|9/28/2021 1:20:00 PM|
Panther football struggles in annual Milk Can game
By Levi Zimmerman
The Iowa-Grant Panthers football team struggled to gain momentum in a 47-0 loss to the Fennimore Golden Eagles in the 51st edition of the milk can game Friday night.
Although the final score was lopsided, it was a competitive first half in week one of the WIAA high school football season.
The Panther defense forced a fumble on Fennimore's opening drive to give the Iowa-Grant offense good field position, however they weren't able to get much going early on.
The Golden Eagles would get the ball back and march down the field for a one-yard touchdown run by Kaden Hahn. The extra-point attempt was no good to show a 6-0 Fennimore lead with three minutes left in the first quarter.
After forcing another three and out, the Golden Eagles went up by two scores when quarterback Max Kenney connected with receiver Austin Horn for a 33-yard TD later in the first quarter.
Iowa-Grant found a spark when Skyler Achenbach intercepted a Kenney pass that was tipped off the hands of a Fennimore receiver, hoever the Panthers turned the ball over on downs.
After Fennimore's Cameron Winkers broke up a Reid Lundell pass on fourth down to give the ball back to the offense, the Golden Eagles drove down the field for another TD when running back Brett Birchman punched the ball in from five yards out.
With two minutes left in the first half of play, the Panther defense forced another fumble which gave the offense a chance to score before halftime.
But Iowa-Grant wasn't able to capitalize off of the Fennimore turnover, and the score at the break was 19-0 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
After yet another three and out possession by the Panthers to start the second half, Fennimore tacked on another score when Hahn ran the ball in from 16-yards out near the nine minute mark for his second rushing TD.
Fennimore running back Maximos Miles got in on the scoring action with a five-yard TD carry in the third quarter.
The Panthers showed signs of life with under two minutes left in the third quarter when Treyton Starkey broke away for a 30-yard run into Fennimore territory.
Iowa-Grant nearly scored its first points of the season when a Reid Lundell pass went off of the fingertips of Skyler Achenbach.
It was later in the third quarter when players began to show signs of muscle cramping due to the August heat.
One Iowa-Grant player had to be helped off of the field with leg cramping.
Fennimore's Birchman notched his second rushing TD with a 54-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Ian Crapp reached the end zone with a 32-yard TD run with 40 seconds remaining in the contest. The extra point was good by Kenney to put the Golden Eagles up by 47.
Fennimore had 354 rushing yards on the night; Iowa-Grant had 84.
Neither side did much in the passing game, as there were just three completed passes with one being the 33-yard TD completion from Kenney to Horn.
Iowa-Grant Head Coach Zach Raimer was pleased with his defense's play, especially in the first half.
He stated, "We need to capitalize on turnovers and use big offensive plays to gain momentum. Offensively, we need to seize opportunities, especially when the defense is giving us five turnovers."
Despite losing by such a margin, Raimer saw some things that he liked and knows what the Panthers need to work on to stay in games.
"It was good to see that we have some great potential. Defensively, we played well in the first half and got some big turnovers. Offensively, we had some good runs and passing opportunities. We just need to put it all together in one play and be able to make those plays that will keep us right there," said Raimer.
The Panthers will host Riverdale in a conference matchup Friday, Aug. 27th at 7:00 p.m.
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