FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PREVIEW
By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Monticello’ first football playoff season in 22 years had its share of ups and downs, a three-game winning streak that put the Panthers squarely in the playoff hunt, and a huge win at Center Point-Urbana that essentially sealed the post-season deal.
Here is a game-by-game look at the Panthers’ 6-3 regular season.
The Jon Kyte era began in a positive way for the Panthers, who captured the Cowbell Trophy for the eighth time in the last nine years. Monticello broke a 0-0 halftime tie with three touchdowns in the third quarter, and finished with 277 rushing yards.
Maquoketa Valley 20,
A successful onside kick gave Monticello one last chance to pull out a victory in this non-district game, but the Panthers were stopped at the Maquoketa Valley 19 on a fourth-down sack. There was no shame in losing this one; Maquoketa Valley went on to win its second straight district championship and had an undefeated regular season.
Monticello rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit to tie the game late in the third quarter, but Cascade scored again in the fourth period and held on for the win in the district opener for both teams.
Mount Vernon 18
The Panthers posted their first district win of the season in dramatic fashion. Peyton Paddock’s 55-yard interception return for a touchdown with 6:43 to play proved to be the game-winner. Monticello forced six Mount Vernon turnovers, including five in the second half.
It was a happy Homecoming for the Panthers, who led 28-0 at halftime and scored two touchdowns in each of the four quarters. Tanner Felton rushed for 176 yards and four touchdowns.
(at Center Point)
Center Point-Urbana 27
The Panthers rallied from a 27-17 fourth quarter deficit to post perhaps their biggest win of the regular season. Cody Jamison’s cross-field pass to a wide-open Spencer Williams in the end zone with 1:42 left proved to be the winning touchdown.
Dy. Beckman 42,
The game was tied 7-7 early in the second quarter, but Beckman, behind 470 total yards, pulled away to win. The loss snapped Monticello’s three-game winning streak.
West Liberty 17
This was a non-district game, and thus had no bearing on the standings, but the Panthers learned they had clinched a playoff spot when Cascade defeated Center Point-Urbana the same evening. Monticello won anyway, surging to a 27-3 lead and fighting off a late rally. A 69-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, Jamison to Jarrett Easton, was one of the game’s biggest plays.
(at Goose Lake)
This win sealed the third place spot in the district standings, matching the Panthers with the second place team in District 3, Waukon, to start the post-season.
Monticello was outgained in the first half, but forced six turnovers, including long interceptions returned for touchdowns by Cody Jamison and Tanner Felton, to take a 23-7 halftime lead. Jamison finished with 163 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
- compiled by Pete Temple