NC vs. Carmel football game preview

Today, the football team travels to Hamilton County to take on no. 2 ranked Carmel. The Panthers are coming off of their second straight win, a 24-20 victory over Center Grove at Panther Stadium. The Trojans were on top 13-3 at halftime but three second half touchdowns by senior quarterback Harry Abell propelled the football team to a win. Senior wide receiver Richard Hamilton was responsible for two of those touchdowns and contributed a total of 166 receiving yards. Defensively, five players collected double digit tackles, with junior defensive back Theran Johnson leading the way with 13. Junior defensive backs De’Shon Hunter and Larry Campbell each had an interception.

This week, the Panthers defense will be going up against sophomore quarterback Zachary Thomas Osborne. Osborne has not had a successful start to the season, throwing six interceptions without a single touchdown. 

However, their rushing attack is a force to be reckoned with. Dylan Downing has over 500 rushing yards in five games, and has piled on six touchdowns on the ground. The Greyhound ground game has a total of 735 yards and nine scores on the year.

As for the Panthers, their rushing attack has worked well also. 

“It starts up front because if we’re able to run the ball against them, we’re able to do anything,” senior starting running back David Smith said. 

Lately, Smith has been sharing rushing touches with junior Jerry Asekunowo. 

“It’s about speed in the backfield,” Smith said. “Jerry (Asekunowo) and I are like thunder and lightning.”

The Panthers come into the game with a 3-2 record. After falling to Fishers at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 23, they beat Hamilton Southeastern 17-16 on a last-second Scott Hoeg field goal. The HSE game was followed by a three-touchdown 28-7 loss to Warren Central. After that, North Central got back on track, beating Lawrence North and Center Grove at home. The AP poll ranks the Panthers no. 11 in the state.

-Isaiah Rosner

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