PHOTO: Monticello receiver Jarrett Easton (12) tries to get away for additional yardage after a catch in the Sept. 13 game at Cascade. (Photo by Pete Temple)
By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Monticello’s first district football game of the season was a game of momentum shifts – dramatic ones – that made each team seem invincible at times.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, the last shift went Cascade’s way, as the Cougars’ Nate Bergfeld scored on a 34-yard run with 8:46 left to play, and Monticello was unable to respond. The result was a 21-14 win for the host Cougars Friday, Sept. 13.
“When they had the momentum, they took advantage of it,” Monticello coach Jon Kyte said.
The Cougar running game was effective, with Luke Recker rushing for 160 of the team’s 260 yards on the ground.
“I was more worried about their passing game than their running game,” Kyte said. “We were playing some defense to stop the pass, and it left us kind of weak in the box, and they were able to run the ball in the first half.”
Cascade (1-0 in the district, 2-1 overall) controlled a first half in which the Cougars gained 151 yards and scored two touchdowns, and the Panthers were held to 23 total yards and no points.
The first three possessions of the game resulted in punts, but Cascade, on its second possession, marched 57 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a four-yard run by quarterback Derek Lieurance. The Cougars led 7-0 with 1:13 left in the first quarter.
The Cougars missed a chance to take a 10-0 lead when a 40-yard field goal attempt went wide left. But a sack and a fumble, recovered by Cascade’s Jake Manternach, gave the Cougars the ball at the Monticello 18. Four plays later, Lieurance completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Recker, and the Cougars wound up taking a 14-0 lead into halftime.
Monticello stormed back into the game in the third quarter. After forcing a Cascade punt, the Panthers traveled 73 yards in just six plays to get on the scoreboard. Quarterback Cody Jamison broke free on a 31-yard run that brought the ball to the Cascade 36-yard line. Three plays later, Tanner Felton burst through the right side of the line and rambled 29 yards for a touchdown. Peyton Paddock hammered the extra point through, and midway through the third quarter, the Panthers were down by a touchdown.
Just 4:03 later, the score was tied. Cascade went three-and-out, and after Jamison’s 30-yard punt return, Monticello started on the Cougar 40-yard line. Jamison completed a 15-yard pass to Spencer Williams, Felton ran 14 yards to the Cascade 10, and Jamison ran it to the 7. Felton then scored on a three-yard run, and Paddock’s point-after tied the game 14-14 with 2:29 left in the third period.
“The pendulum is always swinging back and forth between two teams,” Kyte said. “That pendulum didn’t start swinging our way until the second half. When it did, we were looking good, and playing like the team we can be and will be.”
That momentum didn’t last. Cascade drove from its 20 (after Paddock’s 12th consecutive kickoff for a touchback) to the Monticello 42 before being stopped on downs.
The Panthers then went three-and-out, and a high snap and short punt gave Cascade the ball at its 46. Luke Recker had runs of 13 and 7 yards. Bergfeld then broke away on a 34-yard touchdown run down the left sideline, and the point-after put the Cougars ahead 21-14 with 8:46 left.
“That fourth quarter, that pendulum swung back in their favor,” Kyte said.
After a Monticello punt, Cascade was able to run the clock below three minutes before punting, pinning the Panthers back to their own 8 with 2:33 to play. On the first play, Mitch Recker picked off a Monticello pass at the Panther 33, and the Cougars ran out the clock from there.
Mount Vernon next
The Panthers (0-1, 1-2) will face a stiff test Friday, Sept. 20, when they play host to Mount Vernon (1-0, 2-1), a victor over Dyersville Beckman Friday.
“They’re probably going to be biggest offensive line and defensive line that we’ll face this year in the district,” Kyte said. “They’re comparable to the size we have up front. It’s going to be a great battle for our offensive and defensive line guys.”
Monticello 0 0 14 0 - 14
Cascade 7 7 0 7 – 21
Cas – Lieurance 4 run (Gonzalez kick), 1:13 remaining.
Cas - M. Recker 7 pass from Lieurance (Gonzalez kick), 2:04.
Mon – Felton 29 run (Paddock kick), 6:32.
Mon - Felton 3 run (Paddock kick), 2:29.
Cas – Bergfeld 34 run (Gonzalez kick), 8:46.
First downs 7 22
Rushing yards 64 260
Passing yards 75 91
Total yards 139 351
Comp.-att.-int. 8-14-1 12-21-0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-0
Penalties-yards 4-30 5-43
Rushing – Felton 10-15, Jaison 9-16, Aitchison 2-5, Kraus 1-2, Paddock 2-2, Johnson 3-(-11).
Passing – Jamison 8-13-75-0-0, Johnson 0-1-0-0-1.
Receiving - Williams 4-44, Easton 3-25, Felton 1-6.
Tackle leaders - Felton 15, Aitchison 8, Paddock 7.5, Craig 6, Rieniets 5.5, Easton 3, Pike 2.5, Johnson 2, Williams 2.
Sacks - Craig 1, Pike 1.
Tackles-for-loss - Felton 2, Craig 1, Pike 1, Fuhrmeister 1.