Ludlum, Jacobs run past Dundee-Crown
Ben Ludlum admits to not being the most impressive of athletes a year ago.
"I weighed 150 (pounds)...maybe," Ludlum said.
But during the long, seemingly-endless off-season, Ludlum decided to make a change. And in doing so, he has become quite impressive.
The 5-11 junior -- now a solid and speedy 180 pounds -- rushed for 124 yards and four touchdowns, and the Jacobs defense turned in a tenacious performance as the Eagles rolled to a 47-12 Fox Valley Conference victory on a brisk Thursday night.
Ludlum scored the Eagles' first touchdown on a 13-yard run in the first quarter and then added three more scoring runs of 23, 7, and 32 yards, the last of which gave Jacobs (1-2, 1-2) a 47-6 lead and put the running clock rule in effect just one minute into the third quarter.
"Once (last) season ended, I hit the gym every day. I changed what I ate and took better care of my body," Ludlum said. "Tonight, the holes were everywhere. The O-line and the other running backs did a great job blocking. Everything smooth. We made a lot less mistakes."
Ludlum's night was made easier thanks to the efforts of offensive linemen Kyle Koziel, Ben Lubeley, Paulie Rudolph, Will Seibert, and Luke Shannon, who paved the way for a 261-yard rushing effort by the Jacobs backs. Nasir Canty added 72 yards on eight carries and scored twice for the winners on runs of 4 and 23 yards.
The Jacobs defense was not about to be overlooked, scoring two touchdowns of its own. Savan Smith scooped up a fumble and returned it 59 yards for a score on the first play of the second quarter, and Jaiden LaRoss stepped in front of a Bryan Ward pass and recorded a 94-yard pick-six.
"We felt like we were a better team than we showed last week (a 32-14 loss to Hampshire), and this week we targeted some areas for improvement," said Eagles coach Brian Zimmerman, who recorded his first-ever victory at Jacobs. "We've worked really, really hard. We are down eight starters from what would have been the fall season and we start 16 underclassmen, including four freshmen."
D-C scored on its opening drive of the game when Ward (15 of 26, 204 yards) found Hunter Guyon (four receptions, 51 yards) for a 10-yard touchdown pass. However, the Chargers (0-3, 0-3) found running the ball difficult against the Jacobs front-7. D-C rushed for 102 yards on the night, however, 67 of those yards came on one play late in the contest. The other Charger score was a 41-yard pass from Ward to Drew Randl late in the game.
"We know that you win football games up front, and tonight the physicality was not there for us," D-C coach Mike Steinhaus said. "But we also had a new offensive line since our last game. We're trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together and we're looking to find some continuity up front."