August 22, 2017

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Indians blank Salukis to keep trophy
LAWRENCEVILLE - Lawrenceville High School's football team had plenty of help from rival Red Hill Friday night, in easily retaining the Oil Field Trophy.

The Indians turned three first-half turnovers into touchdowns and waltzed past the Salukis, 49-0, at Ed Loeb Field.

The win was the third in a row for the Indians, who will take a record of 7-2 into Saturday's Illinois High School Association Class 2A playoff game at Cerro Gordo. The Salukis finished the season with a 1-8 mark under first-year coach Billy Gray.

The Salukis turned the ball over on three of their first four possessions, giving LHS premium field position each time. All three drives resulted in touchdowns, as the Indians led 18-0 less than 13 minutes into the game.

"It was important for us to put some points on the board real quick, and we took advantage of those turnovers," LHS coach Greg Wood said. "I thought that was a great thing for us right off the bat."

For the Salukis, the early miscues wiped out all his teams hopes of upsetting the Indians.

"When you put the ball on the turf, you can't win. Without (the football), you can't score," Gray said. "When that happens early, it crushes the team spirit, and with no momentum you can't do a whole lot."

Thomas Grove recovered a fumble on the Salukis first drive, setting the Indians up at the RHHS 30. From there the Indians needed just five plays to score, as Austin Wanke's six-yard run put his team on the scoreboard.

After the teams exchanged punts, the Indians' Evan Staggs picked off Dalton Murray's pass and returned it 33 yards. Moments later the Indians were on the scoreboard again, as Cole Hulen had an 11-yard touchdown run.

Another fumble gave the Indians possession in Red Hill territory, and LHS was quick to capitalize. Hulen's second touchdown came on a 10-yard run, capping a 43-yard march.

Things were out of hand by halftime, as a six-yard TD run by Wanke and a four-yard scamper by Zach Shoulders boosted the score to 34-0 at the break.

The Indians moved 65 yards at the outset of the second half, stretching the lead to 42-0 on a 44-yard jaunt by Shoulders and Bert Maddle's two-point conversion run, setting the running clock in motion with 9:35 left in the third period.

Shoulders tacked on the final LHS touchdown, running four-yards for a score with 3:58 to play in the third period.

The Indians gained 264 yards on the ground and finished with a 297-123 edge in total offense. Hulen, who carried 19 times for 134 yards and now has more than 1,000 rushing yards for the season, was the Indians' top threat.

Wood was especially pleased with the LHS defense, which will enter the playoffs having posted back-to-back shutouts.

"One of our goals is to have a goose egg on the scoreboard, and we've been able to do that the last couple of ballgames," he said. "We put a lot of emphasis on defense. We're putting up a lot of yards and a lot of points, but when you get into the playoffs it's defense that has to carry you."

The win was the Indians' second in a row over the Salukis, although Red Hill still leads the Oil Field Trophy series, 8-4. Lawrenceville has a commanding lead in the all-time series with Red Hill - and its predecessor, Bridgeport - 63-31-2.

Indians 49, Salukis 0

Score by quarters

Red Hill 0 0 0 0 - 0

Lawrenceville 12 22 15 0 - 49 RH L

First downs 8 13

by rushing 8 12

by passing 0 1

by penalty 0 0

Rushes-yards 41-123 47-264

Passing (C-A-I) 0-3-1 1-1-0

Passing yards 0 33

Total yards 123 297

Penalties-yards 1-5 5-40

Punts-average 4-24.5 2-32.5

Fumbles-lost 6-4 1-0

Possession 26:09 21:51

Scoring summary

L - Austin Wanke, 6 run (Kick failed), 9:50, 1st qtr. L 6, RH 0.

L - Cole Hulen, 11 run (Pass failed), 2:25, 1st qtr. L 12, RH 0.

L - Hulen, 10 run (Run failed), 11:23, 2nd qtr. L 18, RH 0.

L - Wanke, 6 run (Zach Shoulders run), 7:55, 2nd qtr. L 26, RH 0.

L - Shoulders, 4 run (Evan Staggs pass from Shoulders), 4:12, 2nd qtr. L 34, RH 0.

L - Shoulders, 44 run (Bert Maddle run), 9:35, 3rd qtr. L 42, RH 0.

L - Shoulders, 4 run (Shoulders kick), 3:58, 3rd qtr. L 49, RH 0.

Individual statistics

Rushing - Red Hill: Derek Clevy 5-35, Max Andersen 11-27, Eli Evans 7-25, Tyler Scaggs 7-23, Tyler Tussey 1-5, Jacob Wirth 1-3, Matt Young 1-3, Dalton Murray 7-1, Lance Phillips 1-0. Lawrenceville: Hulen 19-134 (2 TDs), Zach Shoulders 10-71 (3 TDs), Austin Wanke 7-25 (2 TDs), Gage McIntosh 5-21, Evan Staggs 2-17, Dalton Vories 4-minus 4.

Passing - Red Hill: Murray 0-3-1, 0 yards. Lawrenceville: Shoulders 1-1-0, 33 yards.

Receiving - Lawrenceville: McIntosh 1-33.

Punting - Red Hill: Wirth 4-98, 24.5 avg. Lawrenceville: Shoulders 2-65, 32.5 avg.

Kickoff returns: Red Hill: Clevy 3-42, Wirth 2-22, Evans 1-23, Scaggs 1-10.

Interceptions - Lawrenceville: Staggs 1-33.


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