Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 19, 2018

Area football at a glance: Week one

Aug 24, 2017
MPN file photo Zach Beason (pictured) and the Mt. Pleasant football team will take on Clear Creek-Amana on the road in their season opener Friday night.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


Friday night marks the first full night of high school football for Henry County as all four schools take the field in non-district action.

Two teams, New London and Winfield-Mt. Union will be playing in their home openers. Mt. Pleasant and WACO will both hit the road.

Both Mt. Pleasant and New London will be playing in their first game this season. The Panthers will head north to Tiffin to play Clear Creek-Amana (CCA) and The Tigers will host Wapello.

Mt. Pleasant is playing CCA in the season opener for the second straight year. In 2016, the Panthers opened up the season at home with the Clippers, falling 23-8.

The biggest struggle for Mt. Pleasant in last season’s matchup was gaining yards on the ground. The Panthers rushed for just 43 yards on 29 attempts.

Zach Beason had a decent night passing, going 10-16 for 138 yards and a touchdown in the loss. He also led the team in rushing yards, with 19.

CCA, on the other hand, ran for over 300 yards in the win. The good news for Mt. Pleasant is they won’t have to deal with graduated senior Drake Brezina, who went for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The bad news is Matt Brimeyer, who ran for 73 yards in the win and averaged 6.6 yards per carry, will enter his senior year this season.

The Clippers weren’t much of a passing team last year so the Mt. Pleasant secondary will more than likely be focused on stopping the run than worrying about any sort of arial attack. CCA passed for just 22 yards and one touchdown in Mt. Pleasant last season and finished the year with just four scores through the air.

New London will be looking for a bit of revenge themselves in their first ever game on the new field. The Tigers fell 25-13 at Wapello in the 2016 season opener. They rattled off five straight wins after dropping that game.

The Tigers gained 286 yards through the air in the season opener. Blake Nehring, now a graduated senior, threw for one touchdown and one interception. Keontae Luckett, who is entering his junior year, caught six passes for 153 yards, including a 63-yard score. Fellow junior Mason Porter caught 10 passes for 76 yards.

Wapello returns starting quarterback Logan Belzer who threw for 213 yards and a touchdown against New London last season, but the Indians lost their two-headed rushing attack of Adrian Lanz and Rogan Pforts to graduation. Those two combined for 177 yards and three touchdowns in the 2016 season opener.

The Indians completed 12 passes in that game, but nobody who caught one of those passes will be back this season. Ever pass-catcher from the 2016 showdown was lost to graduation.

The road isn’t going to be easy for W-MU, who takes on a Lisbon team that went 8-1 last season and even won one playoff game before getting knocked out by state-qualifier St. Angsar in the second round.

The Lions rolled the Wolves 54-0 in the season opener last year and a healthy portion of their offensive attack, including starting quarterback Jake Jennett, who threw for 1,642 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season, is back.

A young Wolves team is coming off a tight loss to Columbus last week. The Wolves fell 27-13 on the road in their first game.

WACO should still be a bit short handed for their second game of the year on Friday night in Bussey. The Warriors will take on a Twin Cedars team who upended them 66-56 last season.

Despite the loss, the Warriors had a huge day rushing in the matchup last year. WACO ran for 386 yards and seven touchdowns in the loss last season.

WACO had a little trouble containing a couple of Twin Cedars stars last season. Nick Haselhuhn threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns and Dakota Pinegar had 209 all-purpose yards with four touchdowns.

Iowa Wesleyan is still one week away from their season opener. Next weekend will be the first time all five area teams are in action.

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