By Steve Robinson | September 3, 2016 - 10:18 pm
Posted in Category: Bloomington HS, NCHS, The Normalite

FootballBLOOMINGTON – Under new head coach Joe Walters, Bloomington High School won their first contest of the season at Peoria Manual. But returning home to Fred Carlton Field for the second game of the season, the Purple Raiders faced Normal Community High only to be outmatched by the Ironmen. The score proved that as NCHS, led by five touchdowns scored by junior running back Varshaun Dixon, beat the Purple Raiders, 54-21 before roughly 1,000 fans.

Senior running back J. D. Villafuerte got scoring underway for NCHS (2-0), receiving a 23-yard pass from senior quarterback Grant Price at 8:42 in the first quarter, putting the Ironmen up, 7-0, following senior kicker Cooper Zogg’s extra point. The score completed a 10 play, 70 yard drive.

Price connected with senior wide receiver Brady Lay for a 37 yard score, capping a 3 play, 61 yard drive for NCHS’ next points at 3:58 in the quarter. Zogg’s extra point put NCHS up, 14-0.

BHS (1-1) struck quickly on the ensuing kickoff as senior running back Cary Lockhart took the ball 94 yards into the end zone delighting the home fans and stunning those sitting in the visitor’s sidelines. Junior kicker Jose Pacheco’s extra point cut NCHS’ lead, 14-7, as the game entered the second quarter.

Dixon’s second touchdown, a 22 yard dash into the end zone came at 9:28 in the second quarter and completed an 8 play, 80 yard drive, followed by Zogg missing the extra point opportunity, putting NCHS up, 20-7.

NCHS increased that lead with 7:16 in the quarter as Price connected with senior wide receiver Steven Towns on a 27 yard pass, increasing NCHS’ lead, 26-7, following a muffed 2-point conversion attempt.

BHS FootballAfter BHS was forced to punt at the end of their ensuing possession, NCHS got the ball at the Purple Raiders’ 14 yard line as a result of senior running back Dakota Cremeens’ return run which began at midfield. Two plays later, Dixon scored from five yards out, but a Bloomington defenders blocked Zogg’s next extra point attempt. That gave NCHS a 32-7 lead with 5:38 until halftime.

An interception by NCHS led to the Ironmen’s next points – a 5 yard Dixon run followed by a successful two-point conversion play, giving the Ironmen a 40-6 lead with 4:06 left in the quarter.

BHS scored their second touchdown of the half when Sandage connected with senior tight end Ian Sweeney from 51 yards out for a score, followed by Pacheco’s extra point, reducing the Ironmen’s lead, 40-14.

Dixon scored from 35 yards out with 57 seconds left in the half, followed by Zogg’s next extra point to put NCHS up, 47-14 going into halftime.

NCHS FootballDixon’s 14 yard run into the end zone with 12 seconds left in the quarter completed a 10 play 74 yard drive, which increased NCHS’ lead, 54-14, following Zogg’s extra point.

Sandage connected with senior wide receiver Avonni Brown for a 25 yard touchdown pass, followed by Pacheo’s extra point to achieve the final score.

For NCHS, having patience was key for his team to achieve victory, explained Ironmen head coach Wes Temples. “Our kids are having fun. They’re playing at a high level and was patient and watched for the right time to do what they needed to do to,” he explained.

BHS first season coach Joe Walters, who had previously coached at Peoria Notre Dame, explained afterward, “that game challenged us not to give up at halftime and we didn’t. After the half, I thought we came out strong. Our coaching staff needs to fix errors on our end so we can instruct better.” He admitted some of the errors the Purple Raiders committed were “coaching induced.”

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