Football: West Central runs over Whiting again
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent October 26, 2012 11:32PM
Whiting's Justin Jendreas (right) pulls in a pass over West Central's Keegan Dillman in the first quarter of play during their sectional game held at Whiting High School in Whiting on Friday October 26, 2012. The catch was ruled incomplete after the play. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 28, 2012 6:12AM
WHITING — In the press box at Ray P. Gallivan Stadium, the scouting report on West Central was, “They run the ball. A lot.”
The Trojans played as advertised, running the ball 61 times for 500 yards in a 43-3 victory over Whiting, handing the Oilers (10-1) their only loss of the season.
Two runners were responsible for most of the West Central (10-1) offense: quarterback Michael Hamilton (29 carries, 268 yards, two touchdowns) and running back Chantz Marlatt (16 carries, 141 yards, three touchdowns).
“Both of those kids are pretty good,” Whiting head coach Jeff Cain said. “They run their offense very well. They block well and their schemes are good. Obviously, it was a tough offense for us to defend.”
It marked the fifth consecutive time that West Central defeated Whiting, all in postseason matchups. It was also the third time that West Central defeated a previously-unbeaten Oilers squad, with the same scenario unfolding in 2004 and 2005.
“We love these kids. I wouldn’t trade this group for anything,” Cain said, referring to the 10 seniors on this year’s roster. “We had a fun ride with these kids.”
The Oilers began the game with great field possession after the Trojans squibbed the opening kickoff and Whiting fell on it at the 47-yard line. After a quick three-and-out by the Whiting offense, though, West Central needed only two plays to take an early lead as Marlatt ran 68 yards for a touchdown.
Whiting’s only score came on a 31-yard field goal by Rene Calderon in the middle of the second quarter. The Oilers’ offense, which had averaged 40 points per game, was held to just 101 total yards.
After Calderon’s kick, West Central responded with a 9-play, 63-yard drive that Marlatt capped with his second touchdown run of the night: a 2-yard plunge.
“We didn’t have early success,” said Cain. “Momentum can be huge, whether it’s high school momentum, college momentum or pro momentum.”
After Whiting failed to capitalize on a Patrick Petruf kickoff return to the West Central 42-yard line, Hamilton took the life out of the stadium with an 88-yard touchdown run. The score, which came with 1:05 left in the second quarter, gave the Trojans a 24-3 halftime lead.
Another Hamilton touchdown on the opening drive of the second half by West Central then put the game out of reach for good.