Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 26, 2018

Panther football falls in Pella

Offense struggles against state-ranked Dutch in first road game
Sep 04, 2018

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


PELLA — It was tough sledding for the Mt. Pleasant football team on Friday night as they took on state-ranked Pella in their first road game of the season.

The Panthers stuck with the Dutch through the first half, but a tough second half led to a 35-6 loss.

Pella’s Aaron Downs gave Mt. Pleasant fits all night, scoring all five Dutch TD’s on the day, all of which game in the first three quarters.

Downs found the end zone once each in the first and second quarters. Pella QB Ryan Gustafson found him on a 17-yard touchdown pass in the first and an 18-yard strike in the second. The Panther offense, meanwhile, was held silent and Pella led 14-0 at the break.

“We felt like we were doing fine defensively,” Striegel said about the first half. “We had some things to clean up on offense and we weren’t able to do that.”

Pella had the wind at their backs during the third quarter and that added to Mt. Pleasant’s struggles. The Dutch used great field position to score three more times, two through the air and one on the ground. After three quarters, the Dutch led 35-0.

Mt. Pleasant was finally able to get on the board with 7:54 left in the game. Quarterback Zach Beason punched in a one-yard score to cap off the only touchdown drive of the game, cutting the lead to 35-6.

Coach Striegel said the one positive offensively was the ability to run the ball a little bit, and praised his young offensive line for making improvements, but said Pella’s pass rush was a big key in the loss.

“Probably the biggest factor that held us down was that we couldn’t get the ball to the athletes we tried to give it to and they were able to get pressure on our quarterback,” Striegel said.

Beason finished the game 5-13 passing for 82 yards, and added 13 yards and a score on the ground. He found four different recievers for completions during the game.

Tucker Johnson led the receiving core with 17 yards on one catch. Levi Puig had 26 yards on one catch. Rylan Seberg caught two balls for 20 yards, and Chase Lamm caught one pass for nine yards.

Puig also led the team in rushing yards, with 19. Kyle Samples had the longest run of the day for Mt. Pleasant, a 16-yard gain on his only rush attempt of the contest.

Jacob Stukerjurgen led the defense with 9.5 tackles. Johnson had eight tackles, and James DeMeyer had one interception for Mt. Pleasant’s only takeaway.

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