CHURUBUSCO — What a difference a season makes.
At this time last season, Churubusco found itself in the middle of a single score dogfight on the road at Fremont.
Despite a 14-0 win last season, ’Busco came into this season wanting to prove more.
“We just want to make sure we don’t slip up some week and not compete well in a game that we need to,” said Churubusco head coach Lee Etzler. “We played well against a team we were probably expected to beat. There was good in that because we didn’t over look them.”
More is what they got. Nearly doubling that score in the first quarter Friday night, the hosting Eagles took down Fremont quickly with 26 first quarter points on route to a 46-0 drubbing of the season opener.
Coming off a 1,800 rushing season, Fremont’s focus was more than likely on senior running back Kyle Mathewson. Even with 47 yards on the ground in the first quarter, Mathewson found a different way to get into the end zone.
The Eagles took to the air with the confidence of their running game backing them up.
With four touchdowns in the first 12 minutes of the game, two came through the air with the combination of senior Kyle Monk and junior Alex Zolman under center.
“We wanted to get better,” Etzler noted. “We could of ran the ball more and probably been alright but we wanted to work on some things we want to get better at.”
Each quarterback had a touchdown pass to his credit by the time Churubusco held a 26-0 lead after one
Monk was part of the first two ’Busco scores. After taking a pitch from Josh LeFever down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage, Monk completed a 21-yard pass to Mathewson with 6:27 remaining in the first quarter.
“We went with a misdirection play and we thought it would be a pretty good play for us to start out,” Etzler said. “I don’t know if I thought it would score a touchdown but it was a good play.”
Zolman came back after another three and out by Fremont to get his own TD pass to Mathewson on a 27-yard screen pass.
However, stealing the show was something Churubusco has not seen much offense from in recent years. Special teams.
Flirting with some long returns early, junior Layne Fulk scooped up a punt at midfield with just over a minute left in the first quarter. Weaving between blocks down field, Fulk crossed into the end zone 51 yards later for the score.
“It’s nice because we’ve struggled with our punt return,” Etzler commented. “We’ve struggled the last couple of years so it was nice to see that be a factor.”
In all, Churubusco accumulated 247 total yards in the first quarter allow to go along with 442 for the game.
The same could not be said for Fremont who didn’t pick up its two first downs until the second half. ’Busco held the Eagle foe to just 10 yards of offense while not allowing a completion through the air.
“I think the thing we’re proud of most is we hit,” Etzler exclaimed. “It influences the game so much when you hit like that.”
Monk went on to add another touchdown pass to a 4-for-5 night as a quarterback with a 32-0 lead at halftime. His work under center went along with some hard hits displayed on defense by Monk that was capped off with one of Churubusco’s three interceptions for the game.
Mathewson got back to what he does best to end the night running 51 yards for a rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Mathewson finished with 114 yards on the ground to go along with two receptions for 48 yards in the air.