The perfect season
The excerpts below — written by Sports Editor Jim Rose on the pages of the Mt. Pleasant News from 1963 — go step by step through the Panthers’ legendary season.
Panthers rush past North Scott, 19-0
"Coach Bob Evans wasn't overly impressed with his team's performance, but thought the Panthers showed signs of being a top-notch club."
Mt. Pleasant shocks C.R. Jefferson, 7-0
"It is well known in Southeast Iowa that Mt. Pleasant can play football, as Panther teams had not lost in 48 of the last 51 games going into the tilt with Jefferson, but now in view of the win over Jefferson the Maroon and Gold will be known statewide.
"The win was a tribute to the fabulous Mt. Pleasant spirit. Although faced with a big task, the Panthers showed their might and beat one of the top teams in the state on their home field. The Cedar Rapids fans went away realizing that the J-Hawks didn't lose on a fluke, they lost to one terrific grid machine fashioned by one of the state's best football coaches, Bob Evans."
MPHS rolls on, downs Demons, 27-0
Panthers still unsecured on as they up record to 3-0
"Combine a powerful offense with a tight defense and what do you have — a 27-0 victory for the mighty Mt. Pleasant Panthers over an out-chased Washington High School football team … Mt. Pleasant's rock-ribbed defense, which hasn't allowed a point in three games to date, was too much for the Demons to cope with as their backs made only a net of 31 yards."
Panthers blast Centerville, 33-0
"The staunch Mt. Pleasant defense once again prevailed and kept the Panthers' goal line still uncrossed in four games. The Big Reds threatened twice, but both times the Panther line got tough and tossed them back.”
Centerville quarterback Wade Clark ran to the Mt. Pleasant 39, and likely would have gone all the way if it hadn't been for Carter Challen's diving tackle, which clipped Clark's foot.
Centerville then got to the 3-yard line in the second quarter, but were pushed back by a 5-yard penalty and a Warren Woepking tackle for an 8-yard loss. A fumble that was recovered by Bill Wilson ended the Big Reds' drive.
Panthers stampede Mustangs, 42-0
MPHS (5-0) uses long runs to whip Davis Co.
"The deception in the Mt. Pleasant backfield was so sharp that twice an official blew the ball dead when (Tim) Proctor and (Stan) Kerr carried out their fakes.
"It just wasn't much of a contest as the Panthers turned it into a track meet.
"Coach Bob Evans had second stringers in as early as the second quarter and ended up playing all 43 boys who made the trip."
Mt. Pleasant destroys Keokuk, 27-0
Pantthers keep their goal line uncrossed, three to go
"Undoubtably the best Mt. Pleasant prep football team in the school's history didn't let the rain or the Keokuk Chiefs bother it here Friday night as the Panthers continued their unrelenting drive to an undefeated, untied, unscored upon record with a 27-0 swamping of the Chiefs."
Panthers crush Fairfield, 40-0
Powerful MPHS nears SE 6 title, undefeated mark
"A tornado in the form of the Mt. Pleasant Panthers swept up and down the gridiron here, and caught unmercifully in its path were the Fairfield Trojans.
"The Trojans … almost accomplished what no team has done this season, score on the Panthers, when they drove to the Mt. Pleasant two yard line where it was first and goal. Halfback Mike Rone fumbled as the Panther line charged at him and end Bill Wilson recovered on the six to preserve the unscored upon streak."
Panthers capture S.E. Six title
MPHS blanks Ft. Madison 28-0 to run mark to 8-0
"Packing all their scoring into the second quarter, the unwhipped Mt. Pleasant Panthers trimmed the fired up Ft. Madison Bloodhounds 28-0 at McMillan Park field to nail down their fifth Southeast Six football title in the last six years. The Panthers also remain unsecured upon for the eighth game this season and the last nine in a row, ran their streak of wins to ten straight and their unbeaten streak to 15 in a row."
Nov. 9, front page:
No. 1 Panthers finish perfect season
Wild celebrating after MPHS mauls Monmouth, 47-0
"The jubilant Mt. Pleasant Panthers celebrated their magnificent undefeated, untied, unscored upon season's football record after Friday night's 47-0 conquest of Monmouth, Ill., at McMillan park field by gleefully tossing their coaches and managers in the showers after the game."
Nov. 9, sports page:
MPHS — UNBEATEN, UNTIED, UNSCORED UPON
Proud Panthers hammer Monmouth in finale, 47-0
"Hail to the most fabulous football team in the annals of Mt. Pleasant High School history."