“It wasn’t great as far as conditions go, but you just have to make the throws to be there for your guys,” Kriegel said after finishing with 148 yards passing. “I just had to make my reads quick. I’ve been struggling with that this year. I just had to get the ball out quick.”
It was the passing game that allowed Pekin to answer back and Kolby Allsup hit Christian Wittrock on a beautiful 46-yard completion to set up a Wittrock seven-yard touchdown run, tying the game at 7-7. BGM methodically drove down the field midway through the second quarter and scored again on a second Kriegel one-yard sneak to regain a 14-7 lead.
Pekin’s first of three turnovers helped set up a 36-yard field goal by Kyle Gritsch, as did a 19-yard third-down completion from Kriegel to Zac Freese. That 17-7 lead would be good enough to last most of the night.
It almost had to as Kriegel hit just two more completions the rest of the game, finishing 9-21 overall passing with a late-game interception.
Pekin, however, failed to do much on offense themselves aside from the big 46-yard first quarter pass play. That was until a late third quarter drive that included a Kolby Allsup 21-yard run set up the Panthers up in the red zone with high hopes of finishing one of the two scoring drives they needed in the end zone.
Instead, Chase Copeland was stripped of the ball at the end of a six-yard run at BGM’s 13. The Bears had thwarted one Panther drive.
The very next drive ended even more painfully for Pekin. After reaching the Bears 21 in the fourth quarter, a third-down pass by Allsup was picked off by BGM sophomore Tyler Thompson to cap what proved to be Pekin’s last true offensive rally.