MP falls in homecoming game
Mt. Pleasant football started strong and kept pace with Centerville in the first half of Friday’s game, but the Big Reds were able to distance themselves late in the contest and spoil homecoming for the Panthers, 37-16.
The game started with a big play for Mt. Pleasant, as Clayle Franklin returned the opening kickoff for a 97-yard touchdown, giving the Panthers a 6-0 lead just a few seconds in to the game.
“Clayle (Franklin) did a nice job of reading the blocks,” Coach Shawn Striegel said. “Obviously, that’s the best job we’ve done all year (on kick return), and it really got the crowd ready to go.”
The Panthers’ homecoming crowd packed the stands with maroon and gold.
“We had a phenomenal crowd — it was absolutely huge,” Striegel said. “They were excited especially from the opening kickoff, and really fueled the kids to a postive first half. The kids responded well to the crowd.”
The Mt. Pleasant offense scored all 16 of its points in the first half, but Centerville was able to pick up 20 in just the first quarter.
“Our momentum (from the kick return) was a little bit sqaushed by their opening drive,” Striegel said. “And we weren’t playing great defense — we can’t allow 20 points in the first quarter.”
The Panthers came close to scoring again when they made it into the red zone midway through the first quarter, but after couple of incomplete passes, they turned it over on downs.
Early in the second quarter, however, the Mt. Pleasant defense picked up its game and forced a fumble.
Carson Remick, the homecoming king, recovered it on the 1-yard line, and Remick then ran it up the middle on the Panthers’ next play for their second touchown of the night. Zoom Gwamna’s PAT was good.
Mt. Pleasant recovered another fumble near the end of the second quarter.
Amos ran to the 19-yard line later in that drive for a Panther first down. Justin Dilks gained two yards, White gained two yards, and Remick ran for five. The Panthers went for it on fourth-and-1, and Dilks picked up two yards for another Mt. Pleasant first down.
After an incomplete pass, a loss of yards on a run play and another incomplete pass, Gwamna kicked a 27-yard field goal, and Mt. Pleasant went into halftime trailing just 20-16.
In the second half, however, the Panthers were unable to do any more damage. Meanwhile, Centerville added 17 to its total to put the game out of reach and spoil homecoming for the Panthers.
“Centerville did come back very strong in the second half, and we didn’t have an answer,” Striegel said. “I think overall, we still make too many mental errors. We still haven’t played four quarters of football. We need to keep our intensity up.”
Spencer White picked up 80 yards on the ground in 19 attempts (4.2 yards per carry).
Carson Remick had 25 yards in eight carries (3.1 yards per carry) and a touchdown.
Dustin Amos was 2-for-15 passing for 21 yards. Justin Dilks made a six-yard catch and Franklin had a 15-yard reception.
Defensively, Remick had a team-high 17 tackles, including two tackles for loss. Dustin Amos and Justin Dilks made 10 tackles each, while White and Austin Smith had eight apiece.
Dante Vandenberg recorded a pair of solo sacks.
The Panthers are now 0-5 (0-2 in the district) and play at Fairfield on Friday.