Jerseyville - What
a difference a week makes as the Jerseyville Panthers started their quest
for another Mississippi Valley Conference title.
The Panthers faced rival Civic Memorial earlier
then normal this year after a rotation of conference games for all teams.
After last weeks near five minute mental collapse resulting in a 37-13
loss to Peoria Richwoods, Jerseyville was eager to put that game behind
them after winning their first two games against Springfield H.S and Granite
Panther QB Mitch Watkins set a new Jerseyville record for most yards passing
in a single game. The junior QB passed for 406 yards completing 27 of
38 attempts and five touchdowns.
Jerseyville took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Watkins found Jason
Steckel (7-116) all alone down the right sideline for a 61 yard touchdown.
Watkins then exploded in the second quarter when he connected with Brian
Madsen for a 20 yard touchdown strike, and then again to Madsen from 39
yards out, just 3:09 later. Then with just over a minute to go in the
first half Watkins found the area's leading receiver Justin Wittman (8-150)
on a 59 yard touchdown strike to put the Panthers up 26-0 at the half.
Civic Memorial QB Steven Jones suffered the games hardest hit when senior
linebacker Jake Norman found an opening in the Eagle line and sacked Jones.
The sack was Norman's fifth of the season. Jones however suffered a concussion
as his head slammed against the ground. After being helped off the field,
he was replaced by Brett Wassink in the second half. Jones who finished
the game 6 of 15 for 41 yards and two interceptions, could be lost for
The Panthers made it 32-0 with 4:49 left in the third quarter when Watkins
tossed his fifth touchdown of the night, this one to Steven Goetten from
11 yards out. Watkins who passed for 284 yards in the first half alone
was taken out at the end of the third quarter with the record all his.
The win puts Jerseyville at 1-0 in conference play and 3-1 overall. Next
week the Panthers travel to Troy to take on the Triad Knights.
Tonights Jerseyville star of the game without a doubt goes to QB Mitch
Watkins breaking the 16 year old record previously held by Tyler Gross
who passed for 368 yards in a single game in 1987. However equally deserving
was the Jerseyville front line consisting of center Ryan Gresham, tackles
Ryan Bell and Dallas Hill and guards Bob Mueller and Joey Bradfish.