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Pigskin Prophet: Snider has been proving skeptics wrong all season

Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 3:04 pm

Challenges bring out the best in teams, particularly teams as experienced and talented as the Snider Panthers.

Hardly a week has gone by this season where Snider has not been questioned on if it could overcome another team's strengths.

It started all the way back in week 1. How can the Panthers possible hope to contain the athleticism of Bishop Luers?

Snider passed the test.

But still the talk continued. People predicted Snider wouldn't be able to topple big and burly Penn, but were proven wrong.

The Panthers beat North Side twice, knocked off undefeated Homestead and overcame three quarters of struggles to knock off Fishers.

So when all the conversation this week went to how Snider was possibly going to be able to handle the Merrillville offensive machine, The Pig yawned. He had heard all this before, Snider Nation has been hearing it all season.

Well, look at the Panthers now. If Snider can prove people wrong one more time, the Panthers will be state champions.

This Panthers team is multi-dimensional, and they displayed that in Friday's victory over the Pirates. Brandon Phelps continued his superb postseason play with a game in which he, with the exception of one bad throw, protected the ball and made plays when needed.

The three-headed running back crew of Je'Norie Smith, Nic Reese and Tyrell Swain has never been better this season, amassing 208 yards rushing and working time off the clock.

And can you say anything more about Weston Painter, the All-SAC lineman who fought through a left knee injury to play some big minutes for the Panthers on Friday. Snider coach Kurt Tippmann was visibly emotional after the game when asked about Painter's effort, a superhuman one considering how the senior was on Wednesday when he was doubtful for the game.

Snider will hear the talk, the accolades thrown around about how dominant Lawrence Central has been all season. But the Panthers have heard it all before, how this team or that team was the one that was finally going to expose them.

It hasn't happened yet.

And maybe it won't happen at all.