MONROE — Bittersweet — that is the word for Prairie City-Monroe’s football team following a 28-21 regular season ending loss at home to Bondurant-Farrar. The Mustangs pounded the ball at the Bluejays on the ground, but the B-F option attack and deep passing game put up too many points for the Mustangs to climb back in it.
The sweet part in all of this for the Mustangs is despite the loss at home, PCM was able to secure a playoff spot, which will keep its season alive one more week. PCM will head to Mediapolis on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
A road game, especially one so far away, may seem like a task for most teams, but the Mustangs have had much more success on the football field when playing away from home this season. Apart from a big win over Pella Christian that had to be forfeited due to an ineligible transfer, all of the Mustangs’ wins have come on the road, and the loss to the Bluejays put a period on that statement.
In the loss, PCM got up on the Bluejays early, jumping out to a 6-0 lead after a short touchdown run by Ronnie Marshall. With 10:19 remaining in the second quarter, Bluejay senior quarterback Drake Fuller. B-F would convert the extra point to take a 7-6 lead.
PCM looked to answer right back, converting on a fourth and one on its own 39-yard line, but the Bluejays forced the ball loose on the very next play and recovered the fumble at the 41-yard line to take over. After converting a fourth and one of their own on the next drive, Fuller hooked up with sophomore Jarrid Clark on a 45-yard touchdown pass. The extra point sailed through the uprights to make it a 14-6 game.
PCM would trail 14-6 going into halftime. Blake McWilliams took the ball down to the 30-yard line on just the second play of the second half, setting the Mustangs up for a possible tying score. However, penalties pushed the drive back, and PCM was eventually forced to punt.
PCM had trouble with the B-F option attack in the second half. Grant Peterson took a pitch 71 yards for a touchdown, but the play was negated on a holding call. The Bluejays’ attack would not be subdued, though. With 9:08 left in the fourth quarter, Grant took a pitch 29 yards to the end zone. This one would stand, and the Bluejays took a commanding 21-6 lead.
The Mustangs used determination and some good pushes up-front along the offensive line to move the ball the length of the field in a matter of four plays. McWilliams took a toss up the middle 33 yards down to the six-yard line. Two plays later, Marshall punched in a touchdown run from the one-yard line with 5:54 left. McWilliams scored on the conversion on a toss off the left edge to make it 21-14.
PCM could not hold back the Bluejays. PCM’s defense forced a couple third and short yardage plays, but the Bluejays converted each time, once on an option run by Fuller and again on a pass down the sideline to Dillon Stafford with 4:25 remaining. Fuller took an option keeper up the middle 39 yards for a touchdown to seal things up for the Bluejays. McWilliams scored a garbage-time touchdown with less than a minute remaining to give the final score of 28-21.
McWilliams carried the ball 30 times for the Mustangs, amounting 185 yards on the ground. Marshall had 11 carries, most of them in short-yardage scenarios, for 22 yards and two touchdowns.
McWilliams led the team with nine tackles. Luke Cummings and Ryan Donahue followed up with eight apiece. Justin Beener and Brandon Charls each had five tackles. Jackson Winegar recorded four stops. Marshall had three stops.