Wildcats fall to Hermann in season opener

By: 
Theo Tate

Gunner Sexton (65) and Thomas Klekamp (45) congratulate Drake Deuser (11) for making a defensive play in the second quarter of Montgomery County’s season-opening game against Hermann on Aug. 28. THEO TATE PHOTO

The Montgomery County football team had to celebrate its senior night a little early this year.

The Wildcats honored their eight seniors in their season opener against the Hermann Bearcats on Aug. 28 at MCHS. Jackson Brower, Drake Deuser, Aidan Hall, Isaac Hartman, Alec Johnson, John Reese, Ben Sissom and Donnie Wisdom make up the senior class.

Unfortunately, Hermann spoiled MCHS’ senior night with a 16-12 victory, extending the Bearcats’ winning streak over the Wildcats to seven games.

“It’s a tough night for our seniors because some of these seniors have worked really hard,” MCHS coach John Klekamp said. “I feel bad for them because I think a lot of them played some of their best football tonight.”

MCHS (0-1) suffered its first home loss in two years. A year ago, the Wildcats won all five of their home games.

Now, the Montgomery City school will look to get back on the winning track at 7 p.m. on Sept. 4, when it travels to Louisiana in a Week 2 matchup.

“I told the boys that in this season we’re not guaranteed anything,” Klekamp said. “We want to play every game the best we can and try to win every single game. We’re 0-1 right now, but I can promise you we’re going to work hard in practice and we’re going to be back ready to go next Friday.”

Usually, the MCHS football team celebrates its senior night at its final home game. The Wildcats are scheduled to have their last home contest on Oct. 23 against North Callaway.

But due to the coronavirus issues surrounding fall sports, the MCHS athletic department decided to honor all of the senior athletes from cross country, football, band and cheerleading before the football contest. The ceremony lasted 12 minutes.

“It’s tough for those guys,” Klekamp said. “They worked really hard. You don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t honor them. In this season, you never know what’s going to happen. We had three conference schools that lost their week one (due to COVID-19). It could be us next week. We’ll do what we’ve got to do to try to stay safe and get ready to play football every week.”

Against Hermann, MCHS got touchdowns from a pair of juniors. Ty Leu scored a 63-yard touchdown catch with 5:54 left in the second quarter to cut Hermann’s lead to 8-6. Drake Smith scored a 14-yard touchdown catch with 7:24 left in the fourth to get the Wildcats within four points, 16-12.

Hermann (1-0) got a touchdown each from Gavin Hackmann and Holden Ash and two-point conversions from Ash and Kenny Hoener. The Bearcats took advantage of 11 MCHS penalties.

“(Hermann) Coach (Andy) Emmons does a great job over there,” Klekamp said. “They play disciplined and they play hard. We felt like at times we were starting to wear them down, but we couldn’t consistently make plays and we couldn’t consistently keep from hurting ourselves tonight.”

The MCHS coach said he was pleased with the performance from Hartman, a wide receiver and cornerback, despite suffering an injury during the game.

“He’s a real hard working athlete,” Klekamp said. “He came out and never played high school football. He had two of our biggest hits. There’s a possibility that he had a broken collarbone. It’s unfortunate for him because he played a great game. He has practiced really hard and earned a starting position. Coming out of camp, he was one of five guys we were looking at corner and he earned the opportunity to start for us.”

Also, Reese, a 6-foot-3, 335-pound offensive lineman, returned this year after missing all of 2019 due to an ankle injury.

“He has some bumps and bruises,” Klekamp said. “I think he’s much happier to be playing than not playing.”

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