Bellevue's quick start drops Panthers to 1-2

Gavin Cooper of Monticello (13) collides with a Bellevue defender after catching a pass in the Sept. 7 Panther home game. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Lake Stahlberg of the Panthers (33) follows blockers Luke Weber (62) and Jon Mootz (50) against Bellevue.

Cade Folken (14) eyes the ball just before making an interception for the Panthers in the Bellevue game. Also defending on the play is Tony Wallerich (11).
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Bellevue’s Hunter Clasen scored all five of his team’s touchdowns, and the Comets jumped to a big early lead on the way to a 36-7 win over Monticello in a Sept. 7 high school football game at Dean Nelson Field.

     The Comets came into the game ranked ninth in the state in Class 1A, but the Panthers had high hopes of a strong performance, particularly after the big win at Dyersville Beckman the previous week.

     It wasn’t to be. Bellevue’s quick start and five Panther turnovers contributed as Monticello slipped to 1-2 on the season.

     “We definitely were not as sharp offensively,” Monticello coach Wes Wilson said. “We turned the ball over and dropped a lot of passes. I believe we gave up our first sacks of the season. We put ourselves behind the chains, and that is tough to convert against a good Bellevue team.”

     Defensively, the coach said, it was a matter of Bellevue converting in the later downs.

     “We played pretty good defense on first and second down, but could not get off the field on third (and fourth) down,” Wilson said.

     Bellevue scored on its first possession, converting a third-and-six pass into a 21-yard gain, and then scoring on a 33-yard run by Hunter Clasen, taking a 7-0 lead just 2:02 into the game.

     After the teams traded turnovers – an interception by Bellevue and a fumble recovery by Chase Luensman on a Bellevue high snap, the Panthers went three-and-out on their next series.

     Bellevue took the ball it its own 20-yard line and drove 80 yards in 10 plays. One of those was a 20-yard pass play on a fourth-and 7 from the Monticello 39, followed by a 19-yard touchdown run by Clasen.

     The Comets extended their lead near the end of the first quarter, tackling a Monticello runner in the Panther end zone for a safety and leading 16-0.

     Bellevue scored after the ensuing free kick as well, starting at the Monticello 24 and scoring in four plays, on a 13-yard run by Clasen. With 10:47 left in the first half, the Comets led 22-0.

     Following an interception, Bellevue struck again, this time on an 88-yard catch-and-run by Clasen, and the Comets took a 29-0 lead.

     That score held up until Bellevue’s first possession of the third quarter, when it score on a nine-yard run by Clasen to lead 36-0.

     The Panthers were able to spoil Bellevue’s shutout hopes in the fourth quarter, taking advantage of a short punt to go 40 yards in seven plays. Quarterback Jeff Carlson hit Lake Stahlberg on a swing pass to the left side, and Stahlberg powered in for a 16-yard touchdown. Carlson kicked the extra point to make it 36-7 with 5:14 to play, and neither team threatened again.

     “We will be fine,” Wilson said. “We will not let that game define our season. We talked about coming back this week and getting to work in order to be ready for Friday.”

Friday vs. Maq. Valley;

grades 5-6 to play first

     Monticello will play host to winless Maquoketa Valley Friday, starting at 7 p.m. There will be no junior varsity game; instead the grade 5-6 tackle football will scrimmage the Maquoketa Valley 5-6 teams, beginning at 5 p.m.

     Those who go to the scrimmage and plan to stay for the varsity game will be charged; admission will be free for those who attend the scrimmage only.


Sept. 7

Bellevue  16  13  7  0 – 36

Monti          0     0   0  7 –   7



     Bel – Clasen 33 run (Kloser kick), 9:58 remaining.

     Bel – Clasen 19 run (Kloser kick), 3:12.

     Bel – Safety, Stahlberg tackled in end zone, 0:04.0.


     Bel – Clasen 13 run (kick failed), 10:47.

     Bel – Clasen 88 pass from Tennant (Kloser kick), 7:56.


     Bel – Clasen nine run (Kloser kick), 9:44.


     Monti – Stahlberg 16 pass from Carlson, 5:14.


                                Bel      Monti

First downs          12             9

Rushing yds.       156           34

Passing yds.        122           81

Comp.-att.-int.  9-29-2  13-35-4

Total yards          278          115

Penalties-yds.     4-30       3-39

Fumbles lost         1              1          


     Rushing – Stahlberg 6-56, Carlson 4-(-22).

     Passing – Carlson 13-35-81-1-4.

     Receiving – T. Luensman 5-26, Cooper 3-21, Kraus 4-18, Stahlberg 1-16.

     Interceptions – Folken, Bowser.

     Fumble recovery – C. Luensman.

     Sack – Picray.



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