Warren routs Zion-Benton behind deep running attack
It was business as usual for the Warren Blue Devils, who put a 56-6 hurting on visiting Zion-Benton on homecoming night Friday in Gurnee.
The win improves the Devils to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the North Suburban with a key NSC date at Lake Zurich comingnext Friday.
"We were disappointed in not getting the shutout tonight, but Zion made a great play," said Warren head coach Bryan McNulty, whose squad has recorded 3 shutouts this season and defensively are allowing 2 points per game.
"This was a great team win. We want to continue working on ourselves and take it one game at a time."
Warren, which earned an automatic playoff berth with the win, got it going early and often.
Seamus Mellican recovered a muffed punt on the opposing 1-yard line on Zion's first possession.
From there, running back Derrick McLaughlin plunged in to make it 7-0 with 9:34 left in the first.
"We talked about how important it was to jump on them (Zion) early," added McNulty. "We established the running game, and our defense played really well. And everyone got to play."
After a 3-and-out, Zion punted, and McLaughlin rumbled 49 yards to the house to make it 14-0 with 7:13 left in the opening act.
On its next possession, Zion took the ball down to the Warren 8-yard line, only to have defensive lineman Willis Singleton bat away a pass on 4th-and-seven.
McLaughlin then scored his 3rd touchdown on the ensuing Warren possession when he dashed in from 5 yards out. McLaughlin finished the night with 5 carries for 95 yards.
Then, running back Kash Becoate got into the action, scoring the Devils' next 3 touchdowns.
After a Zion punt, he first raced in from 9 yards to make it 28-0 with 6:36 left in the first half. Becoate then added back-to-back runs of 6 yards in the final 3 minutes to make it 42-0 at halftime, which resulted in a second-half running clock.
With the game well in hand, Warren running back Torris Childs scampered in from 30 yards to make it 49-0 with 8:30 left in the third.
Zion (2-4, 1-3) spoiled the shutout when Stephan Watkins hauled in a 96-yard scoring strike from Eric Franklin after wrestling the ball away from a Warren defender.
Warren answered right back, though, when Childs galloped 81 yards down the right sideline for the final margin of victory.
with under 5 minutes remaining.
Childs finished with 149 yards on 4 carries.
"I ran hard and found the holes," said Childs. "Our offensive line has been awesome."
McNulty likes the fact, too, that he has three running backs who can excel at any time.
"They are all legit," he said.