Photo by Diane Cox
Marquette sophomore Will Hurst attempts to wrap up CM senior running back John Whitworth in the season opener between the Explorers and Eagles. CM won the game 50-21 and Whitworth rushed for 100 yards and scored three TDs.
A quick getaway last season put the Civic Memorial High football team in a good mood.
The Eagles won their first two games and prepared for more success. However, it never developed the way they envisioned it. They garnered just one more victory and finished 3-6 overall, including a 1-4 record in the Mississippi Valley Conference.
That’s something the Eagles don’t want to duplicate this fall. So while they celebrated a season-opening 50-21 win over Marquette Catholic last Saturday at Public School Stadium, they are determined to produce more than just first-game highlights.
CM is scheduled to play Friday at 0-1 Mattoon and the Eagles welcome Effingham Sept. 11 in their home opener.
“We need to keep practicing to keep making things perfect,” senior quarterback Adam Hill said.
Practice makes it perfect, and the Eagles realize the most important game is the one in front of them. They don’t intend to look back or get too far ahead of themselves.
“We kind of sputtered out last year, but I don’t think the flame will die this year,” senior running back John Whitworth said.
It’s a spirited group, said assistant coach Mike Parmentier, who expects to fan those victory flames. Parmentier, a former head coach at Staunton, subbed for head coach Justin Winslow in the opener. Winslow missed the first game because of personal reasons but will return for the Mattoon game.
It marked the first time Parmentier served as a head coach since his 2013 Staunton team lost to Sterling Newman Catholic, 40-13, in the Class 2A IHSA state championship game.
“We need to keep it up each week,” said Parmentier, impressed with the Eagles’ effort and work ethic against the Explorers. “We have to go into each week with the idea that we are going to get better every game. It’s all about improving one game at a time.”
He pointed out, “It’s a long journey ahead, but we want to be around to play in Week 10.”
CM last qualified for the playoffs in 2010 and the Eagles haven’t advanced past the first round since 2005. That team 10 years ago went 9-3, one shy of the school record. The 1984 and 1995 Eagles both were 10-2.
Hill and Whitworth spurred the Eagles against Marquette. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Hill completed 13 of 19 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns, including a pair to Brenden Ricci. The 6-0, 180 Whitworth tallied three TDS, including one on a 77-yard kickoff return. Brothers Brett and David Lane also caught TD passes. The Eagles led 23-0 after the first quarter and 43-0 at half.
“We have a lot of good receivers and we try to speed up the game,” Hill said.
First-year Marquette coach Darrell Angleton said, “They are a good team. They spread the ball around with their passing game. But they didn’t do anything we didn’t expect them to do.”
Overall, the Eagles rolled up more than 335 yards of offense, thanks in part to yeoman work from their offensive line. Blockers Cody Reynolds, Jordan Stagner, plus Brandon, Curtis and Andrew Deckard led the way.
The Deckard triplets are juniors that weigh in at 280, 300 and 320 pounds, respectively. Brandon and Andrew are 6-1, while Curtis is 6-4. Reynolds is 6-0, 270 and Stagner is 6-2, 220.
“CM has a lot of size on its line,” Angleton said.
Once the Eagles finish their first three nonconference games, they will open their Valley slate Sept. 18 at Jersey. They entertain Mascoutah (Sept. 25), Highland (Oct. 2) and are at Waterloo (Oct. 9) and Triad (Oct. 16) to complete their MVC slate. Then CM plays host to Mount Zion (Oct. 23) in its final nonleague game.
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