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Football returns to Pinckneyville after two years; Panthers lose to Benton

  • The Panthers line up on the sideline for a moving pregame show that honored the region's first responders and veterans.

    The Panthers line up on the sideline for a moving pregame show that honored the region's first responders and veterans.
    Daniel Herbst photo

  • First-year Panther Head Coach Logan Spain, let, accompanies his team across the field before the game against Benton.

    First-year Panther Head Coach Logan Spain, let, accompanies his team across the field before the game against Benton.
    Daniel Herbst photo

  • Panther cheerleaders show respect as military veterans and first responders take the field at Benton.

    Panther cheerleaders show respect as military veterans and first responders take the field at Benton.
    Daniel Herbst photo

 
By Daniel Herbst
Contributing writer
updated: 9/15/2021 2:30 PM

Pinckneyville Varsity Football took the field for the first time since 2019 on Friday, having lost the 2020 spring season to limited numbers and a JV-only schedule, and the first two weeks of the 2021 season due to COVID restrictions.

With only three days of practice after returning to the field, the Panthers fell to the Benton Rangers 53-0.

The on-field experience difference showed up as the Panthers worked on first-game difficulties, getting close to the end zone on two scoring drives that Benton stopped, while the Rangers continued their offensive barrage of their first two games of the season, scoring often on big plays against Pinckneyville, just as they had against Carterville and Sparta.

The Panthers hope to change their fortune this week as they will play the Olney Tigers at home at 1 p.m. on Saturday.