PHOTO: Colton Craig of Monticello (white jersey) blocks a punt by Center Point-Urbana’s Brandon Kinsey Oct. 4 in Center Point. The play led to a Panther field goal. (Photo by Pete Temple)
By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Through all the big plays and dramatic twists of Monticello’s Oct. 4 football game at Center Point-Urbana, there was one constant: CP-U never trailed.
Until Panther quarterback Cody Jamison, chased to the right sideline, fired across his body and across the field to a wide-open Spencer Williams in the left half of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:42 left.
It capped a rally from a 27-17, fourth quarter deficit, and gave the never-quit Panthers a big 31-27 win over the Stormin’ Pointers. It also put Monticello not only in great shape for a potential playoff spot, but in the hunt for the Class 2A, District 4 title. The Panthers (3-1, 4-2) trail district leader Cascade by half a game.
“The guys were just resilient,” Monticello coach Jon Kyte said. “They kept on fighting and kept on clawing back. They fought for every inch, every minute of the game.”
Monticello had plenty of opportunities to fight back. CP-U held two-score leads on three separate occasions.
The Pointers scored on their first two drives of the game, with Trevor Franzenburg scoring on an eight-yard run midway through the first quarter, and Brandon Kinsey capping a nine-play, 94-yard drive with a one-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
Kinsey, who rushed 21 times for 219 yards for CP-U, had a 60-yard run during the drive. The Pointers led 13-0.
On CP-U’s next possession, Monticello’s Colton Craig broke through the line to block a punt, and Garrett Rieniets recovered at the CP-U 22-yard line. That set up a 21-yard field goal by Peyton Paddock, cutting the margin to 13-3.
Then, after a Pointer fake punt attempt failed, the Panthers started at the CP-U 20 and scored on a two-yard run by Tanner Felton with 1:18 left in the half. CP-U led 13-10 at the break.
The wind picked up in the second half, and there was lightning in the distance, but CP-U created some lightning of its own to start the third quarter. Kinsey took the first play from scrimmage and ran 83 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown, opening the lead to 20-10.
Monticello answered on defense, as Felton picked off a CP-U pass and ran 11 yards for a score. Paddock’s point-after cut the margin to three again, 20-17.
Again, the Pointers opened a two-score lead. They marched 62 yards in 10 play, scoring on a four-yard run by Franzenburg, to lead 27-17 with 4:19 left in the third quarter. That score held up into the early part of the fourth period.
The Panthers saved their best two drives for the final quarter. They took the ball with 10:02 to play and traveled 82 yards in seven plays, scoring on a 12-yard run by Felton in which he powered through a couple of tackles near the goal line.
Two pass plays were keys to that drive. Williams caught a deflected pass for a 16-yard gain to the CP-U 34, and Jamison hit Greg Kraus on a swing pass that went for 22 yards to the 12.
After the Panther defense forced a three-and-out, Monticello took the ball on its 34 with 5:08 to play. Jarrett Easton made an impressive leaping catch on a pass from Jamison near the Panther sideline for a 29-yard gain. Felton had a pair of nine-yard runs to bring the ball to the CP-U 29, and Jamison connected with Tyler Johnson on an 11-yard pass to the 18.
Two plays later, Jamison faded back, then rolled right, buying time for a receiver to get open. Williams sneaked away to the left side, and Jamison launched the ball across the field to Williams for the go-ahead score.
“It just shows the growth, and how our guys have learned and developed with our two-minute offense,” Kyte said. “You go from week two (against Maquoketa Valley), when we didn’t have a successful two-minute offense, to being able to run that two-minute offense against CP-U.”
CP-U threatened one last time, crossing midfield in the final minute, but a sack by Daniel Pike, a pass breakup by Johnson and a failed running play on fourth down ended it.
The Pointers outgained Monticello 466 to 249, including 340 rushing yards.
The Panthers will play their next two games at home, starting with Dyersville Beckman Oct. 11. Beckman carries a 2-1 district record.
“They’re the fastest team in the district that we’ll face,” Kyte said. “It’s a great challenge for our kids.”
Monticello 0 10 7 14 - 31
Ctr. Pt.-Urb. 6 7 14 0 – 27
CPU - Franzenburg 8 run (pass failed), 6:04 remaining.
CPU – Kinsey 1 run (Brandt kick), 11:55.
Monti - Paddock 21 field goal, 5:27.
Monti - Felton 2 run (Paddock kick), 1:18.
CPU – Kinsey 83 run (Brandt kick), 11:43.
Monti – Felton 11 interception return (Paddock kick), 8:57.
CPU - Franzenburg 4 run (Brandt kick), 4:19.
Monti - Felton 12 run (Paddock kick), 7:18.
Monti – Williams 15 pass from Jamison (Paddock kick), 1:42.
First downs 15 20
Rushing yards 114 340
Passing yards 135 126
Total yards 249 466
Comp.-att.-int. 9-17-1 8-18-1
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 2-15 13-25
Rushing – Felton 22-92, Kraus 4-13, Jamison 5-9.
Passing – Jamison 9-17-135-1-1.
Receiving – Easton 3-50, Williams 2-31, Johnson 2-19, Kraus 1-23, Felton 1-12.
Interceptions – Felton.
Tackle leaders – Paddock 7.5, Jamison 6, Pike 6, Johnson 6, Rieniets 5.5, Decker 5, Aitchison 5, Easton 3.5, Holtz 3, Felton 2.
Sacks – Pike 1.
Tackles-for-loss - Pike 2, Decker 2, Jamison 1, Felton 1, Holtz 0.5, Fuhrmeister 0.5.