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.