line in front of it.

Head coach Craig Clarke noted he was impressed with his team’s play in the trenches against Crooksville. It allowed Roberts and the other running backs to play up to their potential and gave quarterback Tanner Ashcraft time to set up big plays.

Even with a versatile set of offensive players, Clarke expects a battle on Friday.

“Their defense is aggressive and they make very few mistakes,” Clarke said. “We’ve got to plug gaps on both sides of the ball.”

The Panther showdown will take place Sept. 4 in Maysville. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m.