By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer

Heading into week five of the football season, there is good news and bad news for the Knox Central Panthers.

The good news is Wayne Mills’ team got back on the winning rack with a 32-6 victory over McCreary Central.

The bad news is the Rockcastle County Rockets are coming to town and they might have a chip on their shoulder.

After opening the season with a 3-0 mark, Tom Larkey’s squad dropped a 24-0 decision last week to the state’s top ranked team, the Bell County Bobcats.

The Rockets’ loss gives Mills and company some confidence as the matchup approaches, but the Panthers’ head man admitted it could also work against his team if he is not careful.

“They lost to a really good team in Bell County,” he said. “As we know, when you play good teams, you have a tendency to get better and learn something as you go.

“We lost to this team as well,” he added.

The difference in the two games against Bell County was the fact the Panthers were able to find the end zone – something that is not very common against the Bobcats.

In the four games this season, Bell County is allowing just under seven points per game, as opposed to Knox Central’s defense, which is allowing 11 ppg.

Though his team had struggled in the previous two games, Mills said he liked the way his offense played against McCreary Central.

“We really did some good things and I was proud of our team,” Mills said. “Our offense kind of got back to what we had been doing, and what we are good at doing which is running the football.

“If we are going to have any chance against Rockcastle County, we are going to have to do more of the same thing,” he added. “This is a really good football team we are going to be up against and they are going to come ready to play.”

While the season is just four weeks old, Mills said he thinks Friday’s game is as important as any game this season. He also said the Panthers are in a must-win situation if they hope to reach one of several goals set forth in the preseason.

“We really want to host a playoff game this year and this is a big step toward that goal,” Mills said. “I really think whoever wins this game is going to have a pretty good hold on second place in the district.

“At the same time, you don’t want to play things up too big, but you want your kids to be ready,” he added. “Hopefully, we can come out and score first and get some momentum, and just keep it going.”

Kickoff for Friday’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Knox Central High School.

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