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The Illini West Chargers and their fans had to wait a few hours to celebrate homecoming as a Friday night thunderstorm set the game back to a Saturday afternoon kick-off.
The Chargers made the wait worthwhile by scoring four times in the first quarter, on their way to a big 46-6 victory over the visiting Monmouth-Roseville Titans.
The Chargers got six touchdowns in the first half from six different players as they did all their scoring in the game's first 24 minutes.
Senior fullback Kyle Huss opened the point parade with an 8-yard burst up the middle to the end zone. Classmate Ser Whitaker added the 2-point conversion for an early 8-0 Charger lead.
Senior QB Zane Schmudlach connected only 2 minutes later with senior tight end Dylan Pieper for a 31-yard TD pass. Drake Schmudlach added the conversion run for a 16-0 IW lead with only about 4 minutes gone in the first quarter.
Whitaker raced in from 46 yards out less than a minute and a half later to push the Chargers further in front. Zane Schmudlach added a conversion run for a 24-0 IW advantage with almost 6 minutes still to play in the first quarter.
Drake Schmudlach picked up the final Charger touchdown of the first quarter on a 6-yard run at the 4:01 mark of the period. Whitaker added the conversion run for a 32-0 Charger lead.
The Chargers added two more scores in the second period to force a running clock in the 2nd half. The final two IW touchdowns were scored by QB Zane Schmudlach on a 7-yard run and junior fullback Kayden Guymon on a 39-yard sprint on the last play of the half. Drake Schmudlach added one of the two conversions to set the score at half at 46-0 favoring the hosts.
The second half did not see a single starter see action for Illini West as the Chargers unloaded their bench to get valuable playing time for the reserves.
The Titans did finally get on the scoreboard with a short TD pass midway through the fourth period to set the games final score at 46-6.
The Chargers picked up 343 total yards of offense on only 26 total offensive snaps. That total included 243 yards rushing on 19 carries and 100 yards passing on 7 attempts. The Chargers had only two penalties in the game for 15 yards.
The Charger offensive line was dominant throughout the first half in which IW gained all but 3 of its total yards. Tight end Colin Beals and Dylan Pieper, tackles Brian Lafferty and Dylan Van Fleet, guards Jack Carlisle and Mason Beals, and center Jacob Jacoby opened huge holes in the Titan defensive front throughout the first 24 minutes of play. They also did a great job of protecting QB Zane Schmudlach in his limited passing attempts.
Whitaker was IW's top runner with 115 yards on only 4 carries, Drake Schumdlach picked up 50 yards on 5 attempts, while Kyle Huss added 29 yards on 5 rushes. Guymon added the 39 yard TD run, while Erick Klein and Kyle Miller also had positive rushing attempts.
Zane Schmudlach did all the Charger passing and hit successfully on 3 of his 7 attempts.
Drake Schmudlach had 2 of the receptions for 69 yards, while Dylan Pieper had the single 31-yard grab for a touchdown.
Illini West saw a lot of names reach the tackle chart with the following Chargers being involved in at least 5 tackles: Ethan Lillard, Kevin Bray, Dakota McKeown, Chris Beaver, Hayden Fox, Beau Passmore, Conner Beals, and Travis Cox.
Others with at least one tackle included Brandon Gehle, Kayden Guymon, Jack Bastert, Jacob Jacoby, Drake Schmudlach, Brian Lafferty, Jack Carlisle, Mason Beals, Trey Bartlett, Kyle Huss, Kirby Fecht, Steven Miller, Coulton Wascher, Kyle Miller, John Martin, Brett Appel, Dallas Neff, Tyler Bruins, and Kyle Palmer.
The Chargers are now 3-0 on the season. They will return to action this Friday night when they travel to Macomb to face the 2-1 Bombers. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. in this key west central conference match-up.