Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 18, 2017

Panthers fry Falcons at homecoming

Oct 02, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Colin Mulford brings down West Burlington-Notre Dame-Danville’s Darius Whaley during Friday night’s homecoming game.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Mt. Pleasant finished off homecoming week the right way on Friday night. The Panther defense silenced West Burlington-Notre Dame-Danville 14-3 to pick up a district win.

The win wasn’t without adversary, howevever. The Panther offense was hit early when starting quarterback Zach Beason was hobbled with an ankle injury and senior tight end Kieran Kohorst was knocked out of the contest after being brought down near the home sideline. That forced the Mt. Pleasant offense to operate with a QB playing through pain and without one of his favorite targets.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Panthers had to fight back after a big play by the Falcon defense set up a go-ahead field goal late in the third quarter.

Beason had receiver Jordan Magnani streaking downfield with a step on his defender and West Burlington star Tanner Snodgrass, but Snodgrass made a leaping grab to intercept the ball with one hand. The Falcon junior turned around and got it into Panther territory, and West Burlington’s Slater Gifford knocked in a 26-yard field goal.

Mt. Pleasant was at a 3-0 advantage for the majority of the first half, but a big play by a couple of juniors ignited the homecoming crowd before halftime. Beason threw a 49-yard bomb to Chase Lamm, who beat his defender on the play, made the catch and took it into the end zone for the first Panther score. David Blancas hit the extra point and Mt. Pleasant led 7-3 at halftime.

Mt. Pleasant head coach Shawn Striegel said the biggest play of the night was drawn up by Beason, who saw signs that a deep ball could work.

“Actually, Zach called that play,” said Striegel. “He came to me and said, ‘I know Chase can beat that guy. Let me go deep here.’”

The Falcons would never see the lead again as the Panther defense continued to stuff West Burlington, holding the Falcons to under 200 total yards and just 16 passing yards all game.

Mt. Pleasant’s rushing game made the hole a little bigger for West Burlington early in the third quarter. Sophomore Logan Bass led a drive downfield with punishing runs through the middle, and eventually punched in the one-yard score that stretched the lead to 14-3 after the PAT.

After one last stop, senior running back and recently crowned homecoming king Brody McGhghy took the field in the victory formation. McGhghy was a huge part of the Panther offense before going down with a season-ending injury before the Oskaloosa game. Striegel says he didn’t want that to be the last thing his starting running back remembered from high school football.

“Brody’s last memory would have been at practice instead of playing (and) I couldn’t handle that,” Striegel said. “It was a way to honor what he has done and give him one last memory (and) something special that we got to share with him.”

Beason finished the game 16-23 for 187 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Lamm lead the receiving core with four catches for 84 yards and one touchdown. Tate Shull had two catches for 24 yards, and Jordan Magnani had four catches for 23 yards.

Bass ran for 76 yards and a touchdown in the win. Levi Puig was Mt. Pleasant’s second-leading rusher with 33 yards on the night to go along with two catches for 22 yards.

Colby Potts led the Panther defense with 5.5 tackles. Puig had five tackles and one fumble recovery. Luke Van Nyhuis, Keegan Rich and James DeMeyer each finished with 4.5 tackles.

Mt. Pleasant moved to 4-2 on the year and 2-2 in district play. The Panthers will face their toughest test of the year on Friday, Oct. 6, as they take on a Solon team ranked No. 1 in the Iowa AP poll and third in the Gazette rankings. That game will begin at 7:30 p.m.

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