Panthers soar to 5-1; Carlson passes for 403 yards in victory at NFV

Monticello quarterback Jeff Carlson (12) fires a pass during the Panther win at North Fayette Valley Oct. 4 in West Union. At right is Panther lineman Brady Cleeton (63). (Photos courtesy of Jerry Wadian, Fayette County Union)

Caleb Sauser of Monticello (6) brings down North Fayette Valley quarterback Kole Johnson, with Spencer Avery (77) backing up the play.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     The first play of Monticello’s second possession Friday night against North Fayette Valley gave an indication of what kind of night it might be for the Panther football team, the passing game in general, and quarterback Jeff Carlson in particular.

     Carlson hit Tyler Luensman on a right-to-left slant route, and Luensman sprinted toward the sideline, cut back to break a tackle, and raced to the end zone to complete an 86-yard touchdown play.

     Carlson’s 403 yards passing, three players who had more than 100 receiving yards, and a defense that forced four turnovers, led Monticello to a 30-14 triumph Oct. 4 at North Fayette Valley in West Union.

     The win moved Monticello to 5-1 for the season, and evened its Class 2A, District 4 record to 1-1.

     Carlson threw five touchdown passes. The quarterback’s yardage total nearly eclipsed the Monticello single-game passing record. In 2004, Steve Kiburz passed for 404 yards in a win at MFL MarMac.

     Monticello coach Wes Wilson praised Carlson’s ability to bounce back after a tough night against top-ranked Waukon the previous week.

     “I don’t think I can say enough about how Jeff responded this week,” Monticello coach Wes Wilson said. “To turn around and play probably his most complete game was very important. He got into a rhythm early in the game and his pocket presence was great. He saw the field well and made great decisions all night.”

     Justin Recker (118 yards), Devin Kraus (104) and Tyler Luensman (101) each had a triple-digit receiving night.

     “Having the talent we have on the outside makes us a lot tougher to defend,” the coach said. “Jeff has spread the ball around very well this year.”

     Wilson said he also was proud of the defensive effort.

     “Coaches (Jon) Kyte, (Nathan) Freeze, (Daniel) Pike and (Dustin) Chapman put together a great game plan,” Wilson said. “Our guys did a nice job of adjusting to what (North Fayette Valley) was doing, and came up with some big turnovers. When you create turnovers and don’t turn the ball over yourself, it usually puts you in a great position to win the game.”

     Following the long touchdown play, the Panther defense forced a three-and-out, and then went 60 yards in just five plays to score again. A swing pass from Carlson to Colin Jordan went for a 25-yard touchdown, and the Panthers led 12-0.

     North Fayette Valley answered on a 40-yard run by Joel Grimes to make it 12-6 late in the first quarter.

     The teams traded scores in the second period. Following an interception by Tyler Luensman, Monticello drove 85 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 20-yard pass from Carlson to Devin Kraus, who made an athletic catch at the goal line, giving the Panthers an 18-6 lead.

     The TigerHawks responded again, on a 72-yard drive ending with a 13-yard scoring run by quarterback Kole Johnson. He also ran in the two-point conversion to make it 18-14, which was the halftime score.

     Monticello scored once in each of the final two quarters. Late in the third quarter, Carlson found Recker on a 25-yard scoring pass, and in the fourth, it was Carlson to Kraus again for an 11-yard score.

     Meanwhile, the Panther defense held the Tiger Hawks off the scoreboard in the second half, and stopped two drives with fumble recoveries; one by Cade Folken near midfield, and the other by Ethan Tallman in the Panther end zone.

     NFV’s final possession was stopped on downs at the Monticello 8-yard line, and the Panthers were able to run out the clock.

     Tyler Luensman finished with two interceptions, and Kain Luensman was the leading tackler with 6.5 for the game.

Cowbell game next

     The Panthers will play their annual Cowbell Trophy game against Anamosa (0-2, 0-6) Friday, Oct. 11 at Dean Nelson Field.


Oct. 4

Monti   12  6  6  6 – 30

NFV         6   8  0  0 – 14



     Monti – T. Luensman 86 pass from Carlson (kick failed).

     Monti – Jordan 24 pass from Carlson (pass failed).

     NFV – Grimes 40 run (kick blocked).


     Monti – Kraus 20 pass from Carlson (pass failed).

     NFV – K. Johnson 13 run (K. Johnson run).


     Monti – Recker 25 pass from Carlson (pass failed).

FOURTH QUARTER                                                      

     Monti – Kraus 11 pass from Carlson (kick failed).


                                 Monti           NFV

First downs             13                11

Rushing yards        97               348

Passing yards       403                47

Comp.-att. Int.  28-35-1        4-11-2

Total yards             500              395

Fumbles lost            0                   2


     Rushing – Jordan 22-81, Carlson 3-14, K. Luensman 1-1, Kramer 1-1.

     Passing – Carlson 28-35-403-5-1.

     Receiving – Recker 8-118, Kraus 9-104, T. Luensman 5-101, K. Luensman 4-55, Jordan 2-25.

     Interception – T. Luensman 2.

     Fumble recoveries – Folken, Tallman.

     Tackles – K. Luensman 6.5, Folken 5.5, Kramer 5.5, Tallman 5.5, T. Luensman 5, Manternach 4.5, L. Weber 4, C. Weber 3.5, Cleeton 2.5, Oswald 2.5, Sauser 2, Avery 1.5, Kraus 1.5, Recker 1.5, Perez 0.5.

     Sacks – Cleeton 0.5, L. Weber 0.5.

     Tackles-for-loss – Kramer 1.5, Manternach 1.5, L. Weber 1.5, Cleeton 0.5, Tallman 0.5, C. Weber 0.5.



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