Sports

Short-handed Panthers face Bloodhounds

Mt. Pleasant's Brevin Wilson races into the end zone for his third touchdown reception of the season in the Panthers' 41-27 home loss to No. 5 Washington. (File)
Mt. Pleasant's Brevin Wilson races into the end zone for his third touchdown reception of the season in the Panthers' 41-27 home loss to No. 5 Washington. (File)

FORT MADISON — The Mt. Pleasant football team isn’t expected to be at full strength when they head down to Fort Madison on Friday night. With a handful of players on quarantine due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak at Mt. Pleasant High School, the squad will have to play ‘next man up’ at a few positions.

It isn’t the easiest of weeks for Mt. Pleasant, as they’ll take on a Bloodhound team that comes in at 4-1 overall and 2-1 in district play. The Panthers walk in with a 2-2 record overall, a 1-1 district mark and two weeks rest after having their Friday night game at Keokuk upostponed.

Whoever is able to suit up for the Panthers on Friday will need to find a way to stop a Bloodhound offense that exploded in last week’s 55-7 win over Burlington. The Hounds had a huge game from junior quarterback Landes Williams, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for two in the blowout victory.

Mt. Pleasant’s defense has been hot and cold this year. The team is two weeks removed from giving 41 points up to fifth-ranked Washington, and the Panthers gave up 47 against Tipton in Week 2.

The Panthers’ offense, however, has been as good as advertised, at least in one category. Dual-threat quarterback Jack Johnson was lived up to expectations when it comes to using his legs. In just four games, he has rushed for 619 yards and eight touchdowns. He has also thrown for 605 yards, 207 of which have went to Chase Williamson, and thrown five touchdowns, including three to Brevin Wilson.

The Panthers will face off against a Fort Madison defense that has been stellar all year. The Bloodhounds have given up 14 or less points in each of their four victories, and held Washington to just four scores in a 29-7 loss.

The winner of Friday night’s game will likely get a big boost in the playoff seeding. The Panthers and Hounds are currently in a battle for second place in the district, which may go a long way when the postseason brackets come out.