Sheridan Wins Battle Of Perry County

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Jacob Rhodes has helped the Sheridan Generals this year countless times catching passes. Tonight, he helped by tossing it to a teammate.

On an early third and long at the Panthers 20-yard line, the Generals reached deep into their bag of tricks to convert and find the endzone. Ethan Heller executed a perfect hook-and-ladder play on a pass to Rhodes, whose lateral found sophomore receiver Luke Ranft. Ranft snuck inside the pylon to give Sheridan its first touchdown of the game early in the second quarter.

Rhodes’ pitch to Ranft helped the Generals (7-1) get their momentum going, and they didn’t stop tallying up the points. They help solidify their playoff aspirations by beating their rival New Lexington Panthers (5-3) 49-0.

Rhodes had another standout game, with seven catches for 109 yards in the first half alone on top of the assist on Ranft’s touchdown.

It wasn’t all easy going for the Generals. Despite crossing into Panthers’ territory on their first drive, Sheridan fumbled a handoff to promptly end the possession. New Lexington kept pressure on Heller early and took away downfield throws to keep Sheridan’s high powered offense in check. Heller managed to get some offense going with his legs on his team’s second drive, which ended with a 35-yard field goal by Cole Casto to put the Generals ahead 3-0.

Unfortunately for New Lexington, they couldn’t get anything going offensively against Sheridan’s defense. The Generals came into this week allowing less than 10 points a game, and they stifled Panthers leading rusher Christian Vance all night. The Panthers only managed one first down in the first quarter.

After the hook and ladder got the Generals in the endzone, their defense took the game over. With New Lexington deep in its own territory, senior lineman Owen Loughman stripped New Lex quarterback Logyn Ratliff and fell on the fumble in the endzone, increasing Sheridan’s lead.

On the ensuing possession, Ratliff and the Panthers managed to cross midfield for the first time in the game. However, linebacker Shay Taylor stepped in front of Ratliff’s next pass and took it 70 yards for seven more Sheridan points. A 42-yard Cole Casto field goal made it 27-0 going into halftime.

Sheridan poured on 22 additional points in the second half to put an exclamation point on their fourth straight win against their rival Panthers. Impressively, this was also Sheridan’s third shutout on the season, a number that leads the MVL. The Generals are still a projected playoff team after the win. They look to end the regular season on a high note the next two weeks against the Crooksville Ceramics and Morgan Raiders, who are both currently 1-7.

While the rivalry game loss puts the Panthers at 5-3, their bounce-back season under first year coach Bill Franks continues with two pivotal matchups as they push for a playoff berth. Next week, they battle the John Glenn Little Muskies, (5-3) who are currently riding a four game win streak after beating the previously undefeated Tri-Valley Scotties, on Friday, 14-7. New Lexington closes out its season at home against the Philo Electrics (5-3).