Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

Panthers clip Clippers in first game

Aug 28, 2017
Photo by: Photo by Adam Meier Jordan Magnani holds on to a catch against a couple of CCA defenders during Mt. Pleasant’s season opener in Tiffin on Friday night.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

TIFFIN — The Mt. Pleasant defense held on tight against Clear Creek-Amana on Friday as the Panthers clung to a 14-7 lead during the entire second half to secure the win.

All three scores in the game happened in the first two quarters and the Panthers moved to 1-0 to start the 2017 season.

The Panther offense got things going with a short touchdown pass in the first quarter. Zach Beason found halfback Levi Puig for a six-yard strike that put Mt. Pleasant in the lead. David Blancas hit the extra point and it was 7-0.

Clear Creek-Amana answered with a Matt Brimeyer score at the end of the quarter. The senior running back punched it in from seven yards out for what would be the only Clipper touchdown. The extra point was good and it was 7-7 after one.

The game winning score came with 5:07 left in the second quarter. Beason used his legs this time, pushing in for a one-yard touchdown run that would give Mt. Pleasant the lead for good. Blancas’ second kick was true and it was 14-7.

“I thought Zac played a good game, used his head and just made pretty decent reads for most of the night,” said head coach Shawn Striegel about his QB. “He made a few mistakes but he made up for them and never lost his focus. I think that was the biggest thing was he didn’t get down on himself or the team.”

The Clipper offense was able to gain yardage throughout the second half but could never quite break the Panther defense, which held CCA to just 140 rushing yards and 91 passing yards for the entire game.

“The biggest thing we did was we kept them from scoring,” said Striegel. “We gave them some first downs, gave them some yardage but it really came down to the ‘bend don’t break’ scenario.”

The Panthers didn’t come up with any turnovers in the game, and gave two away themselves, but Mt. Pleasant controlled the clock and came up with a couple of big stops when they needed it most.

Caleb Potts led the Mt. Pleasant defense with nine total tackles, two of which were for a loss. James DeMeyer had eight tackles. Tucker Johnson came away with 7.5 tackles. Jordan Magnani had six tackles and Colby Potts added six tackles of his own, including one sack.

Beason went 14-22 for 191 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Tight end Kieran Kohorst led the receiving core with four catches for 79 yards.

Brody McGhghy had a big game in the backfield. He had 73 yards rushing and added five catches for 76 yards receiving in the win.

“We went into it knowing we were going to have to run the ball to establish our passing game,” Striegel said. “There were times where we did a good job blocking (and) Brody did a great job of not only seeing the holes but making people miss.”

The win snapped a five-game losing streak in season openers for Mt. Pleasant. The Panthers last won their first game on AUG. 26, 2011, also against Clear-Creek Amana.

The Panthers will face Mediapolis in their home opener on Friday, Sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldogs scored a comeback win over West Burlington-Notre Dame in their first game, which means it will be a battle of 1-0 teams.

The junior and freshman teams dropped their first games against Clear Creek-Amana.

The JV team fell 26-12 on Thursday night. Brody Bender was 16-32 for 164 yards and two scores. Logan Bass had 119 total yards and Rylan Seberg had three interceptions and one touchdown catch.

The freshman team lost 26-14 on Friday before the varsity game.

Brennen Bender had 105 total yards and a touchdown, and also two of the Panthers’ five fumble recoveries. Jack Johnson had 59 yards passing and 18 yards rushing with one touchdown.

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