CEDAR RAPIDS — The district gauntlet awaits. But the Monticello football team goes into it with a lot of momentum.
The Panthers rallied from a halftime deficit, scored a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and brushed past Maquoketa Valley, 21-14, Friday night at Delhi.
Monticello takes a 4-0 record into Class 2A district play, which begins against top-ranked Waukon. Waterloo Columbus also is ranked, North Fayette Valley has tradition, Oelwein renewed hope with a new coach (former NFV boss Bob Lape) and Anamosa is a neighboring rival.
Yeah, that’s a gauntlet.
“We had a goal of being 4-0 going into it. That’s what we looked at, what we were able to achieve,” said Monticello Coach Wes Wilson. “We thought that if we could be 4-0 going into the Waukon game, we’ve put ourselves in a pretty good spot. They are a really good football team, they’ve got a good tradition going on up there, have some good athletes ... We’re just going to keep working hard this week. We’ve got to keep getting better. We’ve got to focus on us.”
Monticello has been able to figure out how to win tight games, as all four have been decided by one score. It has beaten Cascade (14-7), Dyersville Beckman (34-33), Bellevue (21-13) and Maquoketa Valley for what is believed to be the school’s first 4-0 start since 2002.
“Only being here four years, I don’t really know the whole history of the program,” Wilson said. “But this is an impressive feat for our kids. They have had some good teams here in the past, so to reach that 4-0 for the first time in a long time just shows what these kids have put into it. How hard they’ve worked. They’re doing it the right way.”
Monti runs a spread offense, with senior Jeff Carlson the quarterback. He threw for over 2,000 yards last season and has 1,108 already this season, completing 61 percent of his throws.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
He spreads the ball around, as four guys have receiving touchdowns, led by Devin Kraus’ four. He had nine catches for 161 yards and two scores against Maquoketa Valley.
“Jeff is a smart kid,” Wilson said. “He makes great reads, makes really good decisions with the ball ... He has done a good job this year. We’re pretty talented on the outside, have some nice receivers to go to. Have some good size, good athletes there.”
The 200-200 man
Class 3A eighth-ranked Washington (Iowa) moved to 4-0 with a 42-20 win at West Liberty. Let’s just say the victory was Luke Turner centric.
The senior quarterback threw for 203 yards and rushed for 204, accounting for all six of his team’s touchdowns. That would be two passing and four rushing.
Turner has 1,253 combined yards passing and rushing this season, with 16 total TDs.
These Cobras are savage
Sigourney-Keota blasted another opponent Friday night, this time Eddyville EBF, 53-14. The weird thing is the Cobras didn’t even match their season average for points.
That average is 54.5 in the first four games, which leads Class 1A.
The season began with a 34-14 win over Pekin, followed by a 56-14 victory over Lynnville-Sully. Week 3 saw Sigourney-Keota put up 75 points in a 75-27 destruction of Albia.
The Cobras lead the state, 8-Player included, in rushing with 1,943 yards. That’s an average of 486 a game.
Correction: An earlier version of this article state that Monticello started 4-0 for the first time since 1977. The Panthers were 5-0 in 2002 and 4-0 in 2001.
Comments: (319) 398-8259; email@example.com