MP hosts Ottumwa in home opener
After suffering a 40-0 loss to Marion in their season debut, the Panthers are looking to even their record Friday by slowing down Ottumwa on defense, maintaining momentum on offense, and playing a mentally tough game all the way though in their home opener.
“We have to play disciplined football, we have to be a little more proficient in our passing game, and we can’t make mental errors — poor alignment is going to lead to bad things,” Coach Shawn Striegel said.
In their season debut, the Bulldogs defeated Keokuk by a score of 33-3 — the same final by which Ottumwa beat Mt. Pleasant last season.
The Bulldogs have graduated their quarterback from last year, along with the top three rushers and receivers.
Stepping up to lead the team to victory last week was sophomore Isaiah Cox, who rushed for 145 yards in 10 attempts and scored two touchdowns.
Isaiah Hutchinson, also a sophomore, rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown.
This year’s quarterback, Shane Frazier, a junior, also scored a touchdown on the ground, and the Bulldogs’ other score came from junior Andrew Altfillisch on a punt return.
Ottumwa is a quick team — Cox broke away for a 92-yard touchdown, and Hutchinson ran 75 yards for his. Fraizer’s score was no QB sneak — he made a 35-yard run into the end zone. Altfillisch carried for 69 yards on his return.
The Panthers will have to work hard to stop the Bulldogs at the line.
“The biggest thing with Ottuwma is that they use a zone readoff — they’ll try to get you going one way, then go another, so we have to have them flanked,” Striegel said. “We have to be disciplined, can’t overrun plays, can’t guess. That will be key for us.”
The Mt. Pleasant offense will aim to pick up a few more yards in the air this week.
The Panthers’ offensive line didn’t allow the quarterbacks as many opportunities to throw as the coaches would have liked. But when they did throw, they had success finding their targets. Dustin Amos went 2-for-3 and Spencer White was 1-for-2 passing against Marion.
“We have to show up on the offenseive line to give the quarterback more time — we worked on some techniques this week, so hoepfully that will take place,” Striegel said.
Kickoff for the varsity game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.
Mt. Pleasant starters
Pos.: Name, Ht., Wt., Class
QB: Dustin Amos, 6-3, 180, Senior
FB: Carson Remick, 6-0, 190, Senior
TB: Josh Larson, 5-11, 160, Senior
WR: Clayle Franklin, 5-9, 160, Junior
WR: Blake Knudsen, 5-11, 149, Junior
TE: Justin Dilks, 6-3, 220, Senior
C: Jackson Kelley, 6-5, 280, Junior
LG: Marcus Moothart, 6-2, 185, Junior
RG: Matt Scudder, 6-2, 225, Senior
LT: Tyler Ruby, 6-2, 215, Junior
RT: Alec Skubal, 5-11, 215, Junior
K: Zoom Gwamna, 5-9, 160, Junior
Pos.: Name, Ht., Wt., Class
LT: Ben Canby, 6-1, 220, Junior
NG: Dante Vandenberg, 6-5, 231, Junior
RT: Justin Dilks, 6-3, 220, Senior
LB: Dustin Amos, 6-3, 180, Senior
LB: Noah Brown, 5-11, 177, Senior
LB: Carson Remick, 6-0, 190, Senior
LB: Tyler Ruby, 6-2, 215, Junior
LB: Josh Larson, 5-11, 160, Senior
LC: Austin Smith, 5-8, 155, Junior
RC: Tony Cristoforo, 6-0, 164, Senior
FS: Spencer White, 6-3, 175, Junior
P: Ben Canby, 6-1, 220, Junior