By Kim Staudinger
Lewistown has benefitted in recent history from getting athletic transfers from Denton, and the trend continues.
Senior guard Katie Edwards, who transfered last year, has made a huge impression on the basketball court, breaking numerous records and guiding the Eagles to the top of the Class A basketball ranks.
But basketball isn't the only sport attracting Denton athletes to Lewistown. Senior running back Dana Knox transfered this fall and is well on his way to breaking many football records of his own. In just over two quarters of play last weekend against Browning, Knox rushed for 203 yards, slightly below his blistering average of 216 yards per game.
So, what does Havre coach Troy Purcell think of Knox?
"He's an outstanding ball player," he said. "Lewistown was real fortunate to get him. He finds the holes real well and has great balance."
Havre plans on making some defensive adjustments to key on Knox's running game and, consequently, force Lewistown's air attack to produce.
"We are going to key on Knox and try to make them throw the ball," he said. "Our goal is to shut down the run."
Lewistown's other top running back, Chris Scotten, had three rushes last weekend for eight yards, illustrating Knox as the primary ball carrier for Eagles. The Eagles average only 90 yards passing per game.
One may cringe at the fact that Lewistown leads the conference in rushing yards per game, and Havre has league-worst defense against the rush. But Purcell said the Blue Ponies defensive stats are misleading, because the statistic was padded last weekend when Laurel gained 346 rushing yards in a 40-27 triumph over Havre.
Lewistown also has only given up 29 points in four games this season, a far cry from the 144 they have scored.
"It just shows we need to step it up and it's time we played four quarters of football," he said. "Anybody can lose to anybody at any given time."
But for tonight's game, Havre hopes to take advantage of undefeated Lewistown's lengthy three-hour commute and extract revenge from last year's loss.
"We have been waiting for this game for a year now because we didn't like how things went last year," he said. "It is very important to have success with this game."
The Ponies will be without Steve Harman this weekend and Kyle Sheppard will only be able to play on defense.