At 2-1, Panthers in a good spot, despite 30-0 loss at Peoria."
The JCHS football Panthers spent nearly 5 hours in total traveling to Peoria and back for their week 3 out of conference match up with the Knights, however it was not the only bus they would encounter.
The bus that made the the most lasting impression on the Panthers, was #22 for Peoria Richwoods or better known to the locals as 6'2" senior, Jake Moore. The big Knight fullback carried the ball 22 times for 135 yards and three touchdowns.
With the game scoreless late in the opening quarter, Jersey would give up the ball on downs after an unsuccesful fourth down play deep in Knight territory. This would set up the Knights first touchdown as QB Ryan Brown would score from 3 yards out just 24 seconds into the second quarter. Richwoods had a chance to increase their lead before the half thanks to a turnover, however a missed field goal kept the score at 6-0.
The second half, turned what was a close game into the Jake Moore show. His two quick scores in the third quarter seemed to break the game wide open and the Panthers were never any closer.
Moore's first score came on a 50 yard run with 8:55 remaining in the quarter followed by a 15 yard touchdown just 1:35 later. The Knights were aided in that quarter by some key Panther turnovers, one that resulted in Moore's final touchdown of the night, a one yard plunge with 3:51 remaining in that third quarter.
"Richwoods is a very well coached and disciplined team, we played well in the first half and made too many mistakes in the second half," Coach Chris Skinner said. "You can not make mistakes like that against a team like Richwoods and expect to beat them."
Despite the 30-0 final score, there were Panthers that turned in nice efforts that hopefully will carry into week #4 against Highland. On special teams, junior Andrew Wadlow had some key returns and on offense, junior Troy Hutchens carried the ball for 37 yards on 10 carries. On the defensive side, junior Will Clark (8 tackles & 4 assists), senior Adam Hayes (6 tackles & 6 assists) and senior Ryan Whited (5 tackles & 5 assists) led the way.
At 2-1, the Panthers seem to be in a good spot heading into conference play. Friday they return to some home cooking at Snyders Sports Complex in Jerseyville, when they take on the Highland Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are coming off a 21-7 win over the Centralia Orphans last week after dropping their first 2 games to DuQuoin and Marion.
"Highland has always played us physical, I look for more of the same." said Skinner. "We have to be better up front, and not turn the ball over to win this game. We must be more physical than they are."
With upcoming games against undefeated Waterloo and Mascoutah, this match-up against the Bulldogs may be the teams first "must win" of the season.