Mattress: “Must win game”

The Elder Panthers are riding high after a thrilling 17-13 victory over the nationally ranked Moeller Crusaders in week seven. The Panthers have little time for celebration as they prepare for a huge non-conference game versus the Winton Woods Warriors. Winton Woods is coming into the Pit at 5-2 on the 2012 campaign, and ranked third in the latest Division two, Region four Harbin Rankings. The Warriors have ridden their stellar triple-option attack to this point; something Elder LB Trevor Ginn and the Elder Defense is ready to stuff. “Winton Woods runs the triple-option very well,” Ginn remarked. “We have to play disciplined and responsible. Everyone on the defense has to do their jobs. Stopping the option isn’t about being the “hero”; it’s about getting your job done.” In Winton Woods, the Panthers will face a defense that has yet to give up more than 20 points in any of their previous six games. The Warriors defense is led by junior DT Daniel Cage – a 6’-3”, 280-pounder with early college interest from Cincinnati, Michigan, Ohio State, among others. Senior fullback Chris Mattress is aware of Winton Woods’ talent, but he believes Elder’s offense is prepared for the challenge. “We’re coming in confident,” Mattress said. “This is a big game for us, and we have to take care of business.” “The game is huge for our playoff chances. It’s really a must-win game.” The Panthers are ninth in this week’s division one,region four Harbin Rankings which means they are one place away from a playoff spot. With three games remaining (Winton Woods, Highlands, and LaSalle), the Panthers can most likely clinch a playoff berth with two more victories.