Wesclin seniors Josh DeMage and KJ Corley scored two touchdowns each as the Warriors clinched their first undefeated Cahokia Conference championship Friday with a 34-25 win over Central.
Playing before a large home crowd hoping to see its team add to the finest season in school history, the Warriors set the tone early by marching 68 yards in the first 75 seconds to take a 7-0 advantage. DeMage, the Warriors quarterback, went 32 yards for the touchdown.
Central (4-4) got even at 7 later in the first quarter, but the Warriors (8-0, 6-0), led by yet another dominating performance from their offensive line, never trailed.
Getting a 180-yard performance from junior running back Gavin Bilbruck, Wesclin added a second score late in the opening quarter and never trailed again.
The win put the finishing touch on the Warriors’ first-ever Cahokia Conference title. They will attempt to clinch the first undefeated regular season in school history next Friday when they host Robinson in a nonconference game.
“We have built this offense around our offensive line, and tonight they went out and dominated again,” said Wesclin coach Ric Johns. “I’m just so proud of this football team.
“These kids put the work in. Tonight they went out and did what they have all year. It was a great effort.”
Central, which needs a win against Herrin next week to keep its playoff hopes alive, trailed 20-13 at halftime. But senior quarterback Trent Nunn scored on a 6-yard run to cut the Warriors’ lead to one. But when the extra point attempt failed for the second time, Wesclin maintained the 20-19 lead.
The Cougars would get no closer.
Wesclin marched 71-yards on 11 plays. Corley, who scored on a 10-yard run in the final minute of the first half, added a second touchdown with 4:08 left in the third quarter as the lead expanded to 26-19.
“The offensive line has done the job all year long, and it did again tonight,” DeMage said. “I’m just so proud of those guys and this football team. This conference title is something we’ve been talking about all year and to finally be the first team in school history to get it done ... It was just a great team effort.”