Oregon looked as though it might run right over Monona Grove after a dominant first drive Friday, Oct. 4, at Panther Field.
Instead, the Silver Eagles won the line of scrimmage en route to a 21-7 win over the Panthers.
Monona Grove out-gained Oregon 435-180 yards, with Brady Killerlain rushing for 167 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in the first half.
Oregon (3-4, 2-3 Badger South) drove 80 yards in 11 plays to begin the contest. Austin Saunders took a counter play around the left side for a 27-yard touchdown with 6:45 left in the first quarter.
“I came around the corner and saw a hole outside,” Saunders said. “Two guys crashed to the outside, so I cut it up and had to break a couple of tackles on my way to the end zone.”
The Panthers had just 13 yards on its next six possessions. Oregon entered MG territory twice more in the first half, but both drives fizzled.
“We were missing assignments,” Oregon coach Dan Kissling said. “We kept things simple and stayed ahead of the chains in the first quarter, but started to make mistakes later in the game.”
Monona Grove (3-4, 3-2), the defending conference champion, responded with a swift five-play, 70-yard scoring drive. Killerlain capped the drive with a 39-yard touchdown burst at the 5:06 mark of the first.
The Silver Eagles forced a three-and-out and went ahead for good with 11:03 left in the second quarter, as Killerlain capped an eight-play, 57-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown.
Oregon’s defense held MG at bay for most of the second quarter, but Killerlain capped a seven-play, 67-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown plunge with 35 seconds left in the first half.
A holding penalty wiped out Mason Grender’s 30-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, and the Panthers’ drive ended with a turnover on downs at the MG 27-yard line.
The Oregon defense forced a turnover on downs deep in its own territory midway through the fourth, but fumbled on the ensuing possession. The Silver Eagles stopped the Panthers in the game’s final minute to preserve the second-half shutout.
Killerlain finished with 33 carries for 229 yards. Quarterback Casey Marron was 12-for-20 for 163 yards passing, rushing six times for 36 yards.
Oregon’s multi-pronged rushing attack was held to 82 yards on 32 carries. Grender led the way with eight carries for 26 yards. Saunders (nine carries) and Damien Johnson (four carries) each had 19 yards on the ground. Erik Victorson finished 8-for-21 for 98 yards passing.
Matt Kissling intercepted a tipped pass in first quarter. Brady Gagner forced and recovered a fumble in the second quarter. Nate Hall had a sack in the fourth quarter.
Oregon will look to keep its playoff hopes alive at home against Watertown (5-2, 3-2) on Friday. The Goslings are coming off a 25-14 loss to Stoughton.
“It’s my job to instill confidence in these kids and get them back on track,” Dan Kissling said. “We have playmakers, and when we give them opportunities, we can score a lot of points.”