LaVille falls in regional

LaVille's Kolby Watts is tackled after a gain at Pioneer
Dalton Tinklenberg
Sports Writer

The LaVille Lancers advanced to the Regional Championship for the first time in over a decade and faced the tall task a facing the Pioneer Panthers Friday night in Pioneer. The Lancers were unable to stop the well-oiled machine that is Pioneer, losing 38-0.

Things started off well for the Panthers when junior quarterback Jack Burley Kiser took a quarterback keeper 44 yards for an opening touchdown. The ensuing two-point conversion made the score 8-0. After LaVille was unable to muster any offense on their first drive, the Panthers took over once again with just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter. As the Panthers looked poised to score another touchdown the Laville defense came up big. The Lancers forced a fumble and LaVille senior David King pounced on the loose ball to keep Pioneer at bay.

As the first quarter drew to a close the score remained close and it seemed as if the Lancers were gaining some confidence. Unfortunately for LaVille, it took approximately three seconds for things to fall apart in the second quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, Kiser ran in from 17 yards out and again went for two.

Twice in the next several minutes, the Panther punched past the goal line for scores. Before the Lancers knew it they faced a 32-point deficit with more than half a game left to play.

"They're pretty good. They execute their game plan at a level of speed that is very hard to simulate in practice. They got several players, several players that are very good and they executed tonight,” said LaVille coach Will Hostrawser. “Frankly, they fumbled the ball on the first play of the ball game and for things for us to go right we have to make plays and do that. I did not think that we tackled very well tonight. I thought we were in position several times but they slid off and I think the weather got the best of us to be honest with you. That's not to take anything away from Pioneer. They're a great football team."

The Panthers again took the ball with seconds remaining in the first half and wasted no time trying to score. They aggressively pushed the ball downfield and even went as far as using timeouts and spiking the ball to increase their chance. The LaVille defense held firm and went to halftime trailing 32-0.

The second half went much better for the Lancers as the held the Pioneer offense to just six points. The problem was their own offense as they couldn't score themselves.

"I think we're very very young. We only graduate six kids and those six kids have matured a tremendous amount across the season. I think they became very very good leaders for us in a number of ways both vocally and physically,”said Hostrawser. “That's one positive. We have a lot of people that are coming back and a decent sized class coming in. These kids figured out how to win a sectional. That's something that we haven't been able to do in the past couple of years. Think we won our first one since 2003 so getting that taste is gonna be a really good thing for us moving forward."

The two teams battled back and forth unsuccessfully for the better portion of the final 24 minutes. When the smoke cleared, the Panthers emerged as regional champions and the LaVille season was over.

"I haven't thought about next season yet to be honest with you,” said Hostrawser. “We do have a tremendous amount of potential, every team does. That's something as coaches we have to play at or above our potential. I think this team honestly on the season exceeded that on many levels and many different ways."

at Pioneer
Score by Quarter
Pioneer 8 24 6 0 - 38
LaVille 0 0 0 0 - 0