ALTON – Adam Hill got what he sought Saturday night at Public School Stadium.
The senior quarterback for the Civic Memorial High football team wanted the Eagles to enjoy a fast start in their season opener.
It couldn’t have worked out any better for Hill and the Eagles. They built a 43-0 halftime advantage and coasted to a 50-21 nonconference win in spoiling the debut of Explorers’ coach Darrell Angleton.
“We view this game as a rivalry one, so it was fun to do that,” he said of CM’s lightning beginning. The Eagles led 23-0 by the end of the first quarter and never looked back in front of a large crowd of boisterous fans.
Hill added, “Our plan was to score quickly.”
And the Eagles scored early and often, thanks mainly to Hill and senior running back John Whitworth. Hill hit on 13 of 19 throws for 195 yards and four touchdowns. He completed passes to eight receivers.
Whitworth, a senior running back, rushed for 100 yards and tallied three TDS, one on a 77-yard kickoff return.
“Our seniors stepped up and Adam Hill really had a good game,” said CM assistant Mike Parmentier, subbing for Justin Winslow, the Eagles’ head coach. Winslow missed the game for personal reasons.
Parmentier noted, “I thought we created a lot of problems with our matchups. John Whitworth had a great game running the ball and we got great blocking up front from our offensive linemen.
“It was a great way to start the season.”
By amassing a 43-point halftime lead, the Eagles turned it into a quick second half, complete with a continuous clock. Marquette scored three times in the final 17 minutes, yet the Explorers couldn’t match the Eagles' firepower.
“They did a lot of good things and they are a good team,” Angleton said. “And they had a nice game plan, so I tip my hat to them. But we have only five seniors and two of them were out, so that made it more difficult for us.”
Hill, meanwhile, made it look easy. He pitched a 4-yard score to Brenden Ricci at 9:13 and the Eagles led 8-0. Brett Lane had the conversion run.
Then it was Hill connecting with David Lane for a 43-yard score at 6:29 and Corey Price’s conversion run made it 16-0. Whitworth’s first score, a 12-yard jaunt, plus Colin Hall’s PAT kick, increased CM’s led to 23-0 with 2:45 to play in the first quarter.
Brett Lane grabbed a 6-yard scoring strike from Hill at 10:38 of the second quarter and it was 30-0. Whitworth scored on a 10-yard run with 2:15 remaining to make it 36-0. Hill’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Ricci with 52 seconds to go made it 43-0 before half.
“It was the best game I’ve had,” said Whitworth, who tacked on his long kickoff return for a third quarter score following a Marquette touchdown. CM led 50-7 with 4:22 to play after that.
The Explorers came to life in the second half. Quarterback Trey Aguirre pitched a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Simmons with 4:42 remaining in the third quarter for Marquette’s first score.
Sophomore speedster D’Avion Peebles scored on a 60-yard run with 6:43 to go in the game and Aguirre tallied on a 1-yard run with 19 seconds to play.
The 5-7, 150 Peebles rushed 14 times for 109 yards. Simmons, a 5-8, 150 senior receiver, snagged 10 passes for 117 yards. And Aguirre, a 6-1, 170 quarterback, completed16 of 34 passes for 167 yards. However, the Explorers were hampered by three turnovers, including two fumbles. They finished with 261 yards of offense, with 194 coming the second half. CM had 339 yards of offense.
“D’Avion can do some good things and he’s an electric kid,” Angleton said of Peebles’ speedy ways. “Jesse had a great game and he doesn’t play like he’s a guy that’s 5-8.”
While the Eagles go to 0-1 Mattoon next Friday, the Explorers are at 0-1 Quincy Notre Dame.
“We want to get healthier and then make sure we are strong for conference play,” Angleton said of the Prairie State Conference. He’s waiting for senior running back Brock Terry and senior receiver James Jernigan to heal from injuries.
CM 50, MARQUETTE CATHOLIC 21
CM 23 20 7 0 – 50
Marquette 0 0 7 14 – 21
CM – Brenden Ricci 4 pass from Adam Hill (Brett Lane run), 9:13
CM – David Lane 43 pass from Hill (Corey Price run), 6:29
CM – John Whitworth 12 run (Colin Hall kick), 2:45
CM – B. Lane 6 pass from Hall (Hall kick), 10:38
CM – Whitworth 10 run (kick failed), 2:11
CM – Ricci 14 pass from Hill (Hall kick), :52.3
M – Jesse Simmons 29 pass from Trey Aguirre (Liam Maher kick), 4:42
CM – Whitworth 77 kickoff return (Hall kick), 4:22
M – D’Avion Peebles 60 run (Maher kick), 6:43
M – Aguirre 1 run (Maher kick), :19