PHOTO: Peyton Paddock boots one of his three field goals for the Panthers in the Sept. 6 home game against Maquoketa Valley. Cody Jamison is the holder. (Photo by Pete Temple)
By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
A see-saw game that came down to the final seconds gave fans of the Monticello Panthers and Maquoketa Valley Wildcats all they could have wished for Friday, Sept. 6 at Dean Nelson Field.
In the end, MV junior running back Ryan Parmely’s 225 rushing yards, a key fourth quarter drive and a key stop enabled the Wildcats to come away with a 20-16 football victory in non-district play.
“It was just a great battle,” Monticello coach Jon Kyte said. “It has built up to be a natural rivalry, and it was just a great football game for the fans. Unfortunately for us, we ended up on the losing end.
“It was a definitely learning experience for the players and the coaches. Our players played their hearts out the whole game against a team that was a state quarterfinal team last year.”
Maquoketa Valley coach Wes Wilson said: “These kids have been in some battles the last couple of years. This group never gets too high or too low. They always have the confidence that they will come back.”
Monticello had its share of highlights. Junior kicker Peyton Paddock, whose kickoffs have gone for touchbacks every time so far this season, booted field goals of 41, 37 and 35 yards.
“He is a definite weapon that a lot of people would love to have,” Kyte said. “Every kickoff he has had has been a touchback. That’s a huge thing for our defense. We worked every day last week on our field goal and PAT (point-after touchdown) protection.”
The Panthers’ most exciting moment came after the 35-yard field goal, which brought the Panthers to within four points with 2:36 to play.
Paddock then executed an onside kick, with the ball bouncing up and being caught on the run by junior Jarrett Easton. It gave Monticello one last chance to pull out a victory, taking the ball at the MV 46 with 2:34 left.
“He had a perfect kick. It rolled and rolled, and after 10 yards, got that perfect hop that you want,” Kyte said.
The Panthers advanced as far as the 14. Tanner Felton had a 14-yard run, and Easton juggled a pass from Cody Jamison while falling to his back, pulling the ball in for a 16-yard gain.
But the Wildcat defense prevailed, stopping the Panthers on a fourth down sack and fumble recovery by Tyler Yonkovic.
“Our defense has been key to our success the last few years,” Wilson said. “They always seem to come up big when we need a stop.”
This was a back-and-forth game from the beginning. Paddock opened the scoring with a 41-yard field goal on the game’s first possession. The Wildcats responded by giving the ball to Parmely six straight times. He had runs of 15 and 41 yards, and got the ball to the Panther 4-yard line before a fumble was recovered by Monticello’s Tyler Johnson.
The Panthers punted shortly thereafter, however, and the Wildcats scored on a 24-yard run by quarterback Ben Dzaboff. An extra point try failed, and the Wildcats led 6-3 with 2:22 left in the first quarter.
Monticello then mounted a 10-play, 83-yard drive that ended on a 12-yard touchdown pass, Jamison to Easton, in the right side of the end zone. Paddock’s extra point put the Panthers ahead 10-6.
Another MV fumble, recovered by Monticello senior Daniel Pike, set up a 37-yard field goal by Paddock, giving the Panthers a 13-6 lead with 6:57 left in the half.
The Wild-cats then had a 15-play, 80-yard drive for a touchdown. Parmely had runs of 11, 13 and 20 yards, and Ben Dzaboff ended it on fourth-and-goal with a six-yard scoring pass to his brother, Aaron Dzaboff, with 13.2 seconds left in the first half. A two-point run failed, and Monticello went into halftime leading 13-12.
MV had its most impressive drive, and the one that wound up winning the game, to end the third quarter and start the fourth. The Wildcats went 86 yards in 10 plays, with Parmely rumbling for a 25-yard touchdown. Parmely also ran in the two-point conversion, giving MV a 20-13 lead with 7:53 left.
That was when Monticello began its fourth quarter dramatics that came up just short. The Panthers faced a tough decision on fourth-and-14 from the MV 19, and opted for the field goal before successfully attempting the onside kick.
“I figured, we kick a field goal here, we try the onside (kick), and if we don’t get the onside we get a stop, get the ball back, we can go down and score again.
“I had confidence in our defense to get a three-and-out and get the ball back to our offense. I wanted to get the points at that point, and then make a stop. I thought that was the best thing for our guys.”
At Cascade Friday
The Panthers will open Class 2A, District 5 play at Cascade Friday, Sept. 13. Cascade is also 1-1, having lost to Maquoketa and beaten Bellevue in its non-district games.
“They’re going to be like Maquoketa Valley, an up-tempo, no huddle offense, probably passing the ball more than running it,” Kyte said.
“It’s another one of those natural rivalry games, so I know they’re going to be up for it.”
Maq. Valley 6 6 0 8 – 20
Monticello 3 10 0 3 – 16
Monti – Paddock 41 field goal, 8:48 remaining.
MV – B. Dzaboff 24 run (kick failed), 2:22.
Monti – Easton 32 pass from Jamison (Paddock kick), 9:17.
Monti – Paddock 37 field goal, 6:57.
MV – A. Dzaboff 6 pass from B. Dzaboff (run failed), 0:13.2.
MV – Parmely 17 run (Parmely run), 7:53.
Monti – Paddock 35 field goal, 2:36.
First downs 16 12
Rushing yards 332 154
Passing yards 83 85
Total yards 415 239
Comp.-att.-int 5-8-0 4-7-0
Fumbles-lost 3-2 3-0
Penalties-yds. 4-20 7-37
MAQUOKETA VALLEY STATISTICS
Rushing – Parmely 29-225, B. Dzaboff 18-97, Koopmann 2-10.
Passing – B. Dzaboff 5-8-83-1-0.
Receiving – Coyle 3-66, A. Dzaboff 2-17.
Tackle leaders – Parmely 13, Hargrafen 13, Huber 10, Yonkovic 5, Coyle 3, Nefzger 3, Orcutt 3, Koopmann 2, Vorwald 2, Wilson 2.
Tackles-for-loss – Parmely 3.5, Huber 1.5, Wilson 1.5, Hargrafen 1, Nefzger 1, Yonkovic 0.5.
Rushing – Felton 13-76, Jamison 15-49, Johnson 6-19, Aitchison 1-11, Kraus 1-5, Paddock 1-(-2), Craig 1-(-4).
Passing – Jamison 4-7-85-1-0.
Receiving – Easton 3-74, Craig 1-11.
Fumble recoveries – Johnson, Pike.
Tackle leaders – Felton 8.5, Aitchison 6, Pike 5, Holtz 3.5, Paddock 2.5, Fuhrmeister 2.5, Welter 2, Kraus 2.
Tackles-for-loss – Holtz 1.5, Pike 0.5.