Mount Zion routs host Mahomet-Seymour
MAHOMET — The last time a Keith Pogue-led Mahomet-Seymour football team lost a season opener, a guy named Wes Lunt saw action for the opposition as Rochester knocked off the Bulldogs 38-22 to open the 2009 campaign.
On Friday night at Frank Dutton Field, Mount Zion’s Payton Grinestaff looked like Lunt, who will make his Illini debut today at quarterback. Grinestaff completed 25 of 38 passes for 381 yards and six touchdowns as the Braves rolled to a 60-36 victory.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, obviously,” said Pogue, now in his seventh season as the Mahomet-Seymour coach.
The Bulldogs came out of the halftime locker room with a 15-14 lead, but Grinestaff and the Braves strung together four straight touchdowns to take a 41-15 lead and control of the game.
“I felt like we came out really hungry, played hard,” Pogue said. “It’s on me we weren’t ready in the second half. We clearly weren’t ready. We’ve got to learn some things and get better.”
Offensively, Mahomet-Seymour showed some flashes of brilliance, particularly in the passing game. Senior quarterback Joe Kenney completed 24 of 38 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns. Younger brother Tom Kenney caught 17 of those passes for 230 yards and a touchdown.
Andy Livingston caught six passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
“We moved the ball, but even there, we’re not executing the way we need to execute,” Pogue said. “We’ve got to do things better.”
On a hot, muggy night in central Illinois, Mahomet-Seymour players had to be treated by athletic trainers for cramping. An adjustment, Pogue said, might have to be made to alleviate that, too.
“We may have to divide up a little more,” he said. “I may have too many guys going both ways because we wore down.”
The bottom line, the Bulldogs, ranked eighth in the state in Class 5A to start the season, have plenty of work to do ahead of next week’s matchup against Eureka.
“That’s a good ballclub, but that’s not a good performance for us, obviously,” Pogue said. “They embarrassed us (Friday night).”