CHS football wins 650th game in program history

CHS football wins 650th game in program history

Carlinville High School running back Mason Patton battles his way through a platoon of defenders during a road South Central Conference football game at Gillespie Sept. 17. Patton scored a touchdown and rushed for 108 yards on 18 carries. The Cavaliers defeated the Miners, 42-7. Enquirer~Democrat photo by Denise Simpson.


Cavaliers power past Miners, 42-7

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

The Carlinville High School varsity football team racked up another milestone by winning its 650th game in program history Sept. 17. The Cavaliers currently rank amongst the top 20 on Illinois’ all-time wins’ list and are now 650-326-42 in 106 years.

For the second time this season, the Cavaliers went into a hostile environment and crashed the party. This time, it was the Gillespie Miners that played the victim in a 42-7 blowout.

Carlinville improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the South Central Conference.

“We always love beating a rival like this but its just another tally mark in the win column for us,” CHS head coach Chad Easterday said. “We’ll celebrate this but we also have to stay focused and get ready for the next week.”

Ayden Tiburzi continued to stay locked in at the quarterback position for the Cavaliers and completed five touchdown passes for the second week in a row. Aside from a single interception that came with three minutes left in the first half, the senior captain was flawless, going 20 for 26 with 232 yards and a quarterback rating of 126.9 while completing at least one pass to seven different players.

“Everybody is doing their part right now and we’ve come together,” Tiburzi said. “I wouldn’t be anything without these great players around me.”

Tiburzi connected with Ethen Siglock and Carson Wiser for two touchdowns apiece and delivered a seven-yard end zone throw through a tight window to Henry Kufa for a third unanswered first half touchdown. Wiser was the leading receiver for the Cavaliers, making nine catches for 126 yards. Siglock reeled in three passes and added 62 yards.

Mason Patton rushed for 108 yards and 18 carries that included a 55-yard rush to Gillespie’s two-yard line. Patton punched the ball in for a touchdown on the ensuing play with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Defensively, the Cavaliers got a sack from Conner Strutner and an interception from Siglock. Ryenn Hart made nine tackles with Mason Duckels and Jake Schwartz adding six apiece.

“These guys just keep having these great games and helping me out,” Tiburzi said. “I simply can’t praise them enough.”

On the other side, Gillespie is now in a 1-3 hole.

Ever since a 62-20 Week 1 win at Litchfield, Gillespie has been overpowered 121-22 by a trio of SCC contenders. At home, the Miners’ offense has only managed nine points and one touchdown, which came on a 71-yard rush courtesy of Chase Helvey in the closing minutes of the second quarter last Friday. Helvey ended the night with 163 of Gillespie’s 254 yards on the ground while carrying the ball 16 times.

The GHS offense has yet to score in the second half on its home soil. In fact, if it wasn’t for an early safety Week 2, the Miners would have gone an entire evening without a point in general against Greenville. Gillespie lost that game 35-2 and had similar struggles the next week during a 44-13 road loss to Pana.

Over the course of this active losing skid, Gillespie has been outscored 65-6 after halftime.

In addition to the adversity of getting their season back on the right foot, the Miners will have to go back on the road to face yet another heavyweight in 3-1 Vandalia next week. Later in the season, GHS meets Southwestern, which currently has yet to lose a game (5-0), and 3-1 Nokomis in a non-conference dual. In order to make the playoffs, the Miners will have to beat at least two of those teams.

“The schedule is what it is but that has nothing to do with how we’ve played in the second half of these games,” Bilbruck said. “We’ve got to make some corrections and figure out who we are in a hurry because we’re running out of time.”