Panthers fall in closely contested match-up against Tigers

Coach Lewis talks with some members of the offensive line at a recent Panthers game. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Jeff Egbert)

Coach Lewis talks with some members of the offensive line at a recent Panthers game. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Jeff Egbert)

EDWARDSVILLE – On a cold, rainy night in Edwardsville, the Panthers dropped their second conference game of the year.

In a game where both offenses struggled, it was the Tigers that outlasted the Panthers until the final whistle. The game was played in a downpour, but luckily there was no lightning near the area to cause any conflict during the game.

O’Fallon was unable to produce while in the redzone against the Tigers’ defense. Late in the first half the Panthers were marching with help from Senior Mason Hewitt and his rushing attack. The Panthers drove the ball all the way down within the five yard line of the Tigers, but it was the Edwardsville defense that showed up big holding the Panthers to no points. A quick three and out by O’Fallon had them in field goal range to hopefully get on the scoreboard before half, but the 27 yard attempt was blocked. The Tigers would then take a 7-0 lead going into halftime.

Going into the half, both defenses had played very well. Coach Brandon Joggerst complimented his defense Friday night saying, “I thought defensively we really took a step forward. We tackled very well and were pretty alignment sound for the game.”

After intermission, both teams came out and stalled offensively, but it was Edwardsville who struck at the scoreboard first after a touchdown pass made it 13-0 because the extra point was missed.

Heading into the fourth quarter this was still a very closely contested matchup as the Panthers were down 13 points. It was the Tigers that struck again, and scored on a rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter with under five minutes left in the game, to win the game 19-0.

For O’Fallon, it was an offensive battle for themselves as they were in the redzone three times and didn’t have any points to show for it.

Quarterback, Christian Perez said, “We could have played much better on the offensive side of the ball, but we will get in the film room and work on things this week in practice.” Perez was held to just 63 yards through the air, and senior running back Mason Hewitt, ran for 99 yards on 29 carries.

Although the Panthers couldn’t pull out a victory, Coach Joggerst had some good things to say, “We did a lot of positive things on Friday on offense, defense, and special teams. The conditions were rough and I thought our players battled for four quarters.”

The Panthers plan to come back home this Friday and get a win for their hometown and start off Homecoming weekend the right way.

Coach Joggerst said, “ We feel the team is very resilient and we definitely will be looking forward to the homecoming game this Friday versus Alton.”

“I think our football team will have a great game this Friday. We are hungry, and not satisfied with the way we played last week. Alton will see our best,” said Perez.

The Panthers will take on conference opponent, Alton Redbirds (0-4), this Friday night at home for their homecoming game.