Benton dominates Pinckneyville


Danny Czerwinski,

Pinckneyville — Like 2 ships passing in the night, the football programs at Benton and Pinckneyville are at different stages in their respective programs. The Rangers were looking at 4 straight years in the playoffs with a win tonight, while the Panthers were looking to get their first win of the season. Few times what is on paper matches the outcome on the field, but tonight the heavily favored Rangers won on the road at Pinckneyville by a score of 41-0.

Rainy weather and damp field conditions stymied the offensive start for both teams in this matchup. Both teams matched 2 drives each of no scoring. The Panthers on their second drive were able to drive deep in Benton territory but a fake field goal on 4th down was stopped by the maroon and white defense.
At the end of the first quarter, the Rangers were able to strike first. On their third possession of the game, Benton had a 6 play, 80 yard drive of just over 3 minutes ending in a Tiffin Kouzoukas 26 yard touchdown pass to Cobi Cali. It gave the Rangers a 6-0 lead after the first quarter.
Scoring was much easier in the second quarter for Benton as they scored 4 separate touchdowns. On three of the four scores, Kouzoukas had a hand in it. The first came on a 9 yard pass from Kouzoukas to Kyle Thomas. On the next drive, it ended with a Kouzoukas 1 yard run. Riley Spencer joined in on the scoring with a 26 yard touchdown run. Finally, it was Kouzoukas that added a 1 yard touchdown pass to Clay Gage. After all of that, the first half ended with Benton leading 34-0.
In the third, the question was whether the Panthers would make a charge back into the game or would Benton be able to close them out. The Columbia blue and white showed life as they were able to stop Benton on their first 2 drives with back to back interceptions. However, the Panthers couldn’t score any points.
It was Benton that scored again as Lucas Kinsman ran in from 5 yards out giving the Rangers their final tally of the game.
Time dwindled away as Benton got a win on Pinckneyville Senior Night by a score of 41-0.
For the Rangers, they improve to 5-3 overall and finish the Mississippi Division in second place for 2023 with a record of 4-1. With their 5th win of the season, they clinch their 4th straight playoff berth and will host Harrisburg in the season finale next week. The Panthers drop to 0-8 overall and finish the Mississippi Division with an 0-5 record. Pinckneyville travels to Massac County to wrap up their 2023 season next week.