Kieren Nichols

Knoxville's Kieren Nichols (2) gets ready to take the snap.

Who: Knoxville (1-6) vs Fort Madison (6-1)

What: Class 3A - Pod 11 - First round

Where: Fort Madison

When: Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

Matchup history

First meeting in QuikStats era (since 2006).

One key player for Knoxville

Your best players need to be your best players to pull off upsets. Kieren Nichols is going to need a huge two-way game for Knoxville to pull off the upset against Fort Madison. Offensively he needs to be a threat in the passing and running game. He will need to be precise in his passes but also not be afraid to scramble and show off his twitchy running ability. Fort Madison has averaged 51 points per game the last three weeks so the Knoxville offense needs to find a way to keep up with that scoring. Defensively, Nichols will be trying to cover some talented wide outs and a very good Bloodhound passing game. Knoxville is yet to record an interception this year, now would be an excellent time to change that.

Keys for Knoxville

Believe in yourselves and leave it all out there. Fort Madison has dominated the their opponents the last three weeks. The Panthers will hope they are looking past them already which would give Knoxville a chance to jump on them early. They will need to execute on both sides of the ball and force some turnovers but they enter this game with nothing to lose and a handful of injuries. Look for them to gain some momentum early and see where things go from there. The winner between these two will get the winner of Newton and Grinnell next week.

Colin Peters can be reached at 641-672-2581, by email at or on Twitter @ColinPetersOH.

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