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CHURUBUSCO — It’s funny how sports presents second chances.
A new season and new brackets drawn up for the 2010 sectional round, Churubusco (9-1) had the same team welcoming them into the playoffs.
Last season, Adams Central (7-3) was moving on to the semifinal round after scoring 20 unanswered points against the Eagles.
Behind a record-breaking night from Kyle Mathewson, No. 5 Churubusco didn’t let that happen twice, jumping out to a 28-6 lead at halftime. Big plays from the Kyles (Mathewson and Monk) put the game away 50-6 for the Eagles, setting up a road trip to Southern Wells next Friday.
“All year we’ve been thinking about revenge,” Mathewson said. “They beat us last year and that’s all we’ve been thinking about.”
Revenge wasn’t the only thing on Mathewson’s mind with every game potentially being his last. Records hung in sight for the senior back.
In the loss to the Flying Jets, Mathewson had 119 yards in 2009. Friday night, he nearly doubled that mark with 226 yards.
With his team up 14-0 after a quarter of play, Mathewson climbed into the record books in the second quarter.
After a fumble was recovered by fellow senior Jordan Turner, Mathewson took Churubusco’s second play from scrimmage 79 yards up the middle for the second of his three touchdowns on the night.
Two more runs followed for Mathewson on the Eagles next possession before an 18-yard run up the middle made the first record fall on the night.
Mathewson snapped a 27-year-old career rushing record held by Virgil Fulk going for 3,934 yards on the ground.
“When I was in middle school I remember watching Drew Bianski set those records,” Mathewson noted. “I always wanted to prove everybody wrong. I wanted to break those records and I did it tonight.”
’Busco's new leading rusher in school history didn’t stop there. On the opening drive of the second half, Mathewson added a two-yard touchdown plunge to the record books breaking Drew Bianski’s single season rushing record by one yard at 1,876.
The one-sided affair wasn’t highlighted by just one Kyle but two.
Quarterback and fellow senior Kyle Monk put the game, that if it wasn’t already over, away with a school record 91-yard punt return to run the score out to 43-6 with 6:28 left in the third quarter.
Monk picked up a dribbling ball at the Eagles own nine-yard line for his fourth TD of the year despite some resistance from his coaches.
“For a split second, you’re a little bit upset with him,” ’Busco head coach Lee Etzler said. “It doesn’t take too long to figure out ‘hey, good job.’”
A night firmly dominated on offense by the Eagles was matched on the defensive side where Adams Central quarterback Dalton Combs was the victim of repeated blitz schemes to keep the Jets QB on uncomfortable ground.
“We came out and played pretty hard,” Etzler noted. “We didn’t want to wait and see how the game was going to go. We talked a little bit about last year but not playing the next week is great enough motivation for us.”
The concern, like it was last season, was Combs and the passing game of Central. Putting up 200 plus yards last season on the Eagles, Etzler and company allowed just 108 passing yards and a single 45-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass before halftime.
Two each of sacks and interceptions kept Combs hurried in the pocket by an Eagles defense that has allowed only one game over 154 yards passing this season.
Churubusco’s path to a sectional title hits the road next week. The Eagles are in search of their first sectional title since the 2007 semistate run. Freshmen at the time of that season, the Eagle seniors are primed for a return.
“I haven’t gone this far since my freshman year,” Mathewson noted. “We know we can win this sectional and take the momentum from this game a long way.”