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Panthers crush Doniphan in first round of districts

Victory gives them semifinals home match-up Friday against Houston


When Mountain Grove’s football team earned the No. 2 seed in Class 2, District 3, the seeding gave them a favorable first round match-up against a winless Doniphan team.

The Panthers effectively took care of business on their home field last Friday night as they shutout the Dons, 63-0.

Mountain Grove will now play Houston for the second time in four weeks at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4. The Tigers defeated Willow Springs, 43-6, in their first round of district play.

Meanwhile, Strafford knocked off Ava, 39-32, to earn a shot at Liberty on the same night.

Against the Dons, the Panthers’ offense opened their first possession with quarterback Tyson Elliott’s 10-yard pass to Carson Allen. It was followed by a 20-yard pass to Drew Vaughan.

The 10 play, 60-yard drive ended with Daiton Hook’s two-yard touchdown run. Ty Gardner’s kick gave the Panthers an early 7-0 lead.

Hollen Glenn and Preston Metty opened the game for the defense with a combined nine-yard tackle for a loss.

The Dons later had a pass intercepted by Aden Estep.

On the next play, Elliott connected with Vaughan for a 38-yard pass.

Metty scored three plays later on a 16-yard touchdown run. Gardner’s pick gave Mountain Grove a 14-0 lead.

A measurement on fourth down forced the Dons to turn the ball over in their own territory late in the first quarter.

Elliott hit Glenn for a 16-yard play followed three plays later on Deveyn Martin’s one-yard touchdown run. Gardner’s kick made it a 21-0 game.

After the Dons punted the ball away early in the second quarter, they got the ball back quickly on a Mountain Grove fumble near midfield.

The Dons’ offense moved the ball deep into Mountain Grove territory before a player trying to extend a play after catching the ball fumbled it away with Hook recovering the ball.

Three plays later, Elliott hit Vaughan on a 45-yard touchdown pass. Vaughan’s two-point run pushed the lead to 29-0.

A little more than a minute later, the Dons’ punt was returned by Estep 45 yards for a touchdown. Gardner’s extra-point kick made art a 36-point lead.

On Mountain Grove’s next possession, Elliott hit Glenn for 20 yards. He followed two plays later by finding Dom Palagi for a 24-yard touchdown. The kick failed, keeping the score at 42-0.

At halftime, the Panthers had 204 yards passing and 54 on the ground for 258. The Dons had just 34 yards passing and eight yards rushing for 42 total yards of offense.

With the mercy clock in effect in the third quarter, Hook scored on a five-yard touchdown run. A failed kick kept the score at 48-0.

Three plays later, Palagi, on defense, jumped on a screen pass, intercepted it and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. Gardner’s kick pushed the lead to 55-0.

The Dons’ offense moved the ball effectively against the Panthers’ JV defense, marching it down to the 14. It was there the defensive line stopped them on a fourth-and-one.

Eight plays later, Brayden Haughey scored on a 40-yard touchdown run. A failed two-point conversion moved the score to 63-0.

For the game, the Panthers had 209 yards passing and 155 yards on the ground for 364 total yards of offense.

During the game, Elliott became the program’s all-time leader for passing yards in a single season.

The Dons’ offense had just 37 yards passing and 66 on the ground for 103 total yards of offense.

Elliott completed 11-of-17 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.

Vaughan had four catches for 115 yards and one touchdown while Glenn hauled in four passes for 59 yards.

Haughey had two carries for 50 yards and one touchdown.