Panthers limit big plays, but suffer homecoming loss to Waukon

Monticello’s Brody Brokaw (23) and Andrew Mescher (back) bring down Evan Armstead of Waukon after a short gain in the Panthers’ homecoming game Sept. 29 at Dean Nelson Field. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Panther quarterback Jacob Manternach carries the ball, with help from lineman Jacob Lorenzen (65), against Waukon.

Max Keleher of Monticello (21) tries to avoid the tackle of Waukon’s Tristan Hansmeier in Friday’s game.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Waukon took advantage of some early breaks, and then racked up 23 second quarter points, on the way to a 51-27 football victory over the Monticello Panthers Friday, Sept. 29 at Dean Nelson Field.

     The Panthers showed improvement in some areas despite the loss, which dropped Monticello to 3-3 on the season, including 1-3 in Class 2A, District 4.

     One of those was the team’s struggles with opponents’ big plays. The defense gave up seven touchdowns in the game, but only two of those were plays of more than 15 yards.

     “That has been our big focus in practice,” Monticello coach Wes Wilson said. “We have to stop the big plays. A team like Waukon, that has so many weapons, is tough to completely stop, but we did manage to minimize their big plays. That is a big step in the right direction for our defense.”

     Monticello made a big stop on Waukon’s first possession of the game. The Indians drove from their 32-yard line to the Panthers’ 4, but were stopped for a one-yard loss on fourth-and-goal, and the Panthers took over.

     But two plays later, the ball came loose in the Panther end zone and was recovered by Waukon’s Alex Brink for a touchdown, and a two-point run by Snitker game Waukon an early 8-0 lead.

     The teams traded possessions for the rest of the quarter – an interception by Jacob Manternach stopped one Waukon drive – but the Indians forced the second turnover of the game, an interception by Jadon Johnson near the goal line, that was followed by a 25-yard return.

     “Two big plays really separated us on the scoreboard in the first half,” Wilson said. “If those two plays go our way, it is a completely different game going into halftime.”

     A 54-yard pass play, Abraham Schwartz to Isaiah Welch, brought the ball to the Monticello 18, and on the next play, Schwartz ran in for a score, and Waukon took a 16-0 lead.

     Monticello got on the board with its next possession. A screen pass from Manternach to Max Keleher turned into a 49-yard gain to the Waukon 8, and two plays later Manternach scored on a four-yard run, cutting the margin to 16-6.

     The Indians answered, however, going 60 yards in six plays and scoring on a nine-yard run by Schwartz.

     Waukon followed that with an 80-yard drive, scoring on a four-yard pass from Schwartz to Evan Armstead, resulting in a 31-6 lead that carried into halftime.

     “We talked about competing and winning the second half. Our guys competed the whole game,” the coach said.

     The Indians scored twice in the third quarter, on an eight-yard run by Schwartz and a six-yard run by Armstead, to lead 44-6.

     “The guys never got rattled, even when we were down big,” Wilson said. “They stayed focused and came back to score and get us back in the game.”

     Monticello had some fun in the fourth quarter. Keleher scored on a six-yard pass from Manterrnach, before Waukon scored for the final time, on a 35-yard run by Armstead.

     Down 51-13, the Panthers scored twice in the game’s final two minutes. Manternach hit Gavin Cooper on a 29-yard scoring pass over the middle with 1:53 left. The Panthers tried an onside kick, which was recovered by Monticello’s Andrew Mescher, and scored again four plays later, on a seven-yard run by Manternach with 39.8 seconds left.

     A final onside kick attempt was recovered by Waukon, and the Indians ran out the clock.

     Waukon put up some big numbers, including 567 total yards, to Monticello’s 342. The Panthers had some statistical highlights of their own, however. Manternach passed for 222 yards. Tony Wallerich caught five passes for 89 yards, Cooper had three catches for 67, and Andrew Mescher had two catches for 58.

     Defensively, Kirklen Kiburz had nine tackles, and Chase Luensman had 6.5.

     The Panthers are home again this Friday, Oct. 6, facing Oelwein.


Sept. 29

Waukon     8   23  13   7  –  51

Monti          0    6   0  21  –  27



     Wau – Brink fumble recovery in end zone (Snitker run), 8:14 remaining.


     Wau – Schwartz 18 run (Armstead pass from Schwartz), 10:32.

     Monti – Manternach 4 run (run failed), 9:40.

     Wau – Schwartz 9 run (Armstead pass from Schwartz), 7:25.

     Wau – Armstead 4 pass from Schwartz (Welch kick), 0:18.1.


     Wau – Schwartz 8 run (Welch kick), 7:19.

     Wau – Armstead 6 run (kick blocked), 5:02.


     Monti – Keleher 6 pass from Manternach (Holub kick), 10:45.

     Wau – Armstead 35 run (Welch kick), 6:24.

     Monti – Cooper 29 pass from Manternach (Holub kick), 1:53.

     Monti – Manternach 7 run (Holub kick), 0:39.8.



                               Wau     Monti

Rushing yds.        222        120

Passing yds.        345          222

Comp.-att.-int. 20-32-2  11-21-1

Total yds.             567          342

Penalties            10-85       4-40

Fumbles lost          0              1


     Rushing – Stahlberg 13-69, Keleher 15-48, Manternach 1-3.

     Passing – Manternach 11-21-222-2-1.

     Receiving – Tony Wallerich 5-89, Cooper 3-67,  Mescher 2-58, Keleher 1-8.

     Interceptions – Manternach, Wallerich.

     Tackles – Kiburz 9, Luensman 6.5, Brokaw 5.5, Picray 5.5, Bowser 4, Lorenzen 4, C. Kraus 3.5, Stahlberg 3.5, Stahlberg 3.5, Manternach 2, Cooper 1.5, Holub 1, Kuper 1, Mescher 1,

     Tackles-for-loss – Kiburz 2.5, Brokaw 2, Bowser 0.5.



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