Panther rally falls short

TMB loses finalé, will open 3AA playoffs against St. James


Murray County Central prevailed in an offensive shootout with the Panthers, 41-38, Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Eleven touchdowns and 705 yards of total offense were put up by the teams in their regular season finales. As the result of the game, the Panthers and Rebels both enter the Section 3 playoffs Tuesday with 4-4 records.

MCC was in command with a 41-22 lead after three quarters, only to have Tracy-Milroy-Balaton storm back with two fourth-quarter TDs. An unsuccessful Panther on-side kick with just over two minutes to play allowed the Rebels to run out the clock.

The contest pitted the Panther passing attack against the MCC ground game.

TMB tallied 240 yards through the air, as sophomore quarterback Sawyer Otto completed 23-31 passes. Senior Moses Dolan caught 10 passes for 146 yards.

The Rebels gained 320 yards on 56 rushes, an average of 5.7 yards a play. Zach Aanenson gained 178 yards on 32 carries, with Ethan Swanson adding 141 yards on 18 attempts.

The Panther offense gained 335 yards on 59 plays, for an average of 5.7 yards. MCC combined 320 yards rushing and 50 passing for 370 yards, an average of 5.4 yards a play.

MCC posted 25 first downs, to 21 for the Panthers. Each squad committed three turnovers, with TMB losing two fumbles and an interception, and the Rebels throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble.

Dolan was TMB’s leading tackler with nine solo stops in the secondary followed by Trevor Eisfeld, 6.5; Matt Timmerman, 6; Jett Davis, 5; Sam Bauer, 5; Tyler Vandendriessche, 4.5; Austin Buchholtz, 4.5; Tyler Timm, 4; and Jake Bynre, 4. Byrne had both TMB interceptions.

Otto was TMB’s leading rusher with 65 yards on 23 carries.


First quarter

A fumble on TMB’s first play from scrimmage set up the first MCC score. After getting the ball on the Panther 29, the Rebels needed six plays to score on a four-yard run by Aanenson. The kick gave MCC a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

The Panthers and Rebels exchanged punts on three-consecutive series, in which the offenses didn’t get a first down, before MCC put together a 10-play, 78-yard scoring drive, capped by a 21-yard Aanenson run. A Mason Wold kick put MCC up 14-0 with 2:54 left in the first quarter.

The Panthers responded with a seven-play, 64-yard scoring drive, set up by a 49-yard Otto to Dolan pass play. Griffin Radke ran the ball in from the two for the score. The conversion run failed, leaving the score 14-6 MCC with 1:19 left in the first quarter.


Second quarter

Byrne’s first interception gave TMB a first down on the Rebel 44 to key the Panthers’ second TD. A 31-yard scamper by Otto gave TMB a first and goal from the three. Two Radke runs put the ball in the end zone. A two-point pass from Otto to Gervais tied the game 14-14 with 8:26 left in the half.

Starting from their own 35, MCC drove down the field in 10 plays. Aanenson carried in from the one and the kick was good. With 4:35 left, MCC lead 21-14.

A TMB fumble on the ensuing kickoff gave the ball back to MCC on the Panther 36. A 15-yard Aanenson run, and a 21-yard gain from Swanson produced paydirt for the Rebels. Another successful kick from Wold put the Rebels up 28-14 at the 4:04 mark.

The teams traded interceptions late in the half.

MCC had the ball on the Panther 31, with 35 seconds left, when Byrne came up with his second interception.

MCC’s Dylan Johnson picked off an Otto pass on the second-to-last play of the half.


Third quarter

Cobey Anderson recovered a Rebel fumble on TMB’s second-half kickoff to set up the Panthers’ third TD. Starting from the Rebel 37, Otto got one first down on a 12-yard run, and another on a 17-yard pass play from Otto to Timmerman. Otto connected with Timmerman for the TD. A conversion pass from Otto to Timmerman narrowed TMB’s deficit to 28-22 at the 8:35 mark.

MCC responded with an eight-play, 56-yard scoring drive, with 16, 17, and 17-yard runs from Swanson and Aanenson providing the punch. A two-yard scoring run by Aenenson and the kick by Wold put MCC in command, 35-22, with 4:39 left in the third quarter.

A lost TMB fumble on the ensuing kickoff spoiled a 21-yard return by Radke, and gave MCC a first down on the Panther 39. The Rebels scored nine plays later by being able to convert a fourth and one at the Panther eight. MCC led 41-22 with 8 seconds left in the third quarter, after Wold’s PAT kick failed.


Fourth quarter

TMB didn’t give up, driving 65 yards in eight plays for a TD. Radke scored from four yards out, and a conversion pass to Radke was good, bringing TMB within 41-30 with 9:22 to play. A 28-yard pass completion to Dolan keyed the drive.

An inspired Panther defense held the Rebels to seven yards on their next series. An MCC punt pinned the Panthers back at their six-yard line, but TMB was able to put together their best drive of the night.

Otto pass completions of 11 and eight yards got TMB to the 26, before a pass interference call gave the Panthers a first down at the Panther 41. TMB converted a fourth and three at the Panther 48, with a four-yard pass reception by Lucas Gervais. On second and 15 at the MCC 41, Otto and Dolan combined for a 20-yard pass play. An eight –yard pass reception by Byrne, and an 11-yarder to Dolan gave TMB a first and goal on the Rebel four. Radke gained three, before Otto punched the ball in from the one. The two-point conversion was good on a pass from Otto to Dolan, and MCC’s lead had dwindled to 41-38 with 2:07 to play.

The Panthers’ on-side kick was recovered by MCC’s Koyer Wendorff, to give the Rebels a first down at mid-field. On third and one at the Panther 41, Swanson gained 13 yards to give MCC a first down on the Panther 28 with 1:39 left to play. The Panthers took their final timeout, and MCC ran out the clock.


TMB will play host to St. James Area at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the first round of the 3AA playoffs.

The Saints are 0-8 on the season