Panthers upended by Belle Plaine in home opener

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The Pekin Panthers came into Friday’s game riding high on the emotion spectrum following last week’s thrilling 37-31 win over Central Lee that took all 48 minutes to complete. Following Friday’s game against Belle Plaine, the Panthers found out about the opposite end of the emotion spectrum in a 32-0 shutout at the hands of the Plainsmen.

Belle Plaine’s offense rested on the shoulders of senior running back Luke DeMuelenaere, rushing for 113 yards and and a touchdown and catching 3 passes for 22 yards and a touchdown. His brother, junior quarterback Ben DeMuelenaere, went 4-for-6 passing for 37 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 12 yards and the touchdown that led off the scoring for Belle Plaine. Sophomore running back Connor Timm added 49 yards rushing and the final touchdown of the night for the Plainsmen offense

For the Pekin Panthers, the story of the night was the inability to hold on to the football as the Panther offense fumbled 5 times and lost of 4 of them. A stout Belle Plaine front held the Pekin rushing attack to 174 yards, compared to the Panthers 450+ yard rushing performance against Central Lee in Week 1. Junior quarterback Colton Comstock went 4-for-10 passing for 30 yards, an improved number from his performance last week.

Pekin will look to bounce back next Friday as they play host to the Cardinal Comets in the opening game of Class 1A, District 6 for both teams. Cardinal defeated Wayne, Corydon 35-8 on Friday night.

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