Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 12, 2017

Panthers drop second straight

Oskaloosa runs away from Mt. Pleasant in second half
Sep 18, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Chase Lamm leaps over an Indian defender on Friday night.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Things were going swingingly through almost two full quarters on Friday night for the Mt. Pleasant football team. The Panthers led 14-7 and were driving with less than one minute left in the second quarter, but a wacky play by the Oskaloosa defense flipped the game on its head.

Zach Beason’s pass was intercepted by Oskaloosa’s Alex DeJong. He lateraled it to teammate Jaden VanRoekel, who took the ball 57 yards the other way to set up for the game-tying score. The Panthers never recovered, getting shutout 21-0 in the second half of a 35-14 loss.

It was an ideal start for Mt. Pleasant as senior Kieran Kohorst scored two touchdowns in the first half, the first of which was on a pick-six early on.

Indian quarterback Seth Howard bobbled a snap on the first drive. He attempted to flip it forward to a teammate, but Kohorst jumped in front of the pass and took it back for a 15-yard pick-six. David Blancas hit the extra point and the Panthers led 7-0.

Oskaloosa tied the game up later in the first quarter when running back Casey Hill punched in a drive with a short touchdown run. The Indians hit their extra point as well and the game was tied 7-7 after one period.

The Panther defense swarmed Howard all second quarter and had the Oskaloosa attack completely off-balance for the majority of the first half. That bought time for the MPCHS offense to set up their first scoring drive of the game.

Once again it was Kohorst who found the end zone. This time it was on a 16-yard touchdown catch. The PAT was good and the Panthers held a 14-7 lead.

Mt. Pleasant was in position to take a two-possession lead before halftime, but that’s when the Indian defense made the play of the night. DeJong’s pick and lateral, and VanRoekel’s 57-yard run-back down the far side of the field completely flipped momentum to Oskaloosa. Hill sprung loose for a 13-yard touchdown run just two plays later and the extra point tied it at 14-14.

"It was a heads up play and a very athletic play too," Mt. Pleasant coach Shawn Striegel said about the interception. "Fortunately we were able to get him tackled at about the 15-yard line, but when we weren't able to hold him and they scored right away, that takes the winds right out of your sails."

After halftime it was all Oskaloosa. The Indians scored on two quarterback runs, one of 29-yards and one of 30 yards, in the third quarter to take a 28-14 lead. The Indians put the final nail in the coffin with a jump-ball to Cole Henry in the fourth quarter and the Panthers dropped their second straight game, falling 35-14.

Zach Beason was 9-26 for 83 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the loss. Chase Lamm was his favorite receiver on the day, catching three passes for 31 yards.

Kieran Kohorst had two receptions for 22 yards and one touchdown. Jordan Magnani had two catches for 10 yards.

Starting halfback Brody McGhghy was hurt in practice earlier in the week, meaning junior Levi Puig had to step up in the running game. He ran for 40 yards and caught two passes for 20 yards in the loss.

The Panther defense was without two of their starters. Caleb Potts was injured at Washington and with McGhghy being out, the MPCHS defense had to scrap without two of their top guys.

Tucker Johnson and Colby Potts led the team with eight tackles apiece. Maison Ashton had seven tackles. Kohorst had four tackles, an interception for a touchdown and even fell on a fumble to account for the other MPCHS takeaway.

"Kieran is a great kid and a great athlete but he responds to pressure very well," Striegel said about his senior. "He’s a kid that can just take over when he needs to. It was great to see him be able to do that. Hopefully he can use that as a positive reinforcer."

In other district news, top-ranked Solon thrashed Washington 40-0, meaning Mt. Pleasant will either need to upset the Spartans in October or hope for some help from the rest of the league if they want nab one of the district’s playoff spots at the end of the season.

The Panthers currently sit at 2-2 overall and 0-2 in district play. They’ll look for their first league win in Ft. Madison on Friday, Sept. 22, at 7:30 p.m.

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