When you face a team steeped in football tradition on the road, you need to bring your “A Game”. The Pleasantville Trojans found themselves facing a strong, tradition laced Pekin team at Pekin Friday night and that “A Game” was not there.
Six turnovers and a struggling offense proved to be too much for the Trojans to overcome in a 49-23 loss.
The Trojans struggled on both sides of the ball in the first quarter as they had only six offensive touches for eight yards in the first 12 minutes. Meanwhile the fast moving Panthers put together a pair of scoring drives of 64 and 66 yards to eat up most of the time in the period. Petie Clubb and Chase Copeland finished those drives with touchdown runs.
The second period didn’t start any better as the Trojans found themselves pinned deep in their own territory. Two plays lost five yards and with the ball on their own four yard line, the handoff got away. The scramble was on and big Jaydan Nicholson fell on the ball for a Pekin touchdown. Bryan Brain kicked his third consecutive PAT and the Panthers were in cruise control with a 21-0 lead.
The Trojans desperately needed a spark and they found that spark with a little cow pasture football. Quarterback, Hagen Fouch, tossed the ball to Dylan Lauer, who was behind the line of scrimmage on the left side. Lauer fired the ball downfield as far as he could throw it and Patrick Sheehey ran under the ball, took it in stride and sprinted to the end zone for a 65 yard scoring play. Tyler Wadle drilled the PAT kick and the deficit was cut to 21-7 with 10:16 left in the first half.
There was more good news for Pleasantville. On the next series, Kasey Clary dug out a Panther fumble to give the ball back to the offense. Three plays gained only two yards and Wadle was called on for a 43 yard field goal attempt. Wadle hit a solid line drive and it slipped through the uprights for three points. With the lead cut to 21-10, there was a glimmer of hope in the camp.
The glimmer soon faded as the offense could not move and they coughed up two fumbles. The second fumble gave the Panthers the ball on the Trojan seven. Two carries by Clubb resulted in a TD and Brain’s kick made it 28-10 with 43 seconds left in the half.
It was time for another spark and this spark came like a ball of fire. Sophomore quarterback, Zeb Adreon, came in and engineered a 75 yard scoring drive.
Adreon connected with Sheehey for a pair of first downs to mid-field and then a roughing the passer penalty put the ball on the Panther 35. With four seconds left, Adreon found the streaking Sheehey down the left side for a 35 yard completion and his first varsity touchdown pass. The PAT pass failed and the Trojans went into halftime with renewed hope.
“The turnovers in the first half just killed us,” Trojan coach Gabe Bakkar said. “We gave them three short field scores and a fumble in the end zone. You can’t do that against a good football team. I was pleased with the spark that the double pass gave us and Zeb came in and did a fine job with a scoring drive”.
The two teams battled on even terms for most of the third period and then a late interception put the Panthers in business once again. Kolby Allsup kept the ball on a fake off tackle and swept the left side for a 39 yard Pekin TD with 43 seconds left.
That score opened the floodgates for two more Panther scores.
A fumble on the kickoff followed by a pair of major penalties put the ball on the Trojan 14. Two plays later Allsup scored from three yards out. Another kick by Brain set the score at 42-16 with six seconds remaining in the third stanza.
The final Panther score came when the Trojans tried some misdirection and tried to pass back across the field. Pekin linebacker, Cole Reighard stayed home and took a 70 yard pick-six to the end zone. Brain’s kick put the 49th point on the board.
The Trojans were still battling and Mac Moore fueled a 67 yard drive to score in the final minute. Moore carried the ball for 54 yards in the drive and scored on an 11 yard jaunt. Wadle was good on the PAT to set the final score at 49-23.
“We are getting better,” Bakker said. “We took a couple of shots in the fourth quarter but couldn’t finish. We played well in the third quarter, but couldn’t get any drives going. We are looking for continued improvement and we are seeing that in some of our kids. I felt Kasey Clary had a pretty good game overall and he had a fumble recovery. Mac Moore had a great game both on defense and offense.”
Moore led the Trojan running game with 90 yards in 10 second half carries. Adreon connected on 8-of-15 passes for 93 yards and a TD and Sheehey snared seven passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively the Trojans were led by Moore with 11 tackles while Riley Krichau Clary and Lauer each had eight stops.
The Trojans will take a 1-3 record into Friday night’s homecoming battle with top ranked BGM.
PK - 7:54 1st Q: Petie Clubb 7 run, PAT kick Bryan Brain
PK - 2:15 1st Q: Chase Copleland 21 run, kick Brain
PK – 10:28 2nd Q: Jaydan Nicholson recovered fumble in end zone, kick Brain
PV – 10:16 2nd Q: Patrick Sheehey 65 yard pass from Dylan Lauer and Hagen Fouch, kick Tyler Wadle
PV – 8:39 2nd Q: Wadle 43 yard field goal
PK - :43 2nd Q: Clubb 3 run, kick Brain
PV - :04 2nd Q: Sheehey 35 yard pass from Zeb Adreon
PK - :42 3rd Q: Kolby Allsup 39 run, kick Brain
PK - :06 3rd Q: Allsup 3 run, kick Brain
PK – 9:40 4th Q: Cole Reighard 70 interception return, kick Brain
PV – 1:00 4th Q: Mac Moore 11 run, kick Wadle
PV Rushing (carries/yards): Mac Moore 10/90, Brock Busick 14/26, Zeb Adreon 4/10, Hagen Fouch 2/4
PV Passing (comp/att/int/yards: Fouch 6/16/0/43, Adreon 8/15/2/93, Dylan Lauer 1/1/0/65.
PV Receiving (catches/yards): Patrick Sheehey 7/142, Lauer 2/14, Riley Krichau 2/11, Busick 2/7, Moore 1/8, Scout Van Halen 1/10.
PV tackle leaders: Moore 11, Krichau 8, Kasey Clary 8, Lauer 8, Sheehey 7
PV Fumble recovery: Clary.