Needing a win to secure a state playoff berth, St. Charles East's football team left little doubt about its postseason plans Friday night.
Seven different players scored touchdowns as the Saints (6-2, 3-2) rolled to a 77-0 Upstate Eight Conference River Division victory over Elgin at Norris Stadium.
"I thought we executed well tonight," said Saints coach Bryce Farquhar, whose team outgained the Maroons (2-6, 1-4) by a staggering 379-24 margin. "That was one of the biggest things."
Senior quarterback Clayton Isbell returned to the starting lineup for the first time in 3 weeks due to a foot/ankle injury and made his presence felt on the Saints' opening drive.
Isbell capped a 5-play, 51-yard drive with an electrifying 26-yard touchdown run as the Saints grabbed a 7-0 lead with 8:44 left in the first quarter.
"Clayton coming out and getting a few series in -- that was big for us," said Farquhar. "I was really glad to see him get back and get a few reps in, fine-tuning for the playoffs. We know that's the direction we're heading.
"We talk to the kids all the time about taking playoff reps no matter who your opponent is. I think they did that tonight."
The Saints' lead swelled to 21-0 after 1 quarter before a 35-point second quarter extended the margin to 56-0 by halftime.
Junior Justin Jett (11 carries, 63 yards) scored on runs of 3 and 4 yards, respectively, while senior 2-way standout Nick Garlisch (4 carries, 75 yards) added TD runs of 27 and 31 yards before his 43-yard punt return for a TD with 49 seconds left in the half.
"That was the first one this season," said Garlisch. "It felt good. I've come close a couple times but it felt good to finally get it. I thought for sure I'd turn around and see a bunch of flags but there was none."
Abe Swanson (14-yard run) and Ronan Macaluso (11-yard run) added first-half touchdowns for the Saints.
Junior backup quarterback Jake Guzick scored a pair of second-half touchdowns while junior Dan Goetsch closed out the scoring on a 20-yard TD run with 2:20 remaining.
"We put a lot of our backups in and they've been waiting for their chance," said Farquhar.
Drew Conn, Pat Griffin and Robert Carne recovered fumbles while Jacob Molina added an interception for the Saints.
"We had the two-game skid so it feels good now to get the wins under our belt and prepare for the playoffs," said Garlisch.
Held to just 4 first-half yards of total offense, Elgin finished the contest with 4 first downs.
"It's really tough," said Elgin tailback Brandon Bridges. "We've just got to bounce back from this and give everything we've got for next week's Larkin game."