Snider was the visiting team at LuersField, but the Panthers were in their element on the muddy, slippery field Friday night.
It certainly didn't bother Snider senior running back Tyrese Brown, who scored three touchdowns as the Class 5A No. 4 Panthers (7-1) handed the Class 2A No. 1 Knights (8-1) their first loss of the season, 27-15. The outcome, along with Carroll's 59-0 win over Wayne on Friday, determined that the SAC title will be held jointly by the Panthers, Knights and Chargers, who each finish the conference season with one loss and a split record against the two other one-loss teams.
"We're mudders! We're a bunch of mudders!" Snider coach Kurt Tippmann said of his Panthers. "This is what we practice on, so we're used to this stuff. We get to play on a turf field on Friday nights, but heck, during the week, we're in the mud, just like this. This is our element."
Brown scored the first points on a 7-yard touchdown carry at 1:38 in the first quarter, and then broke free for a 28-yard touchdown with just over eight minutes left in the first half.
Langston Leavell's 4-yard touchdown carry concluded a Panthers drive that ate up nearly six minutes at the start of the second half and put Snider up 21-8. After the Knights threatened to come back late in the fourth quarter, Brown found a hole and rumbled to a 35-yard touchdown with 1:34 to play that gave Snider a 27-15 lead.
"We prepared for this for three days. I knew I was going to be running the ball every single play, so I got new cleats and I changed them, and I kept doing what I needed to do to prepare for this game and this weather," Brown said.
The first half was a frustrating one for the Bishop Luers offense, whose best scoring chance came in the final minute before halftime. With about 20 seconds to go, Snider's Domanick Moon intercepted a pass attempt by Bishop Luers quarterback Carson Clark in the end zone, sending the Knights into halftime trailing 14-0.
The Knights would turn their fortunes around on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, as Clark hit Antwian Lake with a pass around the 35-yard line, and Lake raced all the way to the end zone for a 65-yard touchdown. Sir Hale ran in the 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to 14-8.
Leavell's touchdown once again put the Panthers up by two scores, but after turning the ball over on downs in the red zone on one possession the Knights came back to score on a 21-yard pass from Clark to Brody Glenn.
After the game, Snider offensive lineman DJ Moore said his voice was weak from yelling in excitement.
"We've been talking about this since summertime, so I'm happy we finally did it," Moore said. "We made it come to life."