Story by Kadin Rogers
The Monmouth-Roseville Titans football team traveled up north to Poplar Grove on Friday night to take on the North Boone Vikings in round 1 of the class 3A IHSA playoffs. The Titans started the game hot right out of the gate and did not look back, securing a 35-14 win over North Boone, their first IHSA playoff win since Monmouth-Roseville’s 2018 run to the quarterfinals.
Monmouth-Roseville’s offense would take the field first after North Boone deferred to the second half. The Titans would drive down the field with a long sustaining drive, and after a gutsy 4th down and 6 conversion, Monmouth-Roseville would score from 12 yards out on a run from senior Tyler Finnicum to open up the scoring and put the Titans up 6-0 with 6 minutes to play in the first quarter. North Boone’s first drive of the game would end with a takeaway for the Titans defense, as Jack Christensen’s endzone shot was intercepted by senior defensive back Rhett Willett to give the ball back to M-R at their own 20. Monmouth-Roseville’s steady ground attack would quickly put them back inside the Vikings red zone, before Payton Thompson rumbled in for the score to put the Titans up 14-0 after quarterback Andy Myers converted the two point try with his legs. The first quarter would end with the North Boone offense driving the ball all the way inside the Titans 10 yard line looking to score their first points of the game.
Facing a 4th down and goal from the 5 yard line, the Monmouth-Roseville defense would be unable to keep North Boone from scoring, as Christiansen found receiver Chris Doetch in the endzone to cut the Titans lead in half. The Titans offense would have a quick answer for that North Boone score however, as Finnicum would score his second touchdown of the game from 2 yards out after a long drive to put the Titans back up 2 scores (Successful PAT from Avendano, Titans lead 21-7). On the final drive of the half from North Boone, the Vikings would take the ball down to the Titans 10, but the M-R defense would stand tall from there by forcing 3 straight incompletions and a turnover on downs after a bad snap on 4th down killed the drive for North Boone. Monmouth-Roseville would take the 21-7 lead into the halftime break.
Out of the first half break North Boone would start on the offensive side of the ball. Another nice drive down the field would set the Vikings up with a 1st and goal situation, but once again the Titans defense would hold North Boone out of the endzone, forcing a turnover on downs at the 4 yard line. On the corresponding offensive drive for the Titans, they would drive 96 yards for the score, finishing the drive off with a touchdown run from Myers to extend the Monmouth-Roseville lead to 28-7. Needing a response to stay in the game, North Boone would score their second touchdown of the game, this time from senior running back Connor McKibben to cut the Titans lead to 28-14. The Vikings got the ball back soon after that score after a Monmouth-Roseville fumble, however the Titans came away with a huge takeaway of their own shortly after, as Payton Thompson intercepted Christiansen’s throw over the middle and put the Titans back in to North Boone’s red zone, where they would score on a short touchdown from Finnicum, his third score of the game.
In the final quarter of play with the Titans leading 35-14, North Boone would turn the ball over on downs once again on a 4th down heave with time winding down in the game. On the final drive of the game, the Titans converted several first downs to salt the game away in victory formation, sealing the 35-14 win for Monmouth-Roseville. For the Titans, the rushing attack was elite in this game, with Tyler Finnicum tallying 158 yards and 3 scores, Andy Myers rushing for 122 yards and a score, and Payton Thompson adding 43 yards and a touchdown to close out the Vikings. With the win Monmouth-Roseville secured a home playoff game and moves on to the second round of the IHSA playoffs, and will take on the winner of Saturday’s game between Princeton and Paxton-Buckley-Loda at Coach Dobry Field in Monmouth. The date and time of that game will be announced on Monday.
For the replay of the WMOI radio broadcast of the game, click HERE
Send off of the Monmouth-Roseville Titans Football Team to North Boone High School