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The Carlinville High School football coaching staff includes, from left, assistant coach John Reels, assistant coach Ryan Tosh, assistant coach Ken Garrison, assistant coach Quinn Steiner, head coach Chad Easterday, assistant coach Alan Cooper, assistant coach Mike Bolomey, assistant coach Don Borgini and assistant coach Michael Morrison. Photo by Eric Becker of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat.
The 2017 Carlinville High School football captains are, front row, from left, Donovan King and Josh Hinzman; back row, Gabe Long, Max Rogers, A.J. Chapman and Garrett Campbell. Photo by Eric Becker of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat.
Country Financial/Gary Edwards
Offensive Player of the Game
The Cubby Hole
Defensive Player of the Game
Farmer's Insurance/Jacob Hainsfurther
Game Changer Award
Saturday, September 30
By Nathan Woodside - For The Telegraph
PIASA — The Carlinville Cavaliers buzz saw of a football program continued its torrid pace Friday night, marching over Southwestern 35-0.
Southwestern head coach Aaron Fricke said he had a feeling about what was coming.
“You have to be realistic,” Fricke said, whose team dipped top 2-4.
What showed up was a 594 total-yard attack from the Cavs, who were ranked No. 6 in the Class 3A state poll before Friday night’s victory.
“They’re a big play team,” said Carlinville head coach Chad Easterday, whose team is 6-0. “We wanted to keep the pressure on (Southwestern quarterback Caleb Robinson) so he couldn’t make the big play. We wanted to get him off his spot. We didn’t want him to sit there and be real comfortable in the pocket. We were willing to give up a few pass yards in order to make that happen in the long run.”
Still, the Carlinville defense held Robinson to 6-of-23 in completions for 85 yards. Of that, 64 of those yards came on three catches by receiver Ben Lowis, including a 30-plus-yard shoestring grab in the second corner along the sideline while fighting a pass interference penalty.
“I wish that kid would have played football before his senior year,” Southwestern head coach Aaron Fricke said of Lowis’ breakout season. “He had never played football in his life. He’s still developing. We’ve got a couple games left, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he put up some big numbers.”
The Birds threatened to score multiple times, but were held by Carlinville’s stingy offense. Robinson was picked off twice late in the game on Carlinville’s goal line, both by Kyle Dixon covering Southwestern’s Justin Bailey, who collected a red zone interception of his own on defense.
Ethan Wallace led the ground game for Carlinville with 181 yards on 10 carries, while teammate Colton Delong ran the ball 11 times for 122 yards and one touchdown.
Quarterback Jarret Easterday put up 254 yards on 17 completions with two touchdowns, including one of 55 yards to Dixon and one of 59 yards to Jake Ambuel. Dixon had 126 yards on 10 receptions to compliment his two red zone interceptions. Ambuel had four receptions for 89 yards.
Wallace had a pair of touchdowns, including an 84-yard run in the second quarter. He also opened the scoring in the first quarter with an 8-yard run, followed by a two-point conversion pass from Easterday to A.J. Chapman.
In the second quarter, Easterday hooked up with Ambuel on their TD pass with 11:20 remaining. Matt Schmidt’s PAT kick made it 15-0. Then came Wallace’s long TD run, but the two-point conversion attempt failed.
Easterday hit Dixon with his long TD pass with eight seconds left in the half to make it 28-0.
In the third quarter, DeLong scored on a 12-yard run and Schmidt’s PAT capped the scoring.
Fricke said the potential for his Birds is still there for his team, who won the season’s first two games running a high-powered offense. Friday, the Piasa Birds had 164 yards of total offense.
“We were winning at halftime against Vandalia last week, and they’re a darn good team,” Fricke said. “I think the possibility is there, but you almost have to play a perfect game against schools like this. We didn’t play very well tonight, but again, you’re playing a top school, so it’s tough.”