Panthers can stay alive with win over Ft. Madison

Union file photo

Mt. Pleasant’s Logan Bass (pictured) ran for 131 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers’ loss to Solon last Friday.
Union file photo Mt. Pleasant’s Logan Bass (pictured) ran for 131 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers’ loss to Solon last Friday.

MT. PLEASANT — The final regular season game between Washington and Mt. Pleasant could feel like a playoff play-in game if everything goes right this weekend. The Demons and Panthers, currently ranked No. 15 and No. 17 respectively in the Class 3A RPI poll, would sure benefit from an upset or two over teams around them in the RPI, but first they need to take care of business this Friday.

For Mt. Pleasant, that means stopping a Ft. Madison team that gave Washington a minor scare last week. The Bloodhounds were hanging around, down just 6-0 at halftime last week before the Demons turned on the gas.

Ft. Madison will enter Mt. Pleasant with a 4-3 overall record and a 1-2 district mark. The three Bloodhound losses have all come to teams who have appeared in the Class 3A top 10 poll this season; Clear Creek-Amana, Solon and Washington.

The Bloodhounds are led by shifty dual-threat quarterback Will Larson. He has thrown for 925 yards and seven touchdowns, while only throwing three interceptions. He’s also rushed for 225 yards and five scores.

Larson has a few big playmakers around him as well. Diego Lozano has run for 345 yards and four scores. Quentin Schneider has 299 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and Parker Denning has 219 yards receiving with five scores of his own.

Ft. Madison’s defense has been hot and cold this season. The Hounds have given up 16 points or less in their four wins, but 35 or more in their three losses.

After a dominant start to district play, Mt. Pleasant was tagged with their first loss since early September last week against now second-ranked Solon. Despite the loss, Mt. Pleasant had another good game out of Logan Bass, who went for 131 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The Panthers still hold one of the most balanced offensive attacks in Class 3A. Brody Bender has thrown for 1,212 yards, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions. Bass leads the team with 621 rushing yards and seven scores, and Jack Johnson has 585 yards and seven touchdowns of his own.

Leading receivers Rylan Seberg and Chase Williamson were held to quiet games last week against Solon, so they’ll be itching to get back in the end zone against Ft. Madison. Seberg has 647 yards receiving with eight touchdowns, and Williamson has 349 yards through the air with four scores.

The Panthers will be looking for their sixth win in a row against Ft. Madison. The last time the Hounds knocked off the Panthers was on Sept. 20, 2013. Ft. Madison’s defense dominated that game en route to a 16-0 victory.