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Brent Wuebbles is a freshman quarterback that makes an occasional mistake under center, but often plays like a senior.
Logan Chandler is a bruising load for opposing defenses to stop.
Wuebbles ran for two touchdowns, threw for another and Chandler hammered the Belleville East defense on the ground as Highland defeated the Lancers, 33-18, in its home opener on Friday night at Highland High School.
It was an enjoyable night for Wuebbles and the Bulldogs as he scored his first touchdown late in the first quarter a series after fumbling away his first snap under center. Wuebbels finished the night with 17 carries for 102 yards rushing, two rushing TDs and a 9-yard touchdown pass to wideout senior Connor Sands.
“I got a little nervous there and dropped the ball, came off to the sidelines and we just had to respond the next drive,” Wuebbles said. “That’s how our offense works no matter who it is (at quarterback).”
After the Lancers score first on Alex Maxim’s 24-yard field goal, Wuebbles led the Bulldogs back down the field and finished off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to make it 7-3.
Chandler, the Bulldogs’ 5-11, 220 hammer of a tailback added a 1-yard touchdown run at 3:41 of the second quarter for a 14-3 lead.
The bruising downhill running of Chandler was a huge weapon for the Bulldogs behind a hulking offensive that features senior Wes Schmollinger, senior Trevor Zobrist, senior Payton Cave, and junior Sam Buck. Chandler gashed the Lancers defense for 228 rushing on 31 carries with a touchdown.
“It starts with the boys up front,” Highland coach Jimmy Warnecke said. “We wanted to impose our will on them I felt we did that up front tonight.”
East (0-2) pulled within four just before the half when Lucas Maue hit Yahance Flager with a 16-yard scoring pass to cut the lead to 14-10.
But Highland (1-1) set the tone for the second half right out of the locker room. The Bulldogs took the opening second-half kickoff and marched 69 yards in 10 plays. Wuebbels finished off the drive with a 2-yard TD run to put the Bulldogs on top, 20-10.
Wuebbles went to the air for his third touchdown of the night, connecting with Sands for a score and extending the lead to 26-10 with 3:39 left in the third quarter.
East got back into with 10:11 left in the fourth quarter when Maue rolled out left and fired a 51-yard touchdown bomb down the near side of the field to Jyaire Bowens. Maue ran in the two-point conversion cutting the lead to eight points.
“We’re coming in trying to change the culture and trying to give the guys something positive to believe in so we’ve got to continue to build on it,” Belleville East first-year coach Michael Harrison said. “For our guys, they’ve just got to know there are going be ups and down in the football game. I’ve got to have the guys better prepared to handle those ups and downs.”
Highland put the game away with 4:12 to go when Sands scored from 11 yards out.
“I like how responded on the next series,” Warnecke said. “That’s two weeks in a row now we haven’t turned the ball over and we’re a young football team so that’s a good sign and you can win a lot of football game if you’re up on the plus-minus in the turnover ratio.”
For the Lancers, they will look for their first win of the season next week next Friday when they host Metea Valley at 7 p.m.
“Right now we’re not there yet but we’re getting there,” Harrison said.
Highland will be on the road next Friday against Marion at 7 p.m