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The Journal Gazette

Friday, August 31, 2018 11:40 pm

Busco grounds Garrett's aerial attack

JOSH PATTERSON| For The Journal Gazette

CHURUBUSCO – About the only thing Paul Sade would have scripted in Churubusco’s 31-15 win over Garrett Friday? Claiming the victory over the Railroaders.

A triumph, over a conference foe, albeit an intradivisional one? Absolutely. A picture-perfect performance? More like a Jackson Pollock – abstract, it’ll take a bit to truly understand everything, but you can get there.

“We definitely didn’t play well in the first half, especially on offense,” said Sade, the Eagle head coach. “We shot ourselves in the foot a lot, even in the second half. We played better but we still made some mistakes. We were fortunate that our defense made a few more plays.”

Two long potential touchdowns served as just some of the casualties from the misfirings of Class 1A, No. 6 Churubusco (3-0), as penalties wiped out both scoring plays. Garrett (1-2) took advantage, as senior Austin Leech’s 25-yard field goal put the visitors up 3-0 with 4:27 left before halftime.

The Eagles would respond, driving 51 yards in just over three minutes. Joey Emenhiser scored on a 4-yard pass from Tom Richards just 79 seconds before intermission. The receiver, who doubles as Churubusco’s kicker, connected on the first of his four extra points on the night to give the hosts a 7-3 lead at the break.

Just under three minutes into the third quarter, Richards threw his second touchdown pass, this time finding junior Blake Trostel on a 32-yard catch and run. Garrett acquitted itself well one week after a 49-0 loss to county rival DeKalb, however, hanging with the sixth-ranked Eagles throughout.

Twin touchdowns split by just 76 seconds turned Garrett’s 14-3 deficit into a 15-14 advantage. Levi Follett’s 1-yard run on 4th-and-goal brought the Railroaders within 14-9. On Churubusco’s ensuing drive, linebacker Sam Farney flushed Richards out of the pocket.

As he scrambled backwards into the end zone, Farney ripped the ball away, where defensive end Warren Joseph proved Johnny-on-the-spot to recover the loose ball for a touchdown.

“We had good contain on (Richards),” Joseph said. “The ball came out, and I just picked it up. It was easy on my part, I just had to stand there and pick it up.”

On the next play, things turned even worse for Churubusco, as Richards threw an interception to Jamier Ingraffia. But with chaos reigning throughout the fourth quarter, as the teams combined for five scoring plays and five turnovers, the Eagles picked off Follett twice on successive possessions, with Sam Wood snaring the last of Follett’s four interceptions at the 5:57 mark.

Churubusco salted the game away late, as Nathaniel Keener and Wood each ran for touchdowns inside the game’s final two minutes.

“I was just looking for a first down,” Wood said of his 32-yard score. “I saw an opening and I took it. We definitely underestimated (Garrett) at first, and we paid the consequences. Coach (Sade) lit a fire under us and got us going.”

Emenhiser added a 27-yard fourth-quarter field goal to notch 13 points, while Keener ran the ball 30 times for 101 yards and the touchdown. Tristan Taylor caught seven passes for 143 yards for Garrett, while Follett finished 15-of-32 passing for 191 yards.