Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT — For the second-straight game, the Mt. Pleasant football team scored first, but for the second-straight game, the Panthers’ opponent responded.
After scoring on its first drive, the Panthers relinquished the next 49 points in a 49-7 district home loss to Clinton.
Much like the week prior, Mt. Pleasant came ready with an early punch. The Panthers ran the ball right down the River Kings’ throats on the opening drive, hitting Clinton with rushes by running back Payton Hagans as well as quarterback Carson Coleman.
It was Coleman that found the end zone. The senior quarterback scored the first touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run up the middle, and the Panthers were seemingly in business, up 7-0 after the Owen Vansickel point after.
That’s where everything went wrong.
Clinton responded with a big passing play up the middle. The River Kings put the ball in the red zone in just one play, and scored on the very next snap, rushing it in to tie the game and suck away all momentum the Panthers had collected.
“That response was what was going to matter,” said Mt. Pleasant head coach Shawn Striegel. “We didn’t respond as well as we needed to.”
The River Kings took the lead early in the second quarter. On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Clinton narrowly put the ball over the goal line. A botched point after turned into two points, and the River Kings were up 15-7.
From that point forward, Clinton controlled the skies. The River Kings scored on a 49-yard touchdown pass and a 38-yard touchdown pass and it was 29-7 at halftime. The River Kings scored thrice in the second half.
“I think we went through all four plans to stop them,” said Striegel. “Obviously we weren’t very successful in making that happen.”
Mt. Pleasant had another shot inside the 5-yard line in the third quarter. Backup quarterback Jacob Richtman connected with Wyatt Woodsmall on a long pass play. Coleman found Hagans one play later to get the ball inside the 10, but the Panthers turned it over on downs after four-straight failed short-yardage plays.
Coleman toughed out a number of hard hits on the day and took a nasty one on the sideline in the third quarter. He was knocked out of the game but stayed on the sideline.
“He’s right there in the Top-5 of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached,” Striegel said. “He’s an all-around tough kid.”
Mt. Pleasant fell to 1-7 with the loss. The Panthers are 0-4 in district play with top-ranked and defending state champion North Scott coming into town for the final game of the season.