Quick start boosts MHS to win over Maquoketa Valley

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     It took just 1:25 of game time for Monticello to gain a lead it would never relinquish.

     That quick start expanded into a strong performance that led to a 43-7 victory for the Panthers over non-district opponent Maquoketa Valley Friday, Sept. 14 on a muggy, mosquito-infested night at Dean Nelson Field.

     The Panthers (2-2) took their first possession and drove 59 yards in five plays. Gavin Cooper started it with a 19-yard run, and moments later Lake Stahlberg had a 33-yard carry to the 10-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Jeff Carlson found Devin Kraus with a pass for a 10-yard touchdown, and kicked the extra point for a 7-0 Panther lead.

     “It was huge,” Monticello coach Wes Wilson said of the early advantage. “We took the ball (first) for the first time this year because we wanted to get on top. The guys play with so much more energy when we are in the lead, and it was definitely evident the way we played defense.”

     Later in the quarter, the Panthers scored on a 15-yard run by Lake Stahlberg, who had 152 yards rushing on 16 carries for the game. A bobbled snap on the extra point try turned into a two-point pass, Chase Luensman to Harrison Eastburn, giving Monticello a 15-0 lead.

     On their next possession, the Panthers drove to the Maquoketa Valley 25 before an interception by the Wildcats’ Matthew Hucker in the end zone ended that drive. Monticello got the ball right back, however, when Chase Luensman recovered an MV fumble on the next play, giving the Panthers the ball at the Wildcats’ 16. Four plays later, Carlson connected with Kraus again, this one a five-yard touchdown, for a 21-0 Monticello advantage. Carlson had 172 passing yards for the game.

     Maquoketa Valley then put together its best drive of the game, 88 yards in 12 plays, scoring on a nine-yard pass, Norm Wilson to Hucker, and Wilson’s point-after cut the Panther margin to 21-7. Wilson connected with Evan Hoefer on a 41-yard pass during that drive.

     Monticello answered quickly. After Cooper ran the ensuing kickoff to the MV 41, the Panthers scored in five plays, on a one-yard run by Stahlberg. A two-point run by Wade Picray gave Monticello a 29-7 lead with 2:06 left in the half, which also proved to be the halftime score.

     The Panthers scored on their first two possessions of the second half, on a two-yard run by Cooper and a seven-yard run by Brody Brokaw, to lead 43-7. The Wildcats drove into Panther territory once in the second half, a series that ended on downs at the Monticello 39.

     Flags filled the air, particularly in the second half, as Monticello was called for 115 yards in penalties during the game, including two touchdowns that were called back.

     “Our composure was the biggest thing,” Wilson said. “I think we handled things much better when they didn’t go our way, and we didn’t let it affect the next play.

     “Going back and looking at the penalties, most of them were our kids playing hard. You can handle those as a coach when your kids are trying to make plays. They weren’t mental mistakes or personal fouls.  We just need to make sure we continue to play hard, but within the rules.”

     Monticello outgained Maquoketa Valley 432 to 131 for the game.

Waukon next

     The Maquoketa Valley game was the last non-district game on the schedule; the last five regular season games will all be within Class 2A, District 4.

     The Panthers will open district play at defending state champion Waukon Friday.

     “Waukon is a very good football team. They do a lot of things on offense so we will have to be very disciplined on defense. We cannot give up big plays, which happened last year when we played them.

     “We will approach the game just like we do every week. We want to be a better team every day we step off the practice field.”


Sept. 14

Maq. V.   0     7     0  0   – 7

Monti    15  14  14  0 – 43



     Monti – Kraus 10 pass from Carlson (Carlson kick), 10:35 remaining.

     Monti – Stahlberg 15 run (Eastburn pass from C. Luensman), 5:23.


     Monti – Kraus 5 pass from Carlson (kick failed), 10:12.

     MV – Hucker 9 pass from Wilson (Wilson kick), 3:41.

     Monti – Stahlberg 1 run (Picray run), 2:06.


     Monti – Cooper 2 run (Carlson kick), 7:28.

     Monti – Brokaw 7 run (Carlson kick), 3:28.


     No scoring.


                               MV    Monti

First downs            8       15

Rushing yards      69    260

Passing yards      62      172

Comp.-att.-int. 5-15-1 12-17-1

Total yards         131       432

Penalties              0-0     15-115

Fumbles lost        1           1


     Rushing – Stahlberg 16-152, Cooper 3-38, Kramer 5-31, Brokaw 6-23, Bowser 2-12, C. Luensman 1-4.

     Passing – Carlson 12-17-172-2-1.

     Receiving – Kraus 4-51, T. Luensman 2-38, Wallerich 1-34, Recker 3-32, Cooper 2-17.

     Interception: Folken.

     Fumble recovery: C. Luensman.

     Tackles – Stahlberg 7, Cooper 5, C. Luensman 4.5, Bowser 3.5, Brokaw 3.5, Folken 3.5, Oswald 3.5, Picray 3, Barnhart 2.5, T. Luensman 2.5, Reuter 2.5, Wallerich 2.5, Weber 2, Eastburn 1.5, Mootz 1.5, L. Lambert 1, K. Luensman 1.

     Sacks: Brokaw 1, Eastburn 1, C. Luensman 1.

     Tackles-for-loss: Picray 1.5, Stahlberg 1.5, Brokaw 1, Eastburn 1, C. Luensman 1, Weber 1.



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