WOOD RIVER -- A first-quarter scoring spree was enough for the East-Alton Wood River Oilers to earn a shutout win in Friday night’s Prairie State Conference contest against the Metro East Lutheran Knights.
The Oilers defeated the Knights 34-0. EA-WR improved to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the PSC. The Oilers led 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Junior running back Zach Womack paced the Oilers’ performance in the first quarter. He scored EA-WR’s first three touchdowns.
Womack scored the first one at the 9:31 mark in the first quarter on an eight-yard run into the end zone.
Womack scored again at the 5:42 mark in the first quarter. On a first and nine play on Metro’s nine-yard line, quarterback Justin Englar connected with Womack on an eight-yard pass. Within seconds, Womack scampered into the end zone.
The junior running back struck again at the 3:06 mark in the first quarter when he scored on a 35-yard run into the end zone on a fourth and five play.
“It’s the kind of kid he is,” EA-WR coach Garry Herron said on Womack. “It’s what he’s worked for in the off-season. He really came in and made the plays when we needed him.”
The Oilers established a 28-0 lead at the 1:03 mark in the first quarter when Englar connected with tight end Lukas Westbrook on a 35-yard pass. Westbrook ran 10 yards into the end zone. Womack left the game in the second quarter due to a hip injury. Kicker Austin Carlisle hit the point after touchdown on each of the first quarter scores and went four-for-five on extra points in the game.
“It’s a shame that we couldn’t do it for the rest of the game,” Herron said. “We missed some blocks, made some mistakes and that kept them in the game. Our goal was to put the pedal to the metal and to that the entire game and we didn’t accomplish that.”
Herron said his team struggled with blocking during the first quarter.
“It comes down to doing the job and not being a little lazy,” he said. “I think we got a little lazy. After the first quarter, they saw that nice lead and took their pedal off the metal a little bit.”
After the explosive first quarter, EA-WR’s offense stalled for two quarters. The Oilers drove the ball into the Knights’ territory five times in the next two quarters, but couldn’t hit pay dirt.
“In the first quarter, horrible football, absolutely horrible football,” Knights coach Matt Tschudy said. “In the second, third and fourth quarter, I’m very pleased with the football game. It was smash mouth football, we’re hitting people and they’re hitting people. It’s what the game is all about. We’re very happy with the second, third and fourth quarter. The defense stepped up.”
Running back Gabe Grimes scored on a nine-yard run at the 8:52 mark in the fourth quarter to give EA-WR a 34-0 lead.
MELHS dropped to 0-5 overall and 0-3 in the PSC. The Knights will return to action at 7 p.m. on Friday against Mount Olive at Metro East Lutheran. Friday's loss mathematically eliminated teh Knights from playoff contention.
The Oilers next will tangle with Pawnee at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Pawnee.