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Effingham’s Tanner Pontious tries to escape a tackle during a football game against Mahomet-Seymour, on Friday, September 3, 2021, at Klosterman Field.

Scrambled would be one way to describe how Tanner Pontious felt on Friday night.

The junior signal-caller was continually on the move against Mahomet-Seymour (2-0, 1-0 Apollo Conference), and not in a good way. Pontious was sacked seven times as Effingham (0-2, 0-1 Apollo Conference) fell to the Bulldogs, 37-7, at Klosterman Field.

"He had no protection, and there's nothing you can do," Effingham head coach Brett Hefner said. "If you don't protect, you don't give him a chance to throw it, and then he can't make throws. We're not skilled enough to get off of press coverage when he's under-duress; that's not our deal."

Altogether, Mahomet-Seymour totaled 16 tackles for loss, holding onto a shutout until the closing seconds of the game when junior running back Chris Hemwall rushed for a three-yard score to make the final total.

"We had a lot of problems tonight, and our problems weren't on defense," Hefner said. "Our problems were offense. We were bad offensively, bad upfront, and you can't keep putting your defense in that kind of position."

The Flaming Hearts punted on their first two drives of the game, with the second leading to the first score of the contest.

On the first play from scrimmage, junior quarterback Wyatt Bohm found junior wide receiver Quenton Rogers for a 49-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 with 5:57 left in the first quarter.

Then, on Effingham's next drive, Pontious scrambled to his left, trying to find a receiver. Mahomet-Seymour junior defensive back Kale Schweighart, though, wouldn't let him complete anything, as he intercepted his pass to put the Bulldogs up in excellent field position.

However, nothing came of the Mahomet-Seymour drive, as the Flaming Hearts defense stood pat, forcing a turnover on downs, with the hopes of igniting something out of the offense.

That would not be the case, though, as Effingham also turned the ball over on downs, leading to the Bulldogs taking over at their 29-yard line.

Finding the endzone was a struggle for both teams in the first half, but the second half made up for that rather quickly. The only problem for the Flaming Hearts was Mahomet-Seymour found it far more.

On the opening kickoff, Rogers returned the kick for a 99-yard touchdown, resulting in Effingham only playing catch up from there.

After the kickoff return, Mahomet-Seymour scored on their next three drives to take a 37-0 lead with 10:07 left in the fourth quarter. Junior wide receiver Valient Walsh and sophomore running back Luke Johnson both scored, while Rogers added his second touchdown reception during that string of successful drives, as well.

Rogers finished with three catches for 82 yards to go along with the two scores, but he wasn't Bohm's go-to guy on this night.

That distinction belonged to senior wide receiver Dream Eagle, who caught 10 passes for 167 yards.

As for Bohm, he finished his night throwing for 275 yards on 15-of-30 passing.

For Effingham, Pontious completed only one of his 10 passes, a 37-yard strike to senior wide receiver Dalton Fox, while rushing 18 times for 28 yards. Junior John Westendorf led the team, on the ground, with 61 yards on 12 carries.

UP NEXT

Effingham travels to Charleston on Friday night for its second-straight Apollo Conference tilt.

Contact EDN Sports Editor Alex Wallner at 217-347-7151 ext. 124 or alex.wallner@effinghamdailynews.com

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