The Eisenhower Panthers lost to Jacksonville on Friday, 59-6.

WARRENSBURG — Warrensburg-Latham is 1-0, but Cardinals coach Aaron Fricke feels significantly older.

Warrensburg got off to a quick start Friday and appeared ready to cruise to a win leading 14-0 in the second quarter. But a penalty swung the momentum to visiting Robinson.

Robinson forced overtime, then went for a 2-point conversion that would've won the game, but was stuffed by Warrensburg's defense in a 21-20 win.

"They ran it inside on a QB iso play they'd score on earlier, and they got about a yard, but then we stuffed them and pushed them back," Fricke said. "It was pretty crazy. I think I aged 30 years. That's not good this early in the season."

The aging mostly came after a roughing-the-punter penalty that opened the door for Robinson after Warrensburg dominated the early part of the game.

"There were a ton of mistakes," Fricke said.

But, even after a game in which Warrensburg was held to 150 yards of total offense — in part because of Robinson's ball-control offense — the Cardinals came through with a score when they had to. On the first play of overtime, quarterback Nate Hayes found Parker Hopkins on a wheel route for a touchdown. Sophomore kicker Christian Schanefelt — a sophomore soccer player playing in his first varsity game — drilled the third of his three extra points.

Tough start for Panthers

After a positive offseason for the Eisenhower football team and its new coaching staff, the opening night was not what the Panthers had hoped for.

A Jacksonville team that had taken its lumps the past two years showed it may be back among the playoff contenders with a dominating 59-6 win.

Line play was a concern entering the game and that happened to be the Crimsons' strength.

"Jacksonville is a bit ahead of us in terms of having bigger, stronger kids right now," Eisenhower coach Steve Thompson said. "We're still a young team trying to learn to play together."

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The Panthers scored their lone touchdown on a pass from Brylan Phillips to Caleb Patton.

"We showed flashes that we can move the ball if we can get the offensive line together," Thompson said. "The defense looked good when we're fresh and moving around, but they got gassed."

Thompson said there was plenty of frustration after the game, but the focus won't change.

"The goal is the same: We're going to continue to grow," Thompson said. "Most teams learn a lot between the first and second game. Hopefully we'll see that next week against Lanphier." 

Delay updates

While the weather in Macon County was beautiful for opening night, weather to the southwest postponed several area game until Saturday.

Three of the teams with games postponed — Mount Zion, Effingham and Mattoon — were from the Apollo Conference.

Mount Zion drove to Highland on Friday, then turned around and made the trip again on Saturday and pulled off a 31-21 win, snapping Highland's 28-game regular season winning streak.

Effingham trailed Breese Mater Dei 28-17 in the third quarter Friday when weather delayed the game until 1 p.m. Saturday. Even with the short night, Effingham came back to win 32-28.

Mattoon had hoped to get in its game at Troy Triad on Friday and was willing to stay as late as possible to make it happen, but it was rescheduled for Saturday afternoon. The Green Wave lost 41-7.

In the South Central Conference, Pana and Staunton were postponed, but played Saturday night, with Pana winning 44-7 after Cameron Owens took the opening kickoff 90 yards to get the scoring started.

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Contact Justin Conn at (217) 421-7971. Follow him on Twitter: @jconnHR


Sports Editor

Sports editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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