Panthers rout Oelwein; playoff chances on the line Friday

Lake Stahlberg of Monticello (33) rumbles for some of his 167 rushing yards during the Panthers’ home win over Oelwein Oct. 12 at Dean Nelson Field. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Monticello defensive players Tony Wallerich (11), Cade Folken (14) and Dallas Bowser (center) gang tackle Oelwein’s Steven Nicolay Friday.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Monticello erased an early 8-6 deficit with 44 unanswered points, sending Oelwein to a 50-14 defeat in Class 2A, District 4 action Friday, Oct. 12 at Dean Nelson Field.

     The Panthers made the most of their final home game of the regular season, on Senior Night, racking up 526 yards of total offense, including 259 yards rushing, and 267 yards passing from Jeff Carlson.

     “We go into a game wanting to be balanced, but we really take what the defense gives us,” Monticello coach Wes Wilson said. “We have the ability to throw the ball to five quality receivers, and run the ball with Lake.”

     That would be Lake Stahlberg, who scored three touchdowns – two on the ground – and totaled 167 rushing yards.

     In addition to the offensive fireworks, the Panther defense had a strong night. Monti forced four Oelwein turnovers, including two interceptions by Kain Luensman and fumble recoveries by Cade Folken and Ben Oswald. There were three sacks, by Wade Picray, Reid Barnhart and Cooper. In addition, the Huskies were held to 34 rushing yards.

     “We have put a huge emphasis on stopping the run,” Wilson said. “When we are able to do that we are a pretty good defensive team. Coach (Jon) Kyte and Coach (Nathan) Freeze have done an excellent job preparing our guys each week.”

     With the win, Monticello kept itself in position for a possible postseason berth. The Panthers, with a win Friday at Waterloo Columbus, might accumulate enough Ratings Percentage Index points to claim an at-large spot in the 2A playoffs (see “Home Stretch” column, p. B-3).

     “We know we have to win to have a shot,” the coach said. “We are going to treat it like a playoff game. We have to take care of our business, or the RPI doesn’t matter.”

     Doubts about the outcome of the Oelwein game were erased relatively early. The Panthers took the lead on a two-yard touchdown run by Jeff Carlson, and then the Huskies scored on their next play from scrimmage, a 64-yard pass play, Dillon Arndt to Camren Palmer. The same pair connected on a two-point conversion pass, and Oelwein held an 8-6 lead.

     Monticello was in control from then on. Lake Stahlberg scored on a 33-yard pass play from Carlson. Later in the first quarter, Stahlberg broke free for a 38-yard touchdown run, and the Panthers led 18-8 by the time the first quarter ended.

     The Panthers then dominated the middle two quarters, outscoring Oelwein 32-0 over those periods to take a 50-8 lead. Included were a one-yard score by Carlson and a 13-yard pass from Carlson to Gavin Cooper, both in the second quarter, as Monti took a 30-8 lead into halftime. In the third, Monticello added to the margin on a 43-yard run by Stahlberg, a four-yard run by Dallas Bowser, and an 18-yard run by Brody Brokaw. Bowser’s score made it a 35-point lead, setting off the continuous clock rule.

     Oelwein added a one-yard touchdown run by Steven Nicolay in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.

     The game at Columbus Friday will be a 7 p.m. start, as there will be no junior varsity game due to low numbers at Columbus. The Sailors come into the game ranked 15th in the RPI, two spots ahead of the Panthers.

     “Columbus has a nice team,” Wilson said. “They have played a lot of young guys the last couple of years, so they have a lot of experience. They are very opportunitistic and take advantage of opponents’ miscues.”

Oct. 12

Oel          8    0     0    6  – 14

Monti    18   12   20   0  – 50



     Monti – Carlson 2 run (kick failed), 7:56 remaining.

     Oel – Palmer 64 pass from Arndt (Palmer pass from Arndt), 7:39.

     Monti – Stahlberg 33 pass from Carlson (run failed), 5:36.

Monti – Stahlberg 38 run (pass failed), 1:20.


     Monti – Carlson 1 run (kick failed), 9:18.

     Monti – Cooper 13 pass from Carlson (kick failed), 0:30.9.


     Monti – Stahlberg 43 run (Perez kick), 11:33.

     Monti – Bowser 4 run (kick failed), 9:01.

     Monti – Brokaw 18 run (Perez kick), 2:03.


     Oel – Nicolay 1 run (pass failed), 3:39.



                                    Oel     Monti

First downs                 8          14

Rushing yards            34        259

Passing yards           200        267

Comp.-att.-int.   27-40-2   18-29-0

Total yards                234        526

Penalties                  4-30       8-65

Fumbles lost               2            1


     Rushing – Stahlberg 20-167, Bowser 3-41, Cooper 2-26, Brokaw 3-21,Carlson 3-4.

     Passing – Carlson 18-29-267-2-0.

     Receiving – Cooper 6-96, Kraus 3-58, Stahlberg 3-46, T. Luensman 3-35, Recker 3-32.

     Tackles – Folken 6.5, Cooper 5, Stahlberg 5, Wallerich 5, Bowser 4.5, Brokaw 4.5, C. Luensman 4.5, Oswald 4, T. Luensman 3.5, Picray 3.5, Weber 2, Reuter 1.5, Barnhart 1, Cleeton 1, Eastburn 1.

     Sacks – Barnhart 1, Cooper 1, Picray 1.

     Tackles-for-loss – Barnhart 1, Cooper 1, Picray 1, Stahlberg 1, Wallerich 1.

     Interceptions – K. Luensman 2.

     Fumble recoveries – Folken 1, Oswald 1.



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