Despite Monroe City’s 0-3 start this season, the Panthers are not wallowing in self-pity. According to Coach Tony DeGrave, his Panthers’ outlook remains positive.
“We’re doing good, doing good. It’s getting a little better,” said DeGrave. “We’ve a bunch of young kids. We keep preaching to them that they’ve got to keep working.”
One reason for the team’s upbeat outlook is that it continues to make improvement.
“We played a little better. We were winning right up to halftime when they hit a big play on us. The third quarter was a little rough on us,” said DeGrave, whose team was outscored 14-0 by Macon in the third stanza of last week’s road game. “We made some mistakes, fumbles and key turnovers on third down, but if we eliminate those mistakes we can be more successful.”
Senior Tyler Hetheriton led Monroe City’s ground attack against Macon with 70 yards. While DeGrave had hoped his backs would be able to find the corner against the Tigers, that’s not where the 5-foot-6, 195-pounder gained his yardage.
“It was in between the tackles for Tyler. He’s a tough runner and he picked up a lot of tough yards. It was good to see him cross the line of scrimmage,” said the Panther coach.
Monroe City’s defense featured three players - Blake Grice, Tariq Garner and Hetheriton - with 10 or more total tackles.
“We’ve got some older guys that are really stepping up for us on defense,” said DeGrave.
Monroe City’s job doesn’t get any easier this week when it travels to Brookfield for a game with the unbeaten Bulldogs.
“They’re just talented. They have a great quarterback and a big offensive line,” said DeGrave. “It’s the same old stuff every week in the Clarence Cannon. We’ve just got to cut down on our mistakes and allow ourselves to be successful.”
Thus far Brookfield’s defense has yielded an average of five points a game.
“Obviously it’s a focus that they’ve only given up 15 points, but every team we have to respect on that level that they’re going to put a formidable defense out there against us week in and week out,” said DeGrave.