Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Feb 23, 2018

Mt. Pleasant shuts out Washington in alumni game

Jun 15, 2015
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger 1997 graduate Joe Stubbs takes the ball on a trick play in Saturday’s alumni football game. Stubbs took the ball on a fake sweep play, dropped back and threw a deep ball that was caught by 2007 graduate Jacob Rohde.

By ANDY KRUTSINGER

Mt. Pleasant News

Mt. Pleasant defeated Washington, 17-0, in the second annual alumni football game on a rainy Saturday night at Mapleleaf Athletic Complex. The Panther defense stayed strong all night in a game that was eventually called due to the storms with 7:57 left in the fourth quarter.

Washington got the ball first, and the offense, led by 2001 graduate Kelly Williams at quarterback and 2014 graduate Tanner Knupp at running back, pushed the ball to midfield. On a shot-gun set play, the ball slipped through Williams’ hands and the Panther defense collapsed in on the pocket, allowing 1996 graduate Nick Pfadenhauer to fall on the ball for a fumble recovery.

Mt. Pleasant used a couple of long sweeps from 1997 graduate Joe Stubbs and inside rushes by 1995 graduate Nikolas Kerr to get the ball into the Demons’ red zone.

2005 graduate Tyson Unkrich, who started at quarterback for the Panthers, scrambled inside the 10. After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Demons, Unkrich was able to punch the ball in around the right side to make it 6-0. The extra point made it 7-0 with 3:50 left in the first quarter, but Unkrich was hurt on the play and would not return.

A long Demon drive that extended into the second quarter was ended on a long pass attempt up the left side. Stubbs picked the ball off and returned it a few yards downfield, and the Panthers took over again.

2003 graduate Anthony Liechty took over under center for the Panthers, and 2001 graduate Chris Brown started the drive off with a few rushes up the middle.

The play of the game was made midway through the drive. Stubbs came around from the wide out position and took the handoff, but instead of running the sweep, dropped back and launched a deep ball that was caught by 2007 graduate Jacob Rohde for a big gain.

Washington bounced back after the big play with a big interception by 2003 graduate Travis Brown. Brown made a falling catch on the Washington sideline, just inside the 20-yard line to come up with the pick.

The rest of the quarter was a defensive struggle. The Panthers were able to pound the ball inside the five yard-line at the end of the half. Lightning was spotted with 2.1 seconds left in the half and the ball inside the five. Despite staunch protests from the players, the game was delayed right before halftime.

After a downpour, the two teams returned to the field. The Panthers elected to kick a field goal by 200 graduate Marty Mertens to make it 10-0 at halftime.

The score remained 10-0 for the entirety of the third quarter. A wet playing field gave the game even more of a defensive feel than it was already.

Mt. Pleasant was able to put the final nail in the coffin with a rushing touchdown by Rohde, and the extra point made it a 17-0 game. Lightning struck again with just under eight minutes to go in the fourth, and the game was officially called.

For the Panthers, Mertens was named offensive MVP and Tyler Liechty was named defensive MVP. The oldest player was 1974 graduate, Bill Sanders. Washington’s offensive MVP was Knupp, and the defensive MVP was Brown. Dave Friese, a 1986 graduate, was the oldest player.

A total of $1,805 from Mt. Pleasant fans and $950 from Washington fans was made in presale tickets. There was an estimated $500 made from concessions.

 

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