Westminster Christian finishes season with a big win
Even if four wins in a year isn't enough to make it into the IHSA playoffs, it would mean doubling its wins from last year for Westminster Christian. Add in the first senior day in program history and it's easy to think that the high emotions could throw the players off their game.
That line of thought was put to bed quickly and often as the Warriors scored on 7 of their 9 possessions and set a school record for points, finishing with a 50-0 win over North Shore Country Day in Elgin on Saturday afternoon.
After forcing North Shore to turn it over on downs deep in its own territory, Warriors' running back Xavier Brown sprinted 24 yards on just the second play and found the end zone for the score.
Brown was not done just yet, needing three plays to score a second time. Brown once again sprinted downfield, but turned to catch a ball thrown by quarterback Max Tucker, going 45 yards for his second score.
That was just one of 5 touchdowns to five different receivers on the day for the senior QB, who also threw for 364 yards. Tucker, who has gotten interest from Purdue, Northwestern, Cornell and Illinois State, has been asked to play in the Diamonds in the Rough game at the Citrus Bowl in January.
"You're never going to find someone who is as passionate and who takes the game as seriously as Tucker," Warriors' coach John Davis said. "He's got a phenomenal arm and is exceptionally accurate. He also reads defenses extremely well, and that's tough to teach."
Tucker used what he saw out of the defense to rip through the Raiders' (1-8, 1-8 Northeastern Athletic Conference) secondary, with 4 of his 5 touchdowns coming from 20 yards or more.
"They were rotating from a cover 2 to a cover 3 and blitzed their strong safety," Tucker said about the Raider defense. "I knew I had to be cautious of him because my line wasn't supposed to pick him up. When we were cautious of that we knew we had a guy wide open because there was only one safety over the top."
Connor Albrecht, who finished with a game-high 118 yards receiving, was the recipient of one such play. Catching the ball in the flat and beating his defender to get into open field, Albrecht found himself in the back of the end zone with a 79-yard touchdown reception, putting Westminster (4-5, 4-5) up 20-0 just before the end of the first quarter.
Noah Anderson (67 yards) would catch a 44-yard TD pass in the second quarter while the only other senior on the team, Adam Greene, would nail a 30-yard field goal before halftime to give the Warriors a 30-0 lead.
Brown (87 yards rushing, 91 receiving) would add a 30-yard run to open scoring in the second half to give him 3 TDs on the day while Tucker continued to chuck the ball downfield, finding Scotty Graziano (54 yards) for a 27-yard score to get a running clock with a 44-0 lead.
The final score came on a short 8-yard strike to Markus Grasemann to not only put a capper on the game but set a record for most points and guaranteed the most wins as well, something Davis hopes to break next year.
"We increased by 100 percent this year, and I hope we increase by 100 percent next year as well because that means we are in the playoffs," Davis said. "We're expecting to be the best our team has ever been next year."