Welcome to the wacky world of the SCC
In what has been a wacky first three weeks of the South Central Conference, chalk up another crazy game Friday night at Carlinville High School.
The Cavies outscored Greenville 56-26, the Comets second consecutive loss after having just nine losses in their previous 86 games. Brady Egelhoff and Jacob Dixon combined for seven of Carlinville’s eight touchdowns in the game. Dylan Chism added another dimension on the ground for the Cavies.
Greenville had won four of the previous five meetings against Carlinville and had won five straight games at the Cavies home. But behind a three-headed rushing attack and strong early defense, the Comets limped back to Bond County with an uncharacteristic 1-2 record.
Greenville has allowed 108 points in it’s two road losses. Carlinville bounced back from a poor first half against Vandalia resulting in a rare loss to the Vandals.
“After last week, I thought our heads were down,” Carlinville coach Chad Easterday said. “We had a tremendous week of practice. I cannot tell you how proud I am of our team. They have taken on new responsibilities and new roles. We spend all winter and all preseason working on stuff and kids have roles, and all of a sudden it changes overnight with injuries. That’s what great football teams do is adapt to those things.”
The Comets trailed 28-0 at the half this week after the Cavaliers came out and jumped out on top early. Behind nearly 500 yards on the ground, the Cavies went to work early, getting a break on its first drive.
Last week fumbles hurt Carlinville in the first half. A fumble on the Cavies first drive could have been trouble, but Konnor Emmons was in the right spot at the right time, picking up a fumble and motoring 45 yards down the right sideline for a 7-0 Carlinville lead nearly two minutes into the game.
Late in the quarter, the Cavies got a big third down stop for loss by Mitchell Bolomey to force a punt. Carlinville quickly scored a gain on a Egelhoff 14-yard touchdown run, the first of four touchdowns in the game for Egelhoff. It was 14-0 after a quarter.
Then the fun, as a pooch kickoff from Hayden Thompson fell to the ground, where Carlinville recovered at the Greenville 37-yard line.
Taking advantage of the situation, Egelhoff would score from eight yards out to make it 20-0 Carlinville with 10:35 left in the first half.
“It was a huge turning point in the game,” Easterday said. “It’s 14-0 and come up with that (recovered kickoff) and then punch it in the end zone to make it 20-0 is one of those that breaks a guys’ back. It really helped swing the momentum.”
Greenville again lost the ball on downs at the Carlinville 44-yard line, and the Cavies would drive right back down the field, going 56 yards in seven plays. Dixon’s first touchdown of the game came from 30 yards out with 5:45 left in the half, and made it 28-0.
One more time the Carlinville defense stepped up, forcing four straight incompletions from Comets quarterback Ryan Hutchinson. Chism and Egelhoff helped eat up the final 2:18 of the first half with Carlinville in front 28-0.
Greenville nearly came back last week in Piasa with a second half comeback. Carlinville tried to put that the bed early in the third quarter.
On the second drive, Egelhoff scored on a 38-yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive. It was 35-0 with 8:56 left in the third quarter.
Dylan Chism intercepted a pass moments later to end Greenville’s next drive.
After a Carlinville punt, the Comets finally got on the scoreboard with 1:58 left in the third on a 12-yard touchdown run by Seth Moore.
However, the Cavs would score two plays later on a 60-yard touchdown by Dixon, getting good blocking from the offensive line, a theme in the game. It was 42-6 after three quarters.
Greenville scored early in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Hutchinson to Dawson Chesnut and the two point conversion made it 42-14 with 10:44 left in the game.
Not taking any chances, the Cavs scored two minutes later on Egelhoff’s 49-yard touchdown scamper, his fourth touchdown of the game.
Greenville responded with a 68-yard drive, but taking valuable minutes off the clock. Moore’s five-yard score made it 49-20.
Again the Cavies answered the call on offense. Dixon had all but six of the Cavies 60 yards on the next drive, scoring from 16 yards out to make it 56-20.
Greenville’s final score came on the next play, a 36-yard run by Moore.
Egelhoff finished with 185 yards on 15 carries. Dixon finished with 183 yards on 15 carries and Chism had 24 carries for 125 yards in the contest.
“With Walton’s injury, we went to more of a three-back set,” Easterday said. “Dylan is one of those kids that took on a role in the offseason. He was our third running back in a shotgun spread offense. We’ve kind of adapted our offense to have three backs. He stepped in there and did a great job.”
Carlinville had 494 yards rushing on 55 attempts, and had just two passes by Chandler Seago, completing 1 of 2 for 9 yards. Brady Jamieson had the reception.
The Cavies had 22 first downs to Greenville’s 25 first downs, and held a time of possession edge by a 24:58 to 23:02 margin.
Chism added 16 tackles, four solo for Carlinville with Bolomey having 17 tackles, five solo. Blake Richardson added 10 tackles. Matt Bolomey and Broedy Long had nine tackles each.
Moore led offensive ground for Greenville with 134 yards on 17 carries. Hutchinson completed 17 of 34 passes for 196 yards. Brady Simpson had 10 catches for 115 yards.
A crucial week four road test for the Cavaliers (2-1) as they travel to Pana to meet the only unbeaten team left in the SCC, the Panthers. Game time is 7 p.m. following the freshman football game which starts at 5 p.m.
“They are one of the elite teams in the conference,” Easterday said of the Pana challenge Friday. “We always have great battles over the years. We have to go over there which is a tough situation.”
Easterday said the conference is very balanced and every game is critical.
“When you talk about the Southwestern’s and the Greenville’s and the strange scores that we have the first three weeks just in general, I think every win is a great win and every win is a cherished win,” Easterday said. “It’s one of those things where you have to keep your mind on the goal of getting to the playoffs.”