Demons visit Panthers in epic clash

Mt. Pleasant hopes for homecoming magic against fifth-ranked Washington

Mt. Pleasant quarterback Jack Johnson uses his wheels to find the end zone last week at Fairfield (File).
Mt. Pleasant quarterback Jack Johnson uses his wheels to find the end zone last week at Fairfield (File).

MT. PLEASANT — It’s on like Donkey Kong on Friday night. Fierce rivals No. 5 (3A) Washington will visit Mapleleaf Athletic Conference in Mt. Pleasant for one of the most heated rivalries in Southeast Iowa.

The game has all the build up it needs. The Demons are 3-0 and looking to strengthen their resume as a heavy favorite in Class 3A District 5. Mt. Pleasant wants to secure its biggest homecoming win in recent history.

Neither Demon or Panther fans could forget what happened when these two teams met up last season. Washington beat Mt. Pleasant in a game for the ages to close out the 2019 regular season, beating the Panthers 64-61 on a last-minute touchdown run that sent the Demons to the playoffs and ended Mt. Pleasant’s season.

Washington comes into the game after its third-straight win to open the 2020 season. After going 2-0 in two grueling non-district games against Bettendorf and Solon, the Demons flattened Fort Madison 29-7 in Week 3.

This will be Mt. Pleasant’s first home game since nipping Clear Creek-Amana 28-27 in Week 1. After a disappointing loss at Tipton, Mt. Pleasant went into Fairfield and won the War on 34, 21-6.

Washington quarterback Trashaun Willis has thrown for 261 yards and two scores, and has ran for 157 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Wyatt Stout has also been getting it done on the ground, rushing for 164 yards and three scores, and receiver Spencer Sotelo has caught five passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

The Demon offense will be facing a Mt. Pleasant defense who bounced back from a rough night in Tipton to shut down the Fairfield offense on a muddy playing surface last week. Brady Hall’s 18 tackles lead the team.

The Panther offense has been consistently led by dual-threat quarterback Jack Johnson, who has thrown for 392 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 465 yards and six scores. Chase Williamson has caught eight passes for 128 yards to lead the receiving core, but has yet to find the end zone.

To say the Panther offense will be facing their toughest challenge yet would be an understatement. The Demons have given up just 35 points total in their first three games. Zayne Laws leads the Demon defense with 14 tackles, including five tackles for a loss and four sacks.

Turnovers could be the difference in the game. Both teams come into the game with seven take-aways, with Washington picking off six passes and recovering one fumble and Mt. Pleasant intercepting five passes and getting two take-aways via the fumble.