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|Lawrenceville 61, Edwards County 6|
Sophomore scores five TDs; Tribe romps
ALBION - It wasn't until after his team had scored nine touchdowns and rushed for more than 500 yards in a 61-6 thrashing of Edwards County that Lawrenceville High School football coach Greg Wood disclosed the Indians' purpose.
"I talked to the team about it, and our intent was to make a statement," he said, after LHS took a 42-0 halftime lead, which meant the clock didn't stop running in the second half, thanks to the Illinois High School Association's 40-point mercy rule. "I think we proved tonight that we're a pretty darn good football team. But I think we can get better. If we do that, then watch out."
The dominance is reflected in the final numbers. The Tribe rolled up 502 yards in total offense, all on the ground, and limited the Lions - now losers of 20 consecutive games - to 83.
Sophomore Zach Shoulders, playing in his first varsity game, was the primary beneficiary of gaping holes opened by the LHS linemen. Shoulders carried 12 times for 180 yards and scored five times, on runs of 6, 17, 8, 73 and 9 yards.
Senior fullback Cole Hulen, who opened the scoring by scampering 34 yards just 2:15 into the game, added 128 yards on seven carries. Austin Wanke led the second-half charge, running seven times for 119 yards and a pair of scores, all after the intermission.
Senior lineman Max Loeb also got into the act, as he lined up at fullback and scored three times on two-point conversions.
Loeb and sophomore Thomas Mahrenholz started at tackle for the Indians, and teamed with sophomore center Logan Vincent, junior guard Trent Jones and senior guard Brandon Vessels to open the holes. Wood noted that junior John Thompson also filled in on the offensive line while Lawrenceville was building its lead.
The Indians were without projected quarterback Cole Steffey, a senior, who is battling bulging discs in his back. Wood hopes he'll be able to play when LHS hosts Robinson on Sept. 7, if not in next week's game against Oblong, LHS was also without senior Bert Maddle, a projected two-way lineman, who according to Wood is encountering academic issues. He also could return next week.
"We've got a whole stable of kids who can run the ball, and that's really going to be a strength this year," Wood said. "And I don't know if there's a better offensive line out there right now. I'd put ours up against anybody's, and we didn't even have Bert Maddle tonight."
The Indians moved 46 yards in just two plays for their first score, with Hulen's jaunt giving LHS a 6-0 lead. Lawrenceville eventually scored on six of its eight possessions in the opening half, with Shoulders accounting for four of the scores and Hulen two. With the starters still in, Shoulders capped off a 65-yard march at the outset of the second half with a 9-yard scoring run. Wanke's TD runs of 14 and 45 yards accounted for the rest of the LHS scoring.
The Lions' only score came on Jake Toutloff's 15-yard run, which brought his team to within 55-6 with 4:31 left to play.
The win was the Indians' first in a season-opener since 2005. LHS was also presented a trophy from Edwards County Shriners following the contest. The Shriners selected Hulen as the Indians' MVP.
Indians 61, Lions 6
Score by quarters
Lawrenceville 14 28 13 6 - 61
Edwards County 0 0 0 6 - 6
First downs 17 6
by rushing 16 6
by passing 1 0
by penalty 0 0
Rushes-yards 39-502 34-73
Passing (C-A-I) 0-2-0 3-11-3
Passing yards 0 10
Total yards 502 83
Penalties-yards 5-55 5-35
Punts-average 2-19.5 5-26.4
Fumbles-lost 1-1 5-2
Possession 20:19 23:41
L - Cole Hulen, 34 run (Kick failed), 9:45, 1st qtr. L 6, EC 0.
L - Zach Shoulders, 6 run (Max Loeb run), 8:08, 1st qtr. L 14, EC 0.
L - Shoulders, 17 run (Loeb run), 10:29, 2nd qtr. L 22, EC 0.
L - Hulen, 6 run (Run fails), 5:13, 2nd qtr. L 28, EC 0.
L - Shoulders, 8 run (Loeb run), 3:15, 2nd qtr. L 36, EC 0.
L - Shoulders, 73 run (Kick failed), 2:04, 2nd qtr. L 42, EC 0.
L - Shoulders, 9 run (Kick failed), 10:17, 3rd qtr. L, 48, EC 0.
L - Austin Wanke, 14 run (Shoulders kick), 10:37, 4th qtr. L 55, EC 0.
EC - Jake Toutloff 15 run (Pass failed), 4:31, 4th qtr. L 55, EC 6.
L - Wanke, 45 run (Kick failed), :48, 4th qtr. L 61, EC 6
Rushing - Lawrenceville: Shoulders 12-180 (5 TDs), Hulen 7-128 (2 TDs), Wanke 7-119 (2 TDs), Evan Staggs 8-43, Jordan Reeves 3-33, John Barnes 2-0. Edwards County: Toutloff 19-37 (TD), Riley Raber 6-30, Jace Borowiak 6-19, Ryan Moody 1-0, Ethan Taylor 1-minus 1, Ryan Elliott 1-minus 12.
Passing - Lawrenceville: Barnes 0-1-0, 0 yards; Shoulders 0-1-0, 0 yards. Edwards County: Toutloff 3-8-2, 10 yards; Raber 0-3-1, 0 yards.
Receiving - Edwards County: Borowiak 2-0, Karlin Compton 1-10.
Punting - Lawrenceville: Cody Fiscus 2-39, 19.5 avg. Edwards County: Elliott 5-132, 26.4 avg.
Punt returns - Lawrenceville: Shoulders 4-54, Wyatt Rinsch 1-0. Edwards
Kickoff returns - Edwards County: Raber 6-112, Taylor 2-41, Moody 1-4.
Interceptions - Lawrenceville: Staggs 1-15, Rinsch 1-7, Thomas Grove 1-0.