Big plays lift Hampshire past Crystal Lake Central
Hampshire wasted no time making big plays Friday against Crystal Lake Central, intercepting Tigers quarterback Colton Madura on the first play of the game.
Hampshire running back Charles Sladek was somehow on the receiving end of a 30-yard pass from Tyler Fikis while sitting on his rear at the Tigers' 7-yard line on the ensuing drive, and three plays later caught the first of the Whips' six scores.
Hampshire kept rolling from there, finishing with 492 yards of total offense on their way to a 43-6 win over Crystal Lake Central in their Fox Valley Conference game. The Whips (2-2, 2-2), who gave up 48 points to Crystal Lake South last week, moved back to .500 with the win.
"It's huge," Hampshire coach Jake Brosman said. "Central is obviously a very good team, and we're pretty proud of that win, I'll be honest. It was a hard, physical game. Our boys executed well. I'd say it was one of the bigger wins we've had since I've been here."
Whips quarterback Tyler Fikis finished the game with five total touchdowns, completing 7 of 12 passes for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns. He added 139 yards on the ground with scoring runs of 7, 20 and 40 yards.
Hampshire led 28-0 at halftime and held a 333-74 advantage in total yards. The Whips started the second half with a 7-play, 79-yard scoring drive that took only 2:39 off the clock and ended on a Tristan Villarreal 33-yard touchdown run for a 35-0 lead.
Villarreal finished with 146 rushing yards on 12 carries. Wide receiver Devin Yeats had 4 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown, while Sladek added two catches for 36 yards and a score.
As good as Hampshire's offense was, the Whips' defense was equally as dominant. After Crystal Lake Central's interception on the game's opening drive, they forced the Tigers (2-2, 2-2) into five first-half punts.
"Central's offense is explosive," Brosman said. "We honed in on being able to stop those explosive plays. We knew the game plan well, and we executed it well. It was clear our boys knew what to expect from their offense. We want to play physical, and we played physical."
Hampshire had five sacks in the game, all from different players: Xander Gramarossa, Daniel Chojnowski, Ethan Jimenez, Villarreal and Collin Kallhoff.
Zach Vodraska intercepted Madura to start the game, and Tyler Doonan added an interception in the second half.
Crystal Lake Central quarterback Jason Penza finished 13-of-31 passing for 122 yards and a score after Madura left with an injury in the second quarter. Penza also had 60 yards on the ground.
Brent Blitek had 83 yards rushing on 18 carries for Crystal Lake Central, while Myles Stanger had 44 yards receiving and a touchdown. Jake Carnrite also had 44 yards on 5 catches.