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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Churubusco’s Jason Nicodemus, center, ran for 175 yards and four touchdowns Friday.

Eagles live up to 2A ranking

– There were questions about Churubusco and Eastside heading into Friday night’s football game.

While the Eagles and Blazers had a combined record of 5-1, their opponents had combined to go 3-15.

Churubusco proved it is a team deserving of its No. 4 ranking in Class 2A with a 54-0 victory, but it wasn’t a spotless performance.

The Eagles (4-0) had three turnovers and six of the 11 accepted penalties.

“We had some turnovers in the first half that we weren’t real happy with, and that was before any of the real weather hit,” said Churubusco coach Lee Etzler, after rain drenched the field for more than two quarters.

“We want to perform well in adverse situations.”

In any case, there is no doubt about the talent of Jason Nicodemus, the Eagles’ 5-foot-9, 205-pound senior running back. After coming into the game with 410 yards and seven touchdowns on only 30 carries, he had 15 carries for 175 yards and four touchdowns.

His 29-yard run in the first quarter set up a 1-yard touchdown run by senior Cory Miller, who was a factor all game.

Miller’s interception of a Blake Blaker pass, which he returned 62 yards, set up Nicodemus’ 1-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter. Miller had 93 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.

“We were prepared for the conditions we were faced with,” Miller said. “They were a passing team, and we came out and just predicted the rain would be in our favor. We see it as an opportunity to better ourselves whenever the conditions aren’t very good.”

Nicodemus spun his way to a 12-yard touchdown and ran up the middle almost untouched to a 23-yard touchdown and a 27-0 lead.

Shortly before halftime, Miller struck again, going five yards off tackle for a touchdown and a 34-0 lead.

Eastside (2-2) never got its offense going, as Blaker was sacked five times, twice by senior Eric Kuznar.

Blaker completed 9 of 17 passes for 88 yards with two interceptions. The Blazers turned the ball over six times.

Eagles senior Joe Zumbrun recovered two fumbles.

By the time the Churubusco first-teamers came out, it was 47-0, and then junior Braydon Shively took his first carry for 49 yards and a touchdown early in the fourth quarter for a 54-0 lead.

Eastside senior Matt Beard had an interception and a fumble recovery. Teammate Kadis Renier, a junior, rushed for 39 yards.

jcohn@jg.net

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