For the third time in school history and the first time in over 20 years, the Monroe City Panthers win a state high school football championship.

At Farout Field in Columbia, the Panthers held on for a 12-7 win over perennial powerhouse Ste. Genevieve Valle to bring home the Class 1 state title.

The Warriors scored first on a 23 yard run by Carter Roth. The Panthers answered with a 35 yard run by Cole Pennewell and trailed 7-6 until late in the third quarter.

What turned out to be the winning score came on a six yard run by Gage Bottoms with 3:35 left in the third.

The Monroe City defense protected the lead down the stretch, highlighted by a pass interception by Nehemiah Batsell in the end zone with a little over nine minutes left, and another pick by Dawson Shively in the final minute to seal the win.

Monroe City finishes its season 15-0 and celebrates its first state title since the Dale Labuary-led Panthers beat Springfield Catholic for the Class 2 title at the Dome in St. Louis in 1996.

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