CASEY — Sophomore quarterback Isaac Elkins is not usually the starter for Casey-Westfield. But he played like one Friday night for the Warriors.
With regular starter Nicco Stepina suspended after being ejected on pair of excessive celebration penalties last week, Elkins stepped into Casey’s starting lineup and completed 11 completions on 14 passing attempts for 176 yards in the Warriors’ 53-27 romp against He threw for two touchdowns and only gave the ball away once on an interception in the red zone.
“(Elkins) did a great job,” Casey coach Jim Sullivan said.
Elkins completed 10-of-12 passes in the first half, helping Casey (6-0, 4-0 Little Illini Eastern) overcome a fast start by Oblong. The Panthers (3-3, 3-1) returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, taking a 7-0 lead just 13 seconds into the game.
But that was the last lead Oblong would have for the game, as Casey-Westfield stormed to 16 unanswered points on touchdown runs from Austin Glidewell (who finished with 17 carries for 144 yards) and Ethan Lucas.
Oblong junior quarterback Alec Jacobs caused problems for Casey-Westfield early in the game, as he completed his first seven pass attempts. But Sullivan changed his team’s defensive posture to shut down the opposing quarterback.
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“We adjusted,” said Sullivan, matter-of-factly.
Sullivan said he switched to a wider defensive front to stop Oblong from beating them with the flurry of screen passes the Panthers used in the first half.
It worked, too. After completing his first seven passes, Jacobs failed to string together more than two completions for the rest of the evening.
Lucas and Glidewell scored two touchdowns for Casey in the opening quarter, which ended in a 16-13 Warriors’ lead after Oblong junior running back Logan Goodwin thumped in a score from a yard outside the end zone.
The second quarter was all Casey-Westfield, though, as the Warriors increased their lead by 14 points.
Elkins found sophomore Cory Carver on a vertical route up the sideline. Carver made the reception and broke two tackles as he took the ball 55-yards for the only passing touchdown in the first half. Glidewell capped the first-half scoring with a two-yard run, giving the Warriors a 30-13 halftime lead.
Casey-Westfield came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter as the Warriors went with the run on four consecutive downs. Glidewell got the call on each play and took the ball 56 yards for a touchdown to make the score 38-13.
A kickoff return from Lucas locked up the victory for Casey-Westfield late in the fourth quarter, as the sophomore made a quick cut to beat the Oblong coverage.