By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
In Week 4 of the high school football season, Carlinville re-kindled its fire while the other Macoupin County teams struggled.
Needing a win to restore morale and confidence, the Cavaliers returned to their home turf with a vengeance and crushed the Staunton Bulldogs, 46-14, Sept. 15.
Carlinville, which trailed 20-0 at the end of the first quarter at Vandalia the previous week, reversed the tides and came out as a completely different football team against its long-time Route 4 rival, scoring on the game’s first three drives and setting the tone on both sides of the ball over the course of a dominant 19-0 first half. Defensively, the Cavaliers limited the Bulldogs to negative yardage (-8) over that stretch and 76 yards for the entire game.
Carlinville knew it was going to have a major void to fill at the running back position after senior captain and 1,000-plus yard rusher Jack Rouse had broken his arm at Vandalia, but the Cavaliers passed the first test and got plenty of support from Nate Dyer and Mason Gilpin – the “next men up.” The swift tandem combined for five touchdowns and 215 yards on 36 carries. Dyer, a junior in his first season as a full-time varsity back for Chad Easterday, contributed 140 of those yards while finding the end zone twice on 16 rushes. Gilpin collected 75 yards on 21 handoffs with three touchdowns.
Quarterback Rex Reels added 29 yards on 13 keepers plus 80 yards and a touchdown on 11 completed passes (12 attempts).
Gilpin and Dyer also came away with one interception apiece while Ronald LaPlante, Zach Chapman, Weston Kuykendall and Camden Naugle added sacks to their defensive statlines. Gilpin’s takeaway was especially awe-inspiring due to it being a one-handed ‘pick six.’
Drake Rose and Jesse Baker each scored a touchdown for the Bulldogs.
Carlinville is 2-2 on the season.
Staunton, which hasn’t beaten CHS since 2012, is 1-3.
Both teams have another key rivalry matchup in store for their annual Homecoming celebrations this week. Carlinville is preparing for Southwestern (2-2) while
Staunton looks to rebound against arch nemesis Gillespie (0-4). Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Fri., Sept. 22.
In other action, Southwestern, Gillespie and North Mac all suffered blowout losses against playoff contenders.
SCC WEEK 4 SCOREBOARD
Staunton 14, Carlinville 46
Vandalia 41, Southwestern 19
Litchfield 20, Greenville 34
Gillespie 17, Hillsboro 62
Pana 55, North Mac 20
North Mac 1-3
SCC WEEK 5 MATCHUPS
Southwestern @ Carlinville
Hillsboro @ Litchfield
Gillespie @ Staunton
North Mac @ Vandalia
Greenville @ Pana