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home : local sports : local sports

11/4/2013 8:31:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Lawrenceville's Zach Shoulders recovers a teammate's fumble in the early going against Gillespie
LHS quarterback Bryce Winningham is chased by a Gillespie player before gaetting off a pass.
Gillespie 28, Lawrenceville 14
Miners muscle their way to opening-round win


GILLESPIE - The yards came only a few at a time for host Gillespie Saturday afternoon, but they added up to a 28-14 win over Lawrenceville High School's football team in the opening round of the Illinois High School Association Class 2A playoffs.

The Indians were able to limit the Miners' (9-1) big plays, but couldn't stop them from grinding it out on the ground.

"Our kids played their butts off out there, but we were a little outmanned," said LHS coach Greg Wood, whose team posted its second consecutive 7-3 season. "They had a 295-pound kid at one tackle and a 300-pounder at the other. There's not a lot you can do when you've got a 180-pounder going up against one who weighs 300."

Gillespie coach Don Borgini said windy conditions kept his team from opening things up with its passing attack. He was happy to control the clock with the running game.

"I think in the second half we kind of wore them down a little bit, finally," he said. "But they had a pretty good defensive scheme. Their kids were playing off the blocks really well in the first half. It was some tough sledding, but not as tough in the second half."

The Indians' Zach Shoulders capped a seven-play, 64-yard scoring drive with a 9-yard run at the 7:47 mark of the second quarter. A two-point pass to Shoulders from Bryce Winningham tied the game at 8, and gave the Indians hope.

But the Miners then went to work. They produced long, time-consuming, scoring drives to conclude the first half and begin the second. That resulted in a 22-8 lead that proved to be insurmountable.

The drive before halftime covered 62 yards in 16 plays and took 7:11 off the clock. Chris Halpin, who had scored Gillespie's first TD on a 25-yard run, caught a 5-yard pass from Mike Henderson to send the Miners to the dressing room with a 16-8 lead.

The Miners started the second half at their own 34, and marched 66 yards in 11 plays, taking 4:45 off the clock. Running back Derek Tiburzi capped the march with a 2-yard run with 7:15 to play in the period.

Tiburzi put the game out of reach with a 9-yard run early in the final period. The Indians rallied for the final touchdown as Shoulders capped a 30-yard drive with a 2-yard run with just 45 seconds left to play.

"They kept hammering at us, with their quarterback running inside, and their running back, making first downs," Wood said. "Otherwise I thought we did a good job against them. We must have scared them out of something, because they sure didn't throw the ball."

Gillespie finished with 257 yards in total offense, including 238 on the ground. Tiburzi was the mainstay, as he totaled 108 yards on 19 carries. Henderson was also a pain in the Indians' side, with 84 yards on 18 carries.

The Indians were limited to a season-low 87 yards on the ground and finished with 134 yards in total offense.

Shoulders was limited to 57 yards on 18 carries. Wyatt Rinsch (22 yards on six attempts) and Austin Wanke (19 yards on seven carries) also struggled to move forward.

Freshman quarterback Bryce Winningham completed three of six passes for 57 yards. Wanke caught two passes for 40 yards, both of which resulted in first downs. Shoulders caught the other pass for a 17-yard gain.

While Gillespie evened its all-time playoff record at 12-12, the Indians remained winless in their tournament history in five games. It marked the second straight second that the Tribe has made a extra-long road trip in the first round to meet a superior opponent.

"We ran up against a better team. But look at all the people we had here today," Wood said. "Our fan following has been tremendous all year. Can you imagine what would have happened if we'd had a home game at our facility? The support has been great all year and all of us appreciate it. The fans have been super."

Now it's Gillespie that faces the long road trip. The Miners will travel to Carmi (7-3) for a second-round matchup. Carmi advanced by surprising Chester in a matchup of Black Diamond Conference teams on Saturday, 30-25.

Miners 28, Indians 14

Score by quarters

Lawrenceville 0 8 0 6 - 14

Gillespie 8 8 12 0 - 28

Team statistics


First downs 10 15

by rushing 4 14

by passing 3 2

by penalty 0 1

Rushes-yards 32-87 51-238

Passing (C-A-I) 3-6-0 3-6-0

Passing yards 57 19

Total yards 134 257

Penalties-yards 1-15 6-55

Punts-average 2-5.0 1-19.0

Fumbles-lost 3-0 1-0

Possession 20:48 23:12

Scoring summary

G - Chris Halpin, 25 run (Kirklund Davis run), :35, 1st qtr. G 8, L 0.

L - Zach Shoulders 9 run (Shoulders pass from Bryce Winningham), 7:47, 2nd qtr. L 8, G 8.

G - Haplin, 5 pass from Mike Henderson (Derek TIburzi) run, :36, 2nd qtr. G 16, L 8.

G - Tiburzi, 2 run (Pass failed), 7:15, 3rd qtr. G 22, L 8.

G - Tiburzi, 9 run (Run failed), 9:16, 4th qtr. G 28, L 8.

L - Shoulders, 2 run (Pass failed), :45, 4th qtr. G 28, L 14.

Individual statistics

Rushing - Lawrenceville: Shoulders 18-57 (2 TDs), Wyatt Rinsch 6-22, Austin Wanke 7-19, Winningham 1-minus 11. Gillespie: Tiburzi 19-108 (2 TDs), Henderson 18-84, Halpin 6-34 (TD), Bryce McKinney 2-5, Logan Cooper 3-5, Blake Peterson 2-2, Eric Lancanster 1-minus 1.

Passing - Lawrenceville: Winningham 3-6-0, 57 yards. Gillespie: Henderson 3-6-0, 19 yards (TD).

Receiving - Lawrenceville: Wanke 2-40, Shoulders 1-17. Gillespie: Halpin 3-19 (TD).

Punting - Lawrenceville: Winningham 2-10, 5.0 avg. Gillespie: Henderson 1-19, 19.0 avg.

Kickoff returns - Lawrenceville: Winningham 2-38, Wanke 1-17, Rinsch 1-8. Gillespie: Cooper 1-10, Davis 1-0, Tiburzi 1-0.

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