By Sean Budlong
Less than three minutes into the football game at Constantine, and Schoolcraft was down 8-0. A 41-yard run by Hunter Linbert right through the heart of the Eagles’ defense was followed by a two-point conversion from Josh Lawson. That would prove to be the last Falcon score as Schoolcraft rushed its way back into the lead on its way to a 35-8 victory.
After giving up 60 yards rushing on the first drive of the game,including the 41-yard touchdown, Schoolcraft’s defense limited Constantine to less than 90 yards on the ground the rest of the game. Collin Blalock, Marc Shaink, and River Fox dominated the Falcon’s offensive line, forcing Constantine into long yardage situations. Jakob Huysken, Mark Melching, Tavis Mikel, and Mark Phelps stopped the Falcons’ run and pass game.
The Eagles offense generated 293 yards rushing. Coach Terry Haas used the depth of his backfield to keep Constantine’s defense off balance. Jack Hunt led Schoolcraft with 87 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns. Kobe Clark added two touchdowns on 46 rushing yards. Riley Piper, with 56 yards and Trenton Lomason with a touchdown run, added key carries. Hunt and Clark bring different styles of rushing to the field. Taking down Hunt usually takes four or more defenders and he often looks as though he’s seeking out defensive players to run over. While Clark doesn’t shy away from contact, he’s often past the first line of the defense before the opposition can react.
One player that can be overlooked in a busy backfield, but shouldn’t be, is quarterback Dylan Straley. While he completed a single pass against Constantine with a successful 2-point conversion, he showed leadership and toughness as Schoolcraft clawed its way to the lead and victory. His 53 yards on the ground were crucial to keeping defenders from simply keying on the running backs.