The Manteno football team found itself in the playoffs for the ninth time in the past decade Friday night in Marengo, but things ended unceremoniously with a 48-0 loss to the Marengo Indians as the Panthers saw their season end in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Panthers ended their season with a 5-5 record overall, and Marengo improved to 8-2.
After forcing Manteno to a three-and-out to start the game, Marengo running back and University of Minnesota track commit Finn Schirmer rumbled 16 yards into the end zone on Marengo’s opening drive to give the Indians a 6-0 lead with 7:24 left in the first quarter.
The Panthers put together their best drive of the half on their second possession, driving to their opponent’s 29-yard line before a lost fumble killed the drive.
Marengo struck again with seven minutes left in the second quarter when quarterback Mitch Kunde connected with Cole Davis on an 11-yard touchdown to extend their lead to 13-0.
The Panthers continued struggling to get anything established offensively, only totaling 45 total yards in the first half.
Marengo punched the ball in the end zone one final time in the first half after Schirmer found paydirt for the second time with just 1:19 remaining in the half, pushing their lead to 20-0.
Things didn’t get any easier for the Panthers in the second half as Niko San Miguel intercepted Manteno quarterback Caleb Borkenhagen and returned the pick for a touchdown from 20 yards out to give Marengo a commanding 27-0 with 7:40 remaining in the third quarter.
Schirmer scored his third touchdown of the night on an 11-yard sweep to make the score 34-0 with 4:29 left in the third quarter and his fourth touchdown of the game through the air on a 28-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Josh Holst to extend the lead to 41-0 with 41 seconds left in the third quarter.
Schirmer finished with 130 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Zach Trotz added a touchdown on a one-yard plunge at the end of the fourth quarter to make the game’s final score.
Offensively, Davey Wurster led the Panthers with 44 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Borkenhagen finished 5-for-14 passing for 75 yards and two interceptions.
Luke Trepanier led the receivers with 28 yards on one catch.
Alex Hupe had 18 yards receiving, and Tyson Creek chipped in 17 on a pair of grabs.
Defensively, Logan Worobey led Manteno with five tackles.
Kaleb Flonder, Justin Levesque, Josh Gesky and Margarito Carrera each had four tackles.