MONROE CITY, Mo. — Monroe City football fans have memories of seeing a black jersey with No. 21 in yellow running toward the end zone.
Those moments came from former player and assistant coach Jamar White.
Antwuan Battle put on quite the impression of his late uncle.
Battle, the nephew of White, who died in a car crash last Saturday, ran for three touchdowns with 102 rushing yards in Monroe City's 40-22 victory over rival Palmyra Friday night at Lankford Field.
He did it all while wearing the No. 21 jersey in honor of White instead of his usual No. 14.
“It meant everything,” Battle said. “I was going to ask Coach on Monday, but he came up to me first and asked if I wanted to. I said, 'Yes,' right away.
“That whole game was for him.”
Battle didn't disappoint.
“You're damn right he wore that number well,” Monroe City coach David Kirby said. “I wondered if he would want to wear that number. He wore it with pride tonight and did a great job.”
Battle thinks his uncle would have been proud, too.
“He'd tell me maybe I do have some of his blood in me,” Battle said with a smile. “That's exactly what he'd say. But he'd still be proud.”
Kirby was proud of the way Monroe City came together after going through a difficult week trying to prepare for a game. The game, however, was nearly therapeutic.
Battle's first touchdown came on a 40-yard run to put Monroe City ahead 8-0 with 9:29 left in the opening quarter. He scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter to make it 16-0, which Monroe City took to halftime.
Palmyra answered with Corder Lehenbauer's 17-yard run to cut the deficit in half, but Palmyra never got closer than eight points.
“We scored zero points in the first half and 22 in the second,” Miles said. “If we scored 22 points in the first half, we win this game 44-40. It is what it is.”
Battle's third touchdown came on a 4-yard pass from Kyle Hays to make it 24-8. Both sides traded the next four touchdowns. Lehenbauer threw a 31-yard pass to Cooper Hinkle, and Dakota Compton had a 2-yard touchdown run.
Hays thew a 5-yard scoring pass to Logan Buhlig, and Keenan Batsell had a 3-yard touchdown run.
“I play called for (Battle),” Kirby said. “I knew what he could do. I wanted him to go out and do his thing and honor his uncle. That's what tonight was about, and that's exactly what he did.”