Dietz wins 1st game at Larkin
Grant Dietz will remember his first win as Larkin's head coach.
It was all Royals in the team's Friday night Upstate Eight matchup with Fenton in Bensenville.
Larkin (1-1) scored 49 unanswered points in the first half on its way to a 56-0 win over the Bison.
"It was a very impressive win," Dietz said. "For the players to play like they did tonight in my second game as varsity coach, it makes me very proud of them."
The Royals' defense accounted for the first two touchdowns posted on the scoreboard. Jamarion Stubbs picked off a Nathan Stewart pass and returned it 18 yards for the first TD five minutes into the game. The pick-six atoned for an opening Larkin kickoff return touchdown that was called back due to a penalty.
On Fenton's next possession, Larkin linebacker Jalen Miller scooped up a fumbled pass reception and scrambled for 25 yards to put the Royals up 14-0 at the 4:11 mark of the first quarter.
After an unproductive first possession, Larkin's offense game alive, scoring on the team's five other first half possessions.
Quarterback Dontrell Maxie's passing drove Larkin's offense in the first 24 minutes of play. The senior completed eight of 11 pass attempts for 204 yards. Three of the completions resulted in TDs: an 18-yarder to Tim Scott; a 54-yard bomb to Chevelle Clements; and a 37-yard toss to Erick Myrik.
Maxie scored one of the TDs himself on 1-yard scamper.
The final Larkin score of the half was also a pass. DeArrius Clary replaced Maxie for the Royals' final drive of the second quarter. He ended the possession with an 11-yard strike to Stubbs.
In addition to converting all of his PATs, Hector Flores helped set up a Larkin score when the junior intercepted a Stewart pass.
Larkin finished the night with 319 yards gained. Jalen Miller was the team's leading rusher with 38 yards on five carries.
Clardy finished the team's scoring with a 27-yard run in the third quarter.
"All three phases of the game came together," said Dietz. "Offensively, we made plays. Defense gave us good positions and it was a downhill fight for us all. It was a quality Fenton team, a very tough Fenton team. They have a lot of youth and will be good in a couple of years."
"It was a good win. We played as a team. We played good defense and our offense was flowing," Stubbs said. "I hope we can carry it over to next week."
The Bison were unable to get their offense on track. Larkin held Fenton to a total of 36 yards. Fenton played its first game after it had to cancel last week's matchup against South Elgin because of COVID concerns.
"Larkin put one on us," said Fenton coach Matt Lynch. "Some of our kids played OK, played decent and were able to get some experience. We have a lot of young kids."