Craig runs over Beloit Memorial
JANESVILLE—The playoff push began Friday night for Janesville Craig.
Needing wins in four of their last five games to earn a postseason bid, the Cougars began the gauntlet by running roughshod over Beloit Memorial.
Trevon Hall rushed for 202 yards and Austin Huber added 175 to lead Craig to a 49-20 Big Eight Conference win at Monterey Stadium.
Craig (2-3) finished with a whopping 469 yards on the ground but had to overcome the right arm of Beloit (0-5) quarterback Denzel Barnes, who threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns.
“We did some good things offensively, and obviously it started with our running game,” Craig coach Ben McCormick said. “We were able to exploit some things against them, and that allowed us to take some shots downfield.
“You always worry about the distractions that come with Homecoming week, but I thought our kids handled it well. They were focused from the start.”
Craig scored on the second play from scrimmage as Hall raced untouched from 26 yards out after Beloit fumbled on the first play of the game.
The teams traded touchdowns before the Cougars got a pivotal score late in the first half to go up 36-20. Craig quarterback Shayne Ellis, who had his second straight strong start filling in for the injured Tom Gabower, scored from five yards out with only 53 seconds left in the half to make it a two-possession game.
“That was big as far as momentum went,” McCormick said of the late first-half score. “We talked and talked all week about not letting a team like Beloit hang around, and that's exactly what they did for most of the half.
“I thought we made some good adjustments in the second half defensively, and that allowed us to take control and run clock.”
Beloit did not score in the second half as Craig's front line pressured Barnes and forced several ill-advised passes.
Ellis scored Craig's first two touchdowns of the second half, and Huber capped off his productive night with a 20-yard touchdown run with 8:02 left to play. Hall and Huber combined for 377 yards on only 26 attempts—averaging better than 14 yards per carry.
Craig plays at Madison La Follette (4-1) next Friday.
“We will enjoy this and enjoy Homecoming weekend, but it's back to work on Monday,” McCormick said. “That's another big game for us.”
JANESVILLE CRAIG 49, BELOIT MEMORIAL 20
Beloit Memorial 6 14 0 0—20
Janesvile Craig 14 22 0 13—49
Scoring summary: C—Trevon Hall, 26 run (Joe Glowacki kick). B—Brynale Dean, 11 pass from Denzel Barnes (pass failed). C—Shayne Ellis, 4 run (Glowacki kick). B—Dean, 57 pass from Barnes (Dean pass from Barnes). C—Hall, 5 run (Harry Henschler pass from Alex Rohr). C—Hall, 67 run (Glowacki kick). B—Austin Gibson, 49 pass from Barnes (run failed). C—Ellis, 5 run (Glowacki kick). C—Ellis, 9 run (kick failed). C—Austin Huber, 20 run (Glowacki kick).
Statistics: First downs—B 18, C 22. Rushes—B 18-121, C 49-469. Yards passing—B 283, C 12. Passes—B 51-25-2, C 5-3-0. Fumbles—B 2-1, C 4-2. Penalties—B 8-50, 5-64.