Althoff senior quarterback Trey Mosley continued to spread the wealth on Saturday in a Class 4A playoff game. And running back Jaylon Bester continued to do what he does best — run the football.
Mosley threw three of his five touchdown passes in the first half, while Bester rushed for four scores in the final two quarters as the top-ranked Crusaders crushed Taylorville 61-25 in a second round postseason win at Taylorville High School.
With Mosley throwing for 204 of his 375 passing yards and connecting with CJ Coldon, Edwyn Brown and Bester, Althoff shook off a slow start to take a 20-7 lead over the Tornadoes. But it was only the beginning for the Crusaders high-powered offense.
With Bester capping Crusaders drives with a pair of one-yard runs, the Crusaders scored twice in the opening six minutes of the second half to break the game open. Bester added runs of 28 and 13 yards later in the half and Mosley had touchdown passes of 41 yards to Jordan Goodwin and 12 yards to Melvin Brock as Althoff (11-0) advanced into a quarterfinal round game next week against Rochester.
The Crusaders scored on all six of their offensive possessions in the second half while also overcoming 21 penalties.
“I’m not going to say too much about that. Ever since the Centralia game,” Althoff coach Ken Turner said when asked about the infractions. “We’ll do our part in cleaning them up before next week.
“We got off to a slow start today and I’m not sure why. Maybe it wad the bus ride and getting off the bus and playing. All I know is that we finished strong today and that’s what I wanted to see. At halftime, I asked the kids to finish strong and we did that. So, yes, I’m pleased.”
The win sets up a showdown with perennial state power Rochester in the state quarterfinals for the second year in a row. Althoff (11-0) defeated Rochester 46-42 in a memorable game played before a capacity crowd in a quarterfinal round matchup. The game will be played in Belleville next week with the date and time to be announced.
Rochester (10-1) defeated Mount Zion 63-21 on Friday
“I would think you would want to be there for that one,’’ Mosley said with a smile following the win over the Tornadoes. “We got ott to a good start today but we were able to get things straightened better in the second half.
“I feel like if I can get the ball to them, anyone of my receivers can score on any play. Those guys are all great.”
Taylorville, which reached the quarterfinals a year ago before losing to Mater Dei, battled Althoff to a scoreless tie for the first 10 minutes of the game.
But after being held in check on its first three possessions, Althoff marched 77 yards on six plays to take the lead for good. Coldon, using his sprinters speed, got behind the Tornadoes secondary and hauled in a 39-yard strike from Mosley for a 6-0 Althoff lead.
Taylorville then fumbled the ball away four plays following the score and Mosley followed a few seconds later with a 20-yard strike to Brown. With a matter of the Crusaders had scored twice to take 14-0 lead and Taylorville (8-3) would recover.
Bester then turned a screen pass into a score — this one from 30 yards out — as Althoff’s lead grew to 20-0.
The Tornadoes finally got on the scoreboard late in the half when quarterback Brendan Odam hooked up with Justin Wright on an 82 yard strike as the Althoff lead was 20-7 at halftime.
But thanks to Bester and Mosley, the Althoff offense went into high gear in the second half.
“Jaylon had a great second half and Trey (Mosley) just did a great job in his decision making of where to throw the football today,” Turner said. “He’s really picked it up in practice lately and that last two weeks he’s been really playing well.”