Johnson, Williamson Lead Mount Pleasant to North Scott; Other Area Programs Ready for Round Two

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

KILJ — Our playoff football feast resets in Round Two of the Iowa High School Football Playoffs as the Mount Pleasant Panther football team (4-3) will look to upset the 4-1 North Scott Lancers.

Panther quarterback Jack Johnson has been lights out when healthy and was dynamic again last week, passing for 172 yards, rushing for another 113 and totaling three touchdowns.

Fellow senior wide receiver Chase Williamson has elevated his game to the next level over the final three weeks of the year.

Williamson is averaging over 96 yards receiving over the last three games and will need to be targeted early and often against a Lancer defense that has posted three shut-outs and is tied for third in Class 3A in sacks with 18.

He sets people up, he does it from the very first snap. He’s smart, he plays the game well. He’s stepping it up all over the place. He’s dangerous.” head coach Shawn Striegel said of Williamson.

Tonight’s game will kick-off at 7:00 p.m. from Lancer Stadium, coverage on KILJ-FM will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the Panther Tailgate Show.

Nathan Bloechl and Kent Bennett will be on the call.

In Class 1A, Mediapolis (6-2) will travel to take on West Branch (5-2) tonight in a second-round matchup. The Bulldogs and Bears have not met in their schools’ history, per Varsity Bound.

Mediapolis quarterback Regan Thornburg has been a thorn in the side of opposing defenses accounting for 936 yards passing and 16 total touchdowns. When he’s on, the Bulldog attack is tough to stop.

The emergence of sophomore tailback Anthony Isley has also come at a convenient time, as he’s surged for 669 yards and nine scores after being inserted as the team’s workhorse back.

They’ll call on his fresh legs tonight against a West Branch team that has been average against the run this season.

That game will kick at 7:00 p.m. at the famous Little Rose Bowl in West Branch.

And in 8-player, the New London football team (6-1) will see a familiar opponent tonight when they host the English Valleys Bears (7-1) in a second round tilt.

After not playing this year due to the shortened district schedule, this is the first time the Super Conference foes will meet since New London throttled the Bears 78-20 one year ago.

Sophomore phenom Blaise Porter will get the headlines — rightfully so — he’s been electric since taking over the full-time quarterbacking role, but head coach Mark McSorely also wants to praise his offensive line that has been dominant all-season long.

I’m really proud of those guys [up front], they don’t make a fuss. I don’t know if it’s how we teach it, or just keeping it simple for those guys. It’s just as much mental as it is physical.” McSorely said.

English Valleys picked up a 56-13 win last week to earn the right to battle New London, tonight.

They’re led by senior quarterback Cole Stephenson, who’s tossed 20 touchdowns to just four interceptions and by junior running back Beau Flander who has put up a video-game like 1,484 yards on the ground and 25 scores.

Kickoff from New London High School is set for 7:00 p.m.

Other area games tonight:

  • Wapello at Iowa City Regina
  • West Burlington-Notre Dame vs. Williamsburg
  • Keokuk vs. No. 3 Washington
  • Fort Madison vs. Grinnell