En route to winning its eighth 8-Man Show-Me Bowl, Mound City broke the state championship record for rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and total points.
While defeating South Livingston 82-46 on Saturday afternoon at Faurot Field, the Panthers rushed for 485 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. In a historical championship game that also broke the record for the highest combined point total, Mound City never passed the ball.
“One thing that we knew coming into this game was that if we did a good job up front with our blocks and our line, that our guys would do some damage,” Mound City head coach Taylor Standerford said. “These guys did a good job of breaking through those holes, breaking some tackles and getting some yards.”
On the Panthers’ second drive of the game, senior Dylan George fumbled the ball for their only turnover of the day. George bounced back after the play and entered the half with 168 yards and 3 touchdowns.
“Well going out there, I wasn’t fully their mentally,” George said. “After that, I realized that I had made a mistake and I needed to come play harder for my team.”
George finished the game with 223 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Panthers offense. Senior T.J. Hopkins, junior Landon Poppa and George were the only Panthers with positive rushing yards, and they all finished with over 100 yards each.
“We knew that we were going to do was run, and it was up to our linemen to make those blocks, and they did it. All I can do is thank them for all the yards that we got,” George said.
Hopkins finished the game with 129 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Poppa added 129 yards and 4 touchdowns. George, Poppa and Hopkins combined for a total of 491 yards on the ground.
“We knew that our linemen were going to block and do their best,” Hopkins said. “We had to bring it every play or they were going to tackle us. They have great athletes so we knew that they won’t let up, and that we had to put it down their throat and keep going.”
Hopkins and George missed the matchup against Southwest Livingston earlier this year due to injuries, when they lost 58-34. They have both played their last high school football game and have stamped a mark in the history books for Mound City in a stat-filled game.
“This is really emotional and I’m sad that my career is over at Mound City but it was all worth it in the end. Everything that I had worked for and planned had worked out. I couldn’t ask for more, it is a great way to end it,” Hopkins said.