Run Game Propels Illini West Past Havana
Illini West’s varsity football team was looking for a rebound performance following a tough loss in week one, and it got just that with a hard-fought win over Havana.
The first quarter came and went without a score, but the second quarter saw Havana jump out to a 12-0 lead after two quick scores. Illini West scored right near the end of the half to cut the lead to 12-8, and this appeared to be the boost the Chargers needed to crack back into this game.
An Ethan James touchdown run about halfway through the third quarter saw the Chargers finally take the lead at 16-12, and the Chargers went into the fourth quarter with this same advantage. However, the fourth quarter began with a bang for the Havana offense, as two minutes in Troy Wickman found paydirt on an 83-yard touchdown pass to give the lead back to the Ducks at 20-16.
The Chargers continued their impressive fighting spirit throughout the fourth quarter, ultimately failing to regain the lead until the very last minute of the game. Illini West led a very impressive late-game drive that saw them get all the way to the Havana 5-yard line, where Cole Jackson was able to punch it in to give the Chargers their game-winning score with 13 seconds left. The final score was 22-20 in favor of Illini West.
Statistically, Illini West seems to have found its replacements for Colton Sargent and Nick Vorhies in the likes of Cole Jackson and Ethan James. The pair combined for 203 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns as the triple-option offense continues to work wonders for the Chargers. Jackson added a 28-yard catch, while James led the team with 5.5 tackles as the two proved their versatility outside the run game.
Havana was statistically quite the opposite, as the Ducks were carried by the passing efforts of QB Troy Wickman. Wickman completed 12 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns as the Ducks provided a different look than many of the offenses in the area. With an arm like Wickman’s, the Ducks are sure to be a problem for whomever they play.
Illini West will have an opportunity to make this two wins in a row when they hit the road to take on Knoxville this Friday, September 13th. That game is set for a 7 PM kick off.