Mt. Pleasant football downed by Bulldogs
Improvements on defense didn’t make up for a sputtering offense in Mt. Pleasant’s 46-3 loss to Ottumwa on Friday.
“We did improve defensively from week one to week two,” Coach Shawn Striegel said. “There were times we looked solid, but we still have issues with giving up plays when we have them right where we want them — third and long, fourth and short.
“But we’re so close, defensively ... the problem is that we’re on the field too much,” he continued.
The Panther offense didn’t spend a lot of time on the field, recording only four first downs and punting eight times.
“Basically, our offensive line has to improve — and that’s on me as a coach, because they’re better than what they’re playing,” Striegel said. “This week, all our practices will be focused on offense, and we will be better at that.”
The Panther offense did get on the board in the week two game, scoring on a field goal with less than two minutes left.
Dustin Amos recovered a bad snap to the Ottumwa punter, putting the Mt. Pleasant offense on the 10-yard line.
The team lost five yards on first down, then lost four more on second down — and a personal foul penalty set them back another 15 yards.
The personal foul was the second 15-yard penalty that the Panthers were called for late in the game; the other was unsportsmanlike conduct.
“We’ve got to learn to handle our frustrations better,” Striegel said. “Our kids are passionate, and they’re motivated to win. But we can’t let our emotions run wild. That’s just not acceptable.”
On third down, Amos connected with Ben Canby for an 18-yard pass, setting up kicker Zoom Gwamna for a 32-yard field goal. The kick was good for the Panthers’ first score of the season.
On the night, Amos was 1-for-6 passing.
Josh Larson led the team with 40 net yards rushing. Carson Remick picked up 18 yards on the ground.
On defense, the Panthers were led by Remick, who had 20 tackles on the night.
“Mentally, we did a much better job (than the first week),” Striegel said. “We won the turnover margin, and made fewer mental mistakes (lining up). We were in good position a lot of the time.”
The Panthers will be at home again this week, this time hosting Solon.
Varsity kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.