Sports

Panthers look for fourth in-a-row against Chiefs

Mt. Pleasant’s Klayton Kleinkopf carries the ball in the Panthers’ road win at Fairfield. Mt. Pleasant will be back in their white uniforms this Friday night in Keokuk. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
Mt. Pleasant’s Klayton Kleinkopf carries the ball in the Panthers’ road win at Fairfield. Mt. Pleasant will be back in their white uniforms this Friday night in Keokuk. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)

KEOKUK — The Mt. Pleasant football team needs a boost after a tough loss against No. 5 Washington last Friday, and maybe a trip to Calvert Stadium in Keokuk is just what they need.

The Panthers have scored in bunches in games against the Chiefs in the last three years. Mt. Pleasant beat Keokuk 49-13 in 2017, 53-0 in 2018 and 47-7 in 2019.

Mt. Pleasant and Keokuk both come into Friday night’s game at 2-2 overall and 1-1 in district play. Keokuk is coming off a 21-14 loss in the County Seat rivalry game at Fort Madison.

The Panthers’ offense has relied heavily on quarterback Jack Johnson. Johnson has broken out as one of the best players in Class 3A, throwing for 605 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions while running for 619 yards and eight scores.

Chase Williamson still least he team in receiving yards, with 207. He has yet to find the end zone, though. Brevin Wilson has scored three touchdowns through the air, and both Brennen Bender and Avery Scandridge have scored once.

The problem all year for Mt. Pleasant has been finding a second rusher to complement Johnson. No Mt. Pleasant running back has rushed for over 70 yards, and the rest of the team has combined for just two short rushing touchdowns, both by Isaiah Albright.

Although the Panthers have seen recent success against Keokuk, the Chiefs’ defense has been strong through their first four games. Keokuk has given up just over 16 points per game so far this season. Mt. Pleasant’s offense, though, is the toughest they’ll face so far.

The Panther defense will have to try and cut down a team that is scoring just under 20 points per game.

Keokuk quarterback Corey Skinner is a dual-threat gunslinger just like Johnson, throwing for 431 yards, five touchdowns and an interception so far this year, while running for 590 yards and four touchdowns. Equilius Lee has given the Chiefs another boost in the running game, going for 254 yards on the ground. Anthony Potratz leads the team with 185 yards and three touchdowns receiving, and Callum Tackes has 173 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Friday night’s game is the first of two-straight in Lee County. Mt. Pleasant will follow the Keokuk game with a game at Fort Madison on Oct. 2.