CHS football loses thriller at Vandalia
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The Carlinville High School varsity football team came out firing on all cylinders at Vandalia Sept. 3, but let a 21-6 first quarter lead slip away and fell 49-41 in a game that truly exemplified what the “Friday night lights” were all about.
The Cavaliers dropped to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the South Central Conference.
Although the end result was a shootout, there were plenty of offensive miscues throughout the three-hour contest. The two rivals turned the ball over eight times as a collective.
Ayden Tiburzi finished with four touchdowns and 295 passing yards but got intercepted three times, twice in the red zone. In the middle stages of the game, he found Carson Wiser on a wide open hail mary like he did for the game’s opening touchdown early in the first quarter. Unfortunately, Wiser couldn’t haul it in and that took six points off the board.
“We just simply made too many mistakes,” head coach Chad Easterday said. “I thought our heart and desire was there but, at the end of the day, we can’t make our own mistakes and expect to win a close ball game like this.”
Carlinville got shut out in the second quarter, which was dominated by the Vandals, and went into halftime trailing 27-21.
The Cavaliers regained the lead on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Tiburzi to Wiser in the third.
A few minutes later, Vandalia quarterback Matthew Hagy had to leave the game with an injury as the Vandals were driving down the field for a counterpunch. He would ultimately return for the fourth, but the CHS defense took advantage for the time being and kept the Vandals from scoring.
“I had no idea what type of injury it was because we were more worried about us at that point in time but I’m glad he’s okay and that he was able to come back in the game,” Easterday said. “Stuff like that just happens sometimes. We too were struggling with that because we had a couple players that were cramping.”
Vandalia wide receiver Carson Ruot would later get shaken up as well but he too ended up fighting through the pain, which made a huge difference when everything was said and done.
For the complete story, see the September 9th edition of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat.