Disaster would strike the Panthers one more time before the quarter ended. Pekin fumbled the ensuing kickoff and BGM recovered at the Panthers’ 31. The first quarter score was 9-0, but the time of possession was way out of line. BGM ran 29 plays in the quarter to Pekin’s four.
“We just couldn’t get our defense off the field early in the game,” said Donovan.
BGM opened the second quarter with a touchdown run that was called back by a holding call. It just delayed the score, as three plays later — Kline scored on a 4-yard run. Pekin would get on the board on its drive. Petie Clubb had four carries for 32 yards in the drive, but the big run was the 23-yard run by Kolby Allsup for the score. Allsup would hit Cade Millikin with the extra point pass and the Panthers closed to within 16-8 with nearly nine minutes to play in the half. Another nine-play drive ended in a 10-yard run by Kline to make the score 23-8. The Panthers would only have three and outs to close out the half.
“They did a good of adjusting to some of our best running plays,” said Donovan.
Even though Kline had 135 yards rushing in the opening half, it took him 24 carries to get that. A couple of big plays in the kicking game accounted for the 15-point spread at the half.
“For the most part, I think our run defense was pretty good,” said Donovan. “Even though they showed us a lot of unbalanced sets, we didn’t let either one of their backs go wild.”
The two teams traded fumble recoveries to stop drives in the third quarter. Kline was a big factor in the quarter as he had punts of 52 and 45 yards that pinned the Panthers deep in their own territory. The third quarter was scoreless.The game’s scoring was completed at the midpoint of the final quarter. The Bears completed a 12-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Kline.