MONROE CITY, Mo. — The Monroe City football team posted a monster night on offense in a 46-26 overwhelming victory over Clarence Cannon Conference foe Highland Friday night.
Unofficial statistics showed Monroe City had more than 500 yards in offense, with senior Keenan Batsell rushing for 134 yards rushing, while fellow senior Antwuan Battle ran for 110 yards. Junior Aaron Plumb had for 78 yards.
But it was an uncharacteristically sloppy game for Monroe City, featuring fumbles, inopportune penalties and missed block and tackles.
“There were some challenges, a lot of mistakes we need to clean up,” Coach David Kirby said. “That part is one me. I just have to coach them up better.”
Monroe City got off to a torrid start. Highland took the opening kickoff and stalled, forcing a punt.
The Panthers took over at their 36-yard line, taking three plays and less than a minute to score a touchdown when sophomore quarterback Kyle Hays connected on a 24-yard pass to a wide-open Dalton McAfee, who strode untouched into the end zone. The Panthers missed the conversion attempt to lead 6-0.
The rest of the first quarter, though, was long and sloppy.
After Monroe City held Highland to a three-and-out, a Monroe City player had the punt graze his arm at what appeared to be the 34-yard line. A Highland player picked the ball up and ran to the end zone. An official signaled touchdown, however, the play was reversed after a 10-minute referee conference.
However, the Highland offense too advantage of the fumble, taking four plays to score a touchdown. The extra point kick was wide and the game was tied at 6-6.
Both teams traded touchdowns, with Monroe City running the score to 14-6, while Highland took advantage on the next series of critical Monroe City penalties to score a touchdown.
On the ensuing kick, Plumb took a lateral and raced down the sidelines 82 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers took a 22-12 lead, and another touchdown made it 30-12.
Monroe City opened the third quarter with a nine-play, 81-yar drive, scoring on a fourth-and goal run of 7 yards by Plumb. The big play of the drive was a 44-yard pass from Hays to Logan Buhlig.