Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

MP drops home game to No. 1 Solon

Oct 09, 2017
Photo by: Sam Anderson Luke Van Nyhuis (57) and a Panther teammate bring down Solon running back Kendrick Harris during Mt. Pleasant’s 33-0 loss to No. 1 Solon on Friday night.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


Playing a top-ranked team without your starting quarterback is difficult enough but the rain in Mt. Pleasant on Friday night made it even trickier for the Panther offense.

Mt. Pleasant made the Spartans work in the first-half flurry of Solon scores late in the third quarter helped the top-ranked Spartans pull away and the Panthers fell 33-0.

In an elongated first half, which was interrupted by a lightning delay, Mt. Pleasant gave up just 14 points to a Solon offense that has dominated district opponents this season.

The Spartans took a 6-0 lead with 7:19 left in the first quarter on a one-yard touchdown by Coal Flansburg. Kendrick Harris scored just over one minute later on a 14-yard run after the Panthers were forced to punt. The PAT was good on the second touchdown and Solon held a 13-0 lead.

Although the Panther offense couldn’t get on the board, Mt. Pleasant’s defense kept the game interesting. Solon didn’t score again for two full quarters, and led Mt. Pleasant by just two scores at 13-0 when the buzzer hit for halftime.

The Spartans finally started to pull away in the third quarter when a 17-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion made it 21-0.

Solon scored on two big plays later in the third period. The Spartans scored on a 57-yard touchdown pass with 1:39 remaining in the quarter. The Spartan defense picked off a Brody Bender pass and brought it back for a 60-yard pick-six with 1:03 remaining and the score was 33-0 at the end of three quarters.

The Panthers couldn’t get on the scoreboard but the contest was Solon’s toughest district battle yet, made even more impresive by the fact that MPCHS starting quarterback Zach Beason had to miss the game with an ankle injury.

Sophomore Brody Bender went 10-29 for 81 yards and two interceptions in his first career start. Head coach Shawn Striegel said Bender did a good job of shaking off the mistakes.

“He did really well,” Striegel said. “I told him, ‘You may throw an interception (but) you have to wipe that clean and stay strong.’ I thought he did that pretty well.”

Bender’s favorite receivers were seniors Kieran Kohorst and Jordan Magnani. Kohorst had two catches for 34 yards, and Magnani caught four passes for 22 yards. Rylan Seberg had one catch for 22 yards and Chase Lamm caught two passes for eight yards.

Logan Bass had 35 yards rushing to lead the team on the ground. He also caught one pass on the day.

Mt. Pleasant’s defense forced three fumbles in the loss. Jake Lowe had one fumble recovery for the Panthers’ only takeaway.

Mt. Pleasant fell to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the district with the loss. They will finish off the season against conference rivals Fairfield and Keokuk. The Panthers will hit the road to take on the Trojans on Friday, Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m.

The Trojans have only won two games this season, but blasted Ft. Madison 33-6 in their previous contest. Coach Striegel says the game plan is to stay the course and do the things the Panthers have been doing all season.

“We might add some things for game time adjustments but for the most part it is stay the course and do the best we can,” Striegel says. “Fairfield is kind of a scary team. They’ve found their running game (and) have some kids that are healthy, that were banged up earlier this year.”

Solon has a stranglehold on the district crown and will very likely host their first playoff game. The district’s other automatic playoff berth will be decided next week when Okaloosa and Washington meet. If the Panthers win their final two games, they will likely end up fourth in the district standings.

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