Templars fall 24-7 to Panthers last weekend
MANTI—Going in to last Friday’s football game against Pine View, coach Cole Meacham knew the Templars would need to be on top of their game.
Manti lived up to that standard for most of the encounter, but gave up three big plays for touchdowns to lose 24-7.
Prior to the game, Meacham told his players to “have fun and be physical.” Potential mental mistakes were also a concern. “We need to eliminate our pre-snap penalties,” he said.
In the previous week’s four-point loss to Juan Diego, the Templars were flagged for procedure penalties 11 times. “I told the team, ‘That’s 55 yards. That’s five first downs,’” Meacham said.
In the match-up with Pine View, Manti didn’t look too good early, getting back-to-back false-start flags on its first possession. The Templars settled down and went for the rest of the game without a mental-mistake penalty.
Manti got on the scoreboard first in the game on a 15-yard TD pass from Marshall Dotson to Cort Olson. But on the very next play, the Panthers got right back in the game on an 89-yard TD run. The first half ended with the score tied at seven.
On the first possession of the second half, Pine View gained 75 yards, including 23 yards on a TD pass.
With most of the Templars playing both ways, on offense and defense, while the Panthers only played on one side of the ball, it seemed that the Templars were about half a step behind in the late going. Pine View scored again on a 32-yard field goal and capped off the game with a 76-yard TD pass.
Despite giving up just over 400 yards in total offense, the Templars held the high-octane Panthers to 100 yards less than any Panther opponent so far this year. Pine View had 285 yards rushing and 124 passing.
Tanner Rasmussen led the Templar defense with 14 tackles and an interception. Michael Alder had 12 tackles, Marshall Dotson had eight and Mac Stevens joined Olson with five each.
Offensively, the Templars had 106 yards rushing and 106 passing. Stevens had 45 yards on the ground and two receptions for 60 yards. Lance Fowles carried for 25 yards and had a 4-yard catch. Austin Robinson ran for 23 yards. Olson ran for 14 and had the 15-yard touchdown catch. Dotson completed six of 16 passes.
Although Manti was never considered a passing team, coach Meacham is pleased with Dotson’s pass selection. “He hasn’t made a bad decision,” Meacham said. “He’s put the ball where it needed to be.”
Although this week’s opponent, the Emery Spartans, is not considered a football power like Juan Diego or Pine View, the Templars will be on the road for the first time this year. “It’s always tough to win over there,” Meacham said.
Emery is 1-2 on the year with their last game a 9-6 loss to Delta, which occurred when the Rabbits blocked a field goal attempt by Emery on the last play of the game that would have tied the score.