PBL football defeats Iroquois West 35-0

PAXTON — Paxton-Buckley-Loda opened up Sangamon Valley Conference play with a 35-0 Win Friday over Iroquois West.
“We talked about how this was the first conference game, and it's a big deal,” PBL head coach Jeff Graham said. “That’s one of the thing we talked about — we talk a lot about our conference and how important that is. Winning the first conference game is something. I'm proud of the kids.” 
Despite two turnovers by PBL, the defense produced its first shutout of the season.
On the Panthers' opening possession, which started at their own 35-yard line, T.J. Jones ran for second yards and PBL was called for a holding penalty on a sweep left by Hunter Anderson before Iroquois West's Josiah Harkins recovered a fumble on a second-and-18 run by Jones, giving the Raiders the ball on the Panthers' 37-yard line.
Luke Cowan recorded a tackle for loss for PBL on first down before Nolan Ahlden ran for two yards on second-and-11 for Iroquois West. On third-and-9, Tibaldo Alvarez was tackled by Jake Rich for no gain before Mason Ecker returned a punt on fourth down to PBL's own 32-yard line.
“I thought our defense did a tremendous job tonight. They played pretty well,” Graham said. “There were times when we were bringing guys in and out and playing a few guys in a few spots they haven't played in. Under that type of circumstance, I thought they did a really good job.”
With 6:54 left in the first quarter, Jones capped a seven-play, 68-yard drive by scoring on a 15-yard touchdown run to put PBL (2-1, 1-0 SVC) ahead for good.
On the first play of the drive, Jones ran for 26 yards to IW's 43-yard line. After Jones rushed for a loss of five yards and a pass from Gunner Belt to Mason Ecker fell incomplate, Belt found Humes for a 12-yard pass.
On fourth-and-3, Jones ran for six yards. He then scampered for another 16 yards on the next play before his touchdown run.
After Ahlden ran for a 16-yard gain to give IW a first down on his team's own 45-yard line on the Raiders' ensuing possessoin, Dalton Busboom tackled Alvarez for a loss of two yards on the next play. Ahlden and Auston Miller ran for two and three yards, respectively, on the following two plays before the Raiders punted.
Kyle Poll capped the Panthers’ next drive, which covered 86 yards on 10 plays, with a 9-yard scoring scamper with 18.3 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
A bobbled snap on the first play of the drive resulted in a second-and-12, on which Belt ran for 10 yards. After a penalty resulted in a third-and-7, Jones ran for a first down to PBL's own 26-yard line.
Following a 2-yard run by Jones, another scamper by Jones moved the ball to the Panthers' own 36-yard line. After offsetting penalties on a Belt run, Kyle Poll ran 17 yard to Iroquois West's 47-yard line. 
Another 30 yards was gained on the next play via a pass completion by Belt to Ecker. Two runs by Poll resulted in a total of eight yards before his touchdown run -- the second of four scoring runs by PBL, including three by Jones.
“I'd like to give some credit to our offensive line tonight," Graham said. "Those guys up front did a really nice job and worked hard. I was proud of the effort they gave.”
The focus on the running game came as no surprise due to the entire game being played in the rain. Despite the wet conditions at Zimmerman Field, PBL was able to produce a score with its passing game as Gunner Belt found Tristan Hauersperger for a 53-yard touchdown pass with 8:25 left in the second quarter.
After Poll's touchdown run. two runs by Ahlden was followed by a running-into-the-kicker penalty on a punting attempt.
Ahlden was then tackled by Anderson on first down before Miller was tackled by Rich and Belt for no gain on second down and an incomplete pass forced IW to punt to PBL's own 30-yard line.
Poll ran for 14 yards on the first play of the Panthers' ensuing drive. A 3-yard run by Poll was followed by Hauersperger's touchdown reception.
“We just a saw their coverage on that one,” Graham said. “They had switched up coverages a little bit. We made a call, and Gunner was able to hit Hauersperger on that fly, and it worked out pretty well.”
On IW’s next possession, a 2-yard run by Ahlden was followed by a Hauersperger interception that gave the Panthers the ball back on the Raiders’ 15-yard line. From there, Jones ran for another touchdown to extend PBL’s lead to 28-0 with 7:21 remaining in the second quarter. 
Hauersperger found an increased role, including a start on offense against IW, with the Panthers due to a season-ending injury to Drake Schrodt.
“Tristan was out that first week, but he has been slowly working his way into the lineup,” Graham said. “He played a lot defensively as well tonight, and did a nice job.”
Two rushing attempts and a false-start penalty resulted in a third-and-7 on IW's ensuing possession before an incomplete pass forced the Raiders to punt.
Three runs by Poll resulted in a total of two yards on PBL's next possession, forcing PBL to punt to IW's 5-yard line.
Alvarez ran for a yard before Poll tackled Ahlden for a loss of two yards on second down. Alvarez ran for another yards before the Raiders punted on fourth-and-10.
Poll and Gavin Coplea each had an offensive fumble recovery for PBL as it ran out the clock to put the team into halftime up 28-0.
On the opening possession of the second half, an incomplete pass was followed by a bobbled snap that resulted in a tackle for loss of seven yards by PBL's Alex Rueck, putting Iroquois West in a third-and-17 situation.
Hunter Meyer caught a pass for nine yards before IW punted.
After a Panthers penalty on a Jones run, one of PBL's turnovers came via interception by Tibaldo Alvarez on the Panthers’ first second-half possession. The Raiders (0-3, 0-2) shut out PBL in the third quarter, but Jones scored on a 3-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
“Overall, I thought we played really well,” IW head coach Cam Stone said. “The score doesn’t reflect it, but we played them 7-0 in the second half. At one point in time, we had eight freshman, and four who are completely raw and have zero experience at the varsity level.”
The Raiders' starting fullback/nosetackle was out Friday due to illness, as Stone did not find out until Friday morning that he would not show up.
“We're banged up. We're hurting," Stone said. "We haven't had a full week of practice in two weeks. Overall, I thought we played really well for what we had.” 
Alvarez's interception gave IW possession on PBL's 48-yard line.
Ahlden ran for five yards on a first-down fumble recovery before scampering for no gain on second down. The Panthers' Austin Gooden broke up a passing attempt by Alvarez on third-and-5 before Hauersperger recorded a pass breakup on fourth down, giving PBL the ball back on its own 44-yard line.
Jones ran for eight yards before Belt ran for a first down to IW's 44-yard line. Two Jones runs for a yard each were followed by an incomplete pass on third down.
Anderson ran toward the first-down marker, but was ruled short of the mark, giving the Raiders the ball back on their own 34-yard line.
Ahlden ran for 10 yards on the first play of IW's ensuing possession before Jalen Hutchcraft tackled Ahlden for a loss of one yards. Alvarez scampered for seven yards before completing a pass to Meyer to put the ball on PBL's 39-yard line.
Ahlden ran for eight yards before scampering for another first down toward the Panthers' 28-yard line. Ahlden then ran for two yards before an incomplete pass and a 5-yard run by Ahlden resulted in a fourth-and-2.
Jones tackled Ahlden short of the first-down marker, setting up PBL for a scoring drive.
Coplea ran for 33 yards to Iroquois West's 46-yard line. After a 4-yard run by Jones, another scamper by Jones gave PBL another first down.
Jones then found running room toward IW's 18-yard line. On the next play, Jones ran for another 15 yards to the Raiders' 3-yard line, setting up his third rushing touchdown scored with 11:22 left in the game.
Harkins returned the ensuing kickoff to PBL's 43-yard line for Iroquois West, and Ahlden ran for 13 yards on first down to move the ball to the 30-yard line.
Runs by Alvarez and Ahlden resulted in one and three yards, respectively, before PBL was called for a pass interference penalty that put the ball on hte 13-yard line.
Andrew Swanson and Clayton Robidoux combined to tackle Ahlden for no gain on first down before Alvarez ran for two yards. An incomplete pass on third-and-8 was followed by a failed field-goal attempt.
As a result, PBL got the ball back on its own 20-yard line. Poll was stopped for no gain and Coplea recovered a fumble before Poll ran for a first down on third-and-14 to move the ball to the Panthers' own 39-yard line.
Poll ran for four yards on first down before scampering to IW's 49-yard line on second-and-6. Alex Plott ran for a loss of seven yards before gaining a yard on second-and-17. Zac Jayne then ran for a first down on third-and-16 to IW's 25-yard line.
Three- and 4-yard runs by Jayne made it third-and-3 before Jayne scampered to the Raiders' 14-yard line. 
After Jayne ran for a loss of five yards, Coplea ran for three yards before scampering to the 2-yard line on third-and-12. From there, PBL ran out the clock to end the game. 

PBL 35, Iroquois West 0
IW   0  0  0  0  -- 0
PBL 14 14  0  7  -- 35
Scoring summary
P -- Jones 15 run (kick failed)
P -- Poll 9 run (Ecker run)
P -- Hauersperger 53 pass from Belt (Humes kick)
P -- Jones 15 run (Humes kick)
P -- Jones 3 run (Humes kick)

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports


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