Who: Knoxville (0-3) vs Fairfield (2-1)
Where: Fairfield Football Field in Fairfield
When: Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
These two have been pretty even in recent years with Fairfield holding a 4-3 advantage since 2014 while alternating wins every year. Knoxville has won on odd years and Fairfield have won on even years. It’s an odd year, will Knoxville continue the trend? The Trojans won a low-scoring 15-7 contest last year where all the scoring came in the first half. Quarterback Noah Keefer started that game as a freshman and was 12-of-29 with a 178 yards.
One key player for Knoxville
Keefer and the Knoxville offense have struggled to get going so far this year as he completed just 7-of-23 for 88 yards and four interceptions. The sophomore QB will continue to grind and learn how to move his team down the field. Completing those play-action boots and deciding when to run and threading the needle to his receivers will be something he continues to learn with more experience. He had to throw 29 times in last year’s meeting which is more than he’s thrown through three games this season. It will be interesting to see what the Panther game plan is this year and how Keefer and offense continue to make strides in the right direction.
Keys for Knoxville
The Knoxville defense has held Fairfield under 20 points in each of the last two meetings. Panther head coach Eric Kellar knows what to expect from the Trojans and how to stop it. It will be a matter of execution from Knoxville on both sides of the field. Knoxville has struggled against the run the first three weeks so getting that in order will be a big priority but this is Fairfield team that also likes to throw and that has been a bright spot for the Panther defense when they forced four interceptions against Oskaloosa. The Knoxville offense will hope that getting on the board late last week gets the scoreless monkey off their back and gets some confidence going for that side of the ball as they look to avoid going 0-4 in non-district play.