The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
The Illini West Charger football squad made the long trek this past Saturday to Momence and found out that most of the hype surrounding the highly rated Redskins is true. Momence scored in very quarter on their way to a convincing 48-8 victory over the Chargers. The loss drops the Chargers to 4-3 on the season.
The lone bright spot for the Chargers came when their defense forced a Redskin fumble in the 2nd quarter and senior linebacker Kaden Huston recovered the loose ball to set the IW offense in good field position inside the Momence 30-yard line.
Nine plays later IW fullback Austin Curfman pounded over the goal-line from 2-yards out. A successful conversion run by Charger halfback Nolan Ard cut the Momence lead to 14-8 and gave the Chargers faithful hope that this might be a game. Unfortunately that would prove to be the closest the Chargers would get in this one.
The Chargers were dominated in this game and the overall statistics more than confirm that domination. Momence gained over 400 yards on offense while holding the Chargers to 163 total yards. That total for IW includes only 95 yards on the ground, which is a telling statistic for a team that relies very heavily on its ground attack.
Curfman was the leading rusher for IW with 58 yards on 18 tough carries. Senior halfback Jacob Sholl added 24 yards on 6 attempts, while Ard netted 12 hards on 11 carries.
Senior quarterback Braden Bennett was bottled up most of the day, unable to break free running the ball and heavily rushed while he was attempting to pass it. He finished 1 of 6 passing for 68 yards and 1 early interception. The lone completion was caught by senior tight end Dusty Waddell.
The Charger offense actually held up pretty well for most of the game until the Momence offensive onslaught became too much during the game's second half. Huston was the leading tackler with 14 total tackles (solos and assists), while senior defensive back Dalton Merry finished with 10. Curfman, Waddell, Colton Ragain, and Taylor Boston all finished in excess of 6 tackles each.
Also on the Charger tackle chart were Ard (3), Sholl (3), Nate Palmer (3), Brandon Stanuch (2), Avery Fader (2), Colton Mellinger (2), Jace Norman (2), Christian Peacock (1), Ethan Johnson (1), Landon McKeown (1), and Aden Trout (1).
The Chargers will return to action this Friday night when they have a key West Central Conference game with West Hancock. This game is pivotal for the play-off aspirations of both ball clubs. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m.