Musketeers Maul Panthers


Brian Magee, Special Contributor

Red Bud High School kicked off the football season in a big way Friday night at home against the Pinckneyville Panthers. It was the first game of the year for both teams and the Musketeers were as hot as the game time temperature. The game started out a bit slow with Red Bud scoring their first TD on a 1-yard run by senior quarterback Ayden Shemwell with 3:42 to play in the first quarter. Kicker Lane Brockmeyer’s PAT kick was good to give the Musketeers a 7-0 lead at the end of the frame.

Red Bud extended the lead on a 9-yard TD pass to senior Devin Hall to go up 14-0. The Musketeer defense forced a Panther fumble and took over at midfield leading to a 55-yard scamper by Red Bud running back Nick Gantner to make the score 20-0. The Panthers’ offense was held in check by Red Bud who took over on downs before moving the ball into Panther territory when Shemwell connected with sophomore Lucas Schwartzkopf for a 30-yard TD pass. The play gave Red Bud a 26-0 lead. Pinckneyville took the ensuing kick-off and began a drive to get on the board before the half. After moving to mid-field, the Panther quarterback dropped back to pass. The Musketeer defensive line pressed in and forced an errant throw that was intercepted by defensive back Nick Gantner and returned to the Red Bud 40-yard line. The Musketeers quickly took advantage of the miscue as senior quarterback Thomas Friess hit receiver Evan Dressel with a 60-yard TD pass capping a 26-point second quarter making the score at the half 33-0.

During the half Active Service Personnel, Veterans, and First Responders were recognized on the field in a ceremony organized by the Red Bud Athletic Department. Players and Cheerleaders wore special camouflage uniforms and chose a person to dedicate their performance to in what is known as “Touchdowns for Heroes”. It is a great way to honor those who give so much to keep our community safe and free.

In the third quarter, the Musketeers were able to move the ball with some fine running by sophomore running back Gavin Baldwin behind good blocking by the offensive line. Baldwin scored on a 2-yard TD dive midway through the third quarter to make the score 39-0. Later, Gantner hit pay dirt with a 1-yard TD plunge making the score 46-0. Gantner finished the game with 134 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns, 5 tackles, a fumble recovery, and a sac.

Red Bud finished the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 27-yard TD run by Baldwin who ran for 110 yards and 2 TDs. Kyle Loughner led the Musketeer defense with 10 tackles, an assist, and a fumble recovery. The final score was 52-0. 

The Musketeers will be back in action this week against the Roxana Shells. Roxana comes in at 1-0 after a 16-13 win over Robinson in week one. It will be a test for the Musketeers who lost to the Shells last year in Roxana after a 19-6 win against Perryville in week one. It is a good match-up and should be a good game. Come out and support your team, kick-off is at 7:00.