The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
The Tolono Unity Rockets proved to be too tall a task for the road-weary Illini West Chargers last Friday night. The Rockets high octane offense got on the board early and often in soundly defeating the visiting Chargers. The 3.5 hour bus ride probably didn't help matters, but the Rockets were definitely the bigger challenge as they knocked off the Chargers 56-20. The loss ends IW's season at 2-7 overall.
An early touchdown by sophomore QB Kennedy Gooding on a sneak, gave IW hope as they marched down the field on their second possession. That TD cut the Rocket's advantage to 7-6, but hope was short lived for IW as the Rocket's scored 4 more TD's before the half ended. The Chargers were able to move the ball, but turnovers, a season long plague, continued to haunt their offensive attack.
The Chargers were able to post a pair of 2nd half scores to keep things relatively respectable. The first came in the 3rd quarter on a 41-yard pass from Gooding to sophomore running back Connor Artman. The last score came in the 4th period on a 1-yard run by senior fullback Christian Peacock.
The Chargers offense gained 282 yards on this night with 237 of that total on the ground. Senior halfback Kyle Tanner was the IW rushing leader with 74 yards on 9 carries. Artman added 62 yards, while Peacock picked up 54 and junior halfback Joe Adkisson netted 34.
The Charger defense was led by Tanner's 9 total tackles and 8 total stops each from Peacock, Artman, and senior tackle Taylor Boston. Senior Linebacker Alex McCune recorded 6 stops, while Jordan Patrick, Brandon Stanuch, Bryce Cook had 5 each. Aden Trout (2 tackles), Nick Greenslaugh (2), Joe Adkisson (2), Landon McKeown (2), and Austin Phillips (1) rounded out the Charger tackling chart.