High Octane Offense Lifts Shells Over Purple Panthers

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The Roxana Shells recovered a fumble three minutes into Litchfield’s homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 4, to get the ball on offense for the first time. By the time five and a half minutes had ticked off the clock, the Shells led 33-0.

The quick strike offense, which resulted in five touchdowns on seven plays, would set the tone for the game, which ended 47-14 in Roxana’s favor.

Michael Ilch took the handoff on Roxana’s first play on offense and sprinted 50 yards up the left side to make it 7-0 early on. The Shells would get the ball back after another fumble on Litchfield’s first play of the series, leading to another touchdown by Ilch, a 44-yarder that also came on the first play of the series.

Bad luck continued for the Panthers, who didn’t get a chance for an offensive series after the next kickoff went back to the Shells when Hunter Bailey recovered the kick after two Litchfield players collided trying to field the ball.

Roxana’s run of scoring on the first play would end with an 11-yard run by David Pluester, but the Shells would score on the next play to continue the rout, with Gavin Huffman finding Cody Scroggins for a 26-yard score.

Litchfield would avoid the turnover bug, but were forced to punt, returning the ball to the Shells on the Litchfield 48. One play later, Huffman connected with Parris White and Roxana led 26-0 with 5:54 to play in the first.

A three-and-out and a punt by the Panthers resulted in Roxana’s last touchdown of the quarter, which came two plays after the punt on a 56-yard reverse by Cole Liley that made it 33-0, less than six minutes after their first touchdown of the game.

The pace would slow from there on, with Litchfield matching Roxana’s 14 points in the final three quarters. Before the Panthers scored though, they would fall behind further.

The Shells scored on a 14-yard run by Austin Wilburn with nine minutes left in the second, then again on a 35-yard run by Wilburn with four seconds left in the first half.

Litchfield would show some strides in their final series before Wilburn’s second score, with Clayton Walch completing five passes for 55 yards before a fumble gave the ball back to Roxana on their own 14.

Walch would continue that momentum into the second half against the Roxana reserves, who saw the bulk of the playing after the 33-point first quarter.

Walch threw for 38 yards and ran for ten more in Litchfield’s next series, which culminated in a three-yard touchdown run to make it 47-6.

Walch would get another touchdown on the ground, this time from a yard out, with roughly five minutes to play in the fourth as the clock continued to run.

Up 47-14, Roxana ran the final seconds off the clock for their second win of the season.

Walch would have a solid showing with 14 completions in 25 attempts for 131 yards. Collin Becker was targeted nine times for 84 yards, while Charlie Rayphole had four catches for 42 yards and Blaine Stewart had one for four yards. Walch also ran 11 times for 29 yards, with Stewart running once for four yards.

Defensively, Jefferson Thomas had four tackles and five assists, while Hunter Niemann had five tackles and three assists. Charlie Rayphole and Dylan Maxwell also had five tackles apiece for the 0-6 Panthers.

Litchfield will take on the other South Central Conference Panthers in week seven as they play at Pana at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11.

October 4 at Litchfield

Roxana (2-4) 33 14 0 0 47

Litchfield (0-6) 0 0 6 8 14

Scoring Summary

1st: Roxana - Michael Ilch 50-yard run (Logan Wonders kick)

1st: Roxana - Michael Ilch 44-yard run (Logan Wonders kick)

1st: Roxana - Gavin Huffman 26-yard pass to Cody Scroggins (kick failed)

1st: Roxana - Gavin Huffman 48-yard pass to Parris White (kick failed)

1st: Roxana - Cole Liley 56-yard run (Logan Wonders kick)

2nd: Roxana - Austin Wilburn 14-yard run (Logan Wonders kick)

2nd: Roxana - Austin Willburn 35-yard run (Logan Wonders kick)

3rd: Litchfield - Clayton Walch 2-yard run (run failed)

4th: Litchfield - Clayton Walch 1-yard run (Clayton Walch run)

Litchfield Statistics

Passing: Clayton Walch 14-25-131.

Rushing: Clayton Walch 11-29, Blaine Stewart 1-4, Drew Hartzell 1-0, Dylan Maxwell 3-(-4).

Recieving: Collin Becker 9-84, Charlie Rayphole 4-42, Blaine Stewart 1-4.

Defense (Solo/Assists): Jefferson Thomas 4/5, Hunter Niemann 5/3, Charlie Rayphole 2/3, Dylan Maxwell 3/2, Drew Hartzell 1/3, John Corso 1/1, Blaine Stewart 1/0, Clayton Walch 0/1, Austin Dewitt 0/1, J. Zumwalt 0/1.

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