courtesy photo/ Shawana Coxcourtesy photo/ Shawana Cox

Panthers overpower the Bears

The weather conditions were perfect for football on Friday night when the Bears hosted the Mountain Grove Panthers at Palenske Field. The Bears were looking for their first win of the season and both teams were trying to pick up their first conference win.  However, the game turned out to be anything but perfect for the Bears as they were dominated by the Panthers in a 71-0 loss. 
 Willow Springs kicked off to start the game and the Bears were able to recover the ball on the squib kick, but the tide quickly turned as the Bears lost possession on downs and the Panthers took over around the 45-yard line.  Mountain Grove wasted no time scampering their way down the field for the first touchdown.  The extra point attempt was no good and the Panthers went out in front 6-0.
The Bears were without their sophomore running back, Kayden Woolsey, for the second game in a row, due to an ankle injury, and they had trouble getting anywhere on the ground.  Freshman Hezekiah Galloway had some short yardage carries for the Bears but was unable to break free for any distance.  Meanwhile, the Panthers seemed like a carbon copy of Mountain Grove teams from the past – big, strong, and fast.  The Bears were unable to match the manpower, and touchdowns began to rack up, making the score 27-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Turnovers hampered any offensive success for the Bears, with fumbles and interceptions leaving the Panthers with red zone scoring opportunities and they did not hesitate to take advantage.  The Bears had a total of 5 turnovers in the game, and at halftime trailed the Panthers 0-55.
The second half gave both teams a chance to let some of their younger   players see action.  The last quarter was, in essence, a preview of the JV contest that will take place Monday night between these two teams.  The Bears fall to 0-4 while the Panthers evened up their record at 2-2. Next Friday’s varsity game will see the Bears traveling to Mtn. View to take on the 1-3 Liberty Eagles.
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