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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 17, 2017

Pekin’s season ends at Hudson

By Justin Webster | Oct 30, 2017

Pekin head football coach Bud Blakely knew his team could compete with anyone in the state going into their first round matchup at undefeated Hudson Friday night, all they had to do was play their ballgame.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, everything went the home team’s way in a 35-0 victory fueled by five touchdowns from the Pirates’ backfield. The tandem included juniors Christian Seres who had 27 carries for 202 yards and three scores, and Alec Staebell who added 14 carries, 107 yards and another two touchdowns.

While the season ends for Pekin with their record at 8-2, Coach Blakely’s team improved vastly over his first season’s 6-3 team and competed for a district title until the final week. The Panthers made the playoffs as a serious contender but faced a tough road to the dome starting with a solid program in Hudson, who has a legitimate chance at a state title.

Pekin is expected to return 31 of their 46 players next season with Blakely losing 15 seniors in his second season. The players graduating in May are Chandler Eckley, Chase Eckley, Levi Long, Cody Hassinen, Monico Requena, Keaton Baayen, Torell Washington, Kevin Ramos, Slater Williams, Skyler Juhl, Ethan Cooksey, Kaden Baker, Drake Harbison, Jordan Hixson and Elijah Sieren.

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