Herald-Whig

Lock Down: Monroe City forces four turnovers, wins Class 1 title

Monroe City's Nehemiah Batsell (3) celebrates with teammates after the Panthers defeated Valle Catholic for the Class 1 state football championship Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson
Phil Carlson1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 25, 2017 12:01 am Updated: Nov. 26, 2017 1:45 am

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Dawson Shively laid on the Faurot Field turf with the football against his chest.

He heard the roar from the Monroe City football fans in the stands along with his teammates who came running over to the Panthers' defensive back.

Shively took in the euphoric feeling.

"I just laid there and soaked in the moment," Shively said. "I don't even know how long I laid there. Everything just soaked in right then, and I realized I just helped us win a state title."

Shively intercepted a pass from Ste. Genevieve Valle quarterback Mason Skaggs with 26 seconds remaining in regulation, sealing Monroe City's 12-7 victory in Saturday's Class 1 state championship. The title is Monroe City's first since 1996 and the third in program history.

The top-ranked Panthers (15-0) also avenged last season's 47-14 loss to Penney in championship game.

Monroe City's sideline exploded after Shively's interception. The Panthers spilled onto the field after a kneel by quarterback Blake Hays, and they celebrated with the large crowd of fans on the east side of the stadium.

"Oh my God," Monroe City coach David Kirby said. "It was such a euphoric moment. All (Shively) has done since he was a little kid is work himself to be the best defensive back he could be.

"We talk about big-time players make big-time plays. That's exactly what he did. He made a big-time play on the grandest stage."

The Panthers picked off Skaggs four times, as Shively and defensive back Nehemiah Batsell each had two interceptions. Valle (12-2) had just 207 total offensive yards, and only 32 of those came on the ground.

The seven points were the fewest scored by a Valle team in a championship game.

"We were pretty locked down," Shively said. "Their touchdown was on a big play we gave up. Other than that, we were as close to flawless as possible."

It was going to take that kind of defensive effort against the Warriors, who came into the game averaging 45.6 points.

Batsell picked off Skaggs on Valle's first offensive snap of the game. Shively jumped a route early in the second quarter and picked off a pass, returning it to the Valle 35-yard line. Fullback Cole Pennewell burst for a 35-yard touchdown run up the middle on the next play to trim Monroe City's deficit to 7-6 with 9:41 remaining in the second quarter.

"The last three weeks, we've seen a spread team," said Pennewell, who finished with 148 yards on 26 carries. "We've gotten really good at defending a spread team. We know if they put the ball up in the air, we have a 50-50 chance of getting it."

Monroe City came on the right side of a jumpball early in the fourth quarter.

Valle faced a fourth and goal from the 4-yard line when Skaggs threw a ball into the right corner of the end zone intended for Tyler Blum. The Warrriors' receiver initially caught the ball, but Batsell took the football out of Blum's hands for an interception and a touchback.

Monroe City then chewed up the next eight minutes of the game before giving up the ball on downs, and Valle got the ball back with 1:35 to go at its own 8-yard line. Five plays later, Shively made his title-sealing interception.

Monroe City had 247 rushing yards. Gage Bottoms had a 6-yard TD with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter to give the Panthers a 12-7 advantage.

"It's special to me," Shively said. "That's going to be talked about for years and years how Monroe football got back on its feet, and we brought a title home."

 

Class 1 State Championship

Monroe City 12, Ste. Genevieve Valle 7

MC VAL

16 First downs 12

62-247 Rushing 23-32

23 Passing 175

270 Total yards 207

2-6-0 Comp-Att-Int 16-25-4

1-0 Fumbles-lost 1-0

2-15 Penalties-yards 5-20

Monroe City 0 6 6 0 -- 12

Valle 7 0 0 0 -- 7

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

V -- Carter Roth 23 run (Kolten Naeger kick), 4:12

Second Quarter

MC -- Cole Pennewell 35 run (run failed), 9:41

Third Quarter

MC -- Gage Bottoms 6 run (run failed), 3:55

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING -- Monroe City, Pennewell 26-148, Gaget Bottoms 11-75, Zach Osborn 13-34, Keenan Batsell 2-9, Nehemiah Batsell 1-7, Team 1-(-2), Blake Hays 8-(-25). Valle, Carter Roth 8-36, Mason Skaggs 15-(-4).

PASSING -- Monroe City, Hays 2-6-0-23. Valle, Skaggs 16-25-4-175.

RECEIVING -- Monroe City, Bottoms 1-19, Nathan Mehrer 1-4. Valle, Ryan Grein 8-81, Roth 4-42, Tyler Blum 3-47, Kyle Gielow 1-5.