The Monroe City football team romped over Clark County 44-20 on Friday night in a matchup of Clarence Cannon Conference powers.
For the second week in a row, a radio pundit was overheard predicting the Monroe City football team was overmatched. This time the opponent was Clark County.
And just like last Friday, someone forgot to tell the Panthers they were not supposed to win.
Monroe City romped over Clark County 44-20 on Friday night in a Clarence Cannon Conference battle.
Keenan Batsell again set the tone for the Panthers.
The junior took a handoff straight up the middle on the second play of the game. Monroe City blockers fired off the line low at the snap, opening a huge lane for the fleet-footed Batsell, who saw nothing but green as he ran untouched 51 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers were up 6-0 less than 45 seconds into the game.
Batsell finished the night with 314 yards rushing, scoring four touchdowns. Over the past three games, Batsell has gained more than 700 yards – season numbers for many high school running backs.
“I looked and my line did a great job of blocking on that play,” said a low-key Batsell of his long run to start the game. “My line did a great job all night long. They blocked so well. I owe everything to them.”
Clark County tried to fight back after the long Batsell run, moving down to the Monroe City 10. However, Kaelin Kendrick-O’Bryan intercepted the ball at the 8-yard line for the Panthers.
Panthers quarterback Blake Hays then handed off to senior running back Zach Osborn, who took a step off tackle through a lane created by his line and raced 92 yards for a touchdown. With a Gage Bottoms run for the 2-point conversion, Monroe City led 14-0 on three offensive plays with 7:31 left in the first quarter.
“It was a good game,” said Monroe City head coach David Kirby. “We were a little bit surprised with all the big plays, but we know with our running backs that if we are working well and our offensive line is creating holes, then they are fast enough that maybe they can rip off a big play. We did that tonight.”
Monroe City’s rushing game was virtually unstoppable. Osborn posted 184 yards as the Panthers rolled up 550 yards on the ground.
Clark County head coach Ethan Allen said his team had trouble with Monroe City's blocking scheme most of the night.
“They come off the ball so low, and our guys were out of position to make the plays,” he said. “I blame me for not having them prepared.”
Kirby said that firing low off the line is practiced daily by his offense.
“That is one of our major focuses…keeping low on the blocks,” he said.
Monroe City took a 30-14 lead into halftime, with Clark County scoring 14 unanswered points entering the intermission.
Batsell effectively ran the game out of reach with a 55-yard touchdown in the third.
Clark County falls to 6-2 on the season.
Monroe City (7-1) is scheduled to play at Palmyra next Friday night.