South Elgin shuts out West Chicago
South Elgin couldn't have asked for a better start to its 2019 football season.
Davion Cherwin's 37-yard touchdown run on the third play from scrimmage kick-started nine first-half Storm scores, leading to a running clock all of the second half.
In an Upstate Eight Conference opener at West Chicago, nine South Elgin players scored to beat the Wildcats 65-0. Andrew Bucaro added a field goal and Anthony Cirrincione recorded a safety making a tackle in the end zone.
"I'll be honest with you, I didn't see this coming. You can't really predict an outcome like this, no one saw this coming. I thought we were fast and physical," said Storm coach Dragan Teonic, able to unload his bench and give reps not only to starting quarterback Ben Karpowicz but also to Eron Mahmudi and Payton Dennis.
A sophomore in his first varsity start, Karpowicz used a 61-yard pass to Cristopher Mejia-Gomez to set up a 5-yard scoring strike to Calin Gurau. Karpowicz also ran for touchdowns of 9 and 26 yards.
"Obviously, we have like 10 returning starters from last year, so we really just fit in nicely," Karpowicz said. "Everyone knows their job, it all just clicks together. It's not really hard to fit in with them."
Protection and blocking by Kalvin Harvey, Michael Roath, Sam Minnifield, Jacob Cooper and Vincent Tringali was strong.
"As a lineman corps we've really come together and we've really jelled, and we have that friendship. And that friendship has turned into the monstrosity that we have up front -- the front five and when we add our tight end, that front six," said senior Andy Koch, a tight end who also impacted on defense. "So us really working together, the way that we've jelled has showed onto the field, and obviously the scoreboard shows."
Mahmudi hit Mejia-Gomez for a 29-yard touchdown pass that with Bucaro's kick made the score 46-0 with 7:55 left in the second quarter. Corve King's second touchdown run and Bucaro's 21-yard field goal brought the halftime score to 56-0.
Alex Noworol scored on an early 16-yard run and Christian Mastropieri concluded the scoring on a 13-yard touchdown run. Cherwin and Marquis Gillespie each intercepted passes, and the Storm allowed West Chicago minus-10 yards rushing and 4 first downs.
West Chicago senior quarterback Luke Krogh completed passes to five receivers for 89 yards.
"Our quarterback, Luke Krogh, made a lot of good decisions and actually threw quite a few good balls. But we've got to execute better from everybody else," said Wildcats coach Tyler Belding.
"We have good players on our line, and next week they're going to play a lot better," he said. "So I'm kind of just excited to move forward, because it's just one game. They can score 100 points, it's still just one game."