Larkin pounds rival Elgin to retain Town Jug
By Erik Jacobsen firstname.lastname@example.org September 7, 2012 11:22PM
Larkin players celebrate with the Town Jug after their victory against Elgin High on Friday at Memorial Field. | Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media
LARKIN 40, ELGIN 12
E . 06 . 0 . 06 . 0 -- 12
L . 19 . 6 . 15 . 0 -- 40
L – D. Clemons 53 pass from K. Blalark (Delrosario kick), 10:17
L – Bonds 20 punt block return (kick failed), 7:51
E – Page 1 run (kick failed), 5:21
L – A. Blalark 14 pass from K. Blalark (kick failed), 2:41
L – Jackson 3 run (run failed), 6:07
L – Jackson 5 run (Jackson run), 8:31
E – Sitter 18 run (pass failed), 4:18
L – Jackson 1 run (Delrosario kick), 0:59
First downs – E: 19 | L: 19
Comp.-att.-int. – E: 7-21-1 | L: 5-7-0
Passing yards – E: 101 | L: 105
Rushing att.-yards – E: 41-224 | L: 40-246
Total yards – E: 325 | L: 351
Fumbles-lost – E: 0-0 | L: 3-0
Penalties – E: 2-25 | L: 7-85
Individual Statistics Rushing:
Larkin – Jackson 15-108, D. Clemons 7-68, Randazzo 8-61, Darke 4-8, Plate 1-2, Pruitt 1-0, K. Blalark 4-(-3).
Elgin – Sitter 7-21-1 101
Larkin – K. Blalark 4-6-0 85, Jackson 1-1-0 20.
Elgin – DeBrocke 3-71, Smith 2-17, J. Clemons 2-13.
Larkin – D. Clemons 3-72, Bonds 1-19, A. Blalark 1-14.
Updated: September 8, 2012 10:55PM
Larkin turned a perfect start into a convincing victory against crosstown rival Elgin on Friday night.
The Royals scored on their first play from scrimmage when junior quarterback Kemmerin Blalark hit Damion Clemons streaking down the right sideline for a 53-yard touchdown pass.
Five plays later Larkin exploited a weakness its coaches saw on film by bringing extra pressure and executing a blocked punt that was returned 20 yards for a touchdown by Donte Bonds.
Just like that the Royals had a 13-point lead just over four minutes into the game, setting the tone for a 40-12 thumping of the Maroons at Memorial Field in the Upstate Eight River opener for both teams.
“That play was designed to get us a touchdown right away,” senior lineman Alex Schabert said of the strike from Blalark to Clemons. “And then the blocked punt was all coach (Mike) Scianna. He saw that on film and said we’re going to get this the first chance we get.”
Schabert and fellow three-year varsity starter Adam Hamiel helped the Royals dominate the line of scrimmage as they racked up 246 rushing yards on 40 carries. Three players had more than 60 rushing yards for Larkin (2-1, 1-0), with Mo Jackson leading the way with 108 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries.
Elgin (0-3, 0-1) managed to bounce back from the early blocked punt with a five-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped by Daniel Page’s 1-yard touchdown plunge that cut the Royals lead to 13-6 with 5:21 left in the first quarter.
The Maroons couldn’t keep the momentum on their side, though, as Blalark connected with cousin Anthony Blalark for a 14-yard touchdown pass on the next possession to put Larkin ahead 19-6 with 2:41 left in the first quarter.
Jackson’s 3-yard scoring dash in the second quarter and 5-yard touchdown run in the third quarter helped the Royals extend their lead to 33-6, all but assuring the Town Jug would stay on the west side for the second straight year. Larkin leads the all-time varsity series between the teams 32-19.
“We couldn’t have done it without our offensive line,” Jackson said. “Without them we wouldn’t have gotten those holes. They did a good job out there.”
Clemons had 68 rushing yards on seven carries in the first half but sat out the entire second half after injuring his wrist while playing defense late in the second quarter. Mario Randazzo added 61 yards on eight carries and Jerelle Shipp had an interception for the Royals.
For Elgin, the defeat marks its 11th straight loss dating to last season, but the outlook wasn’t all gloom and doom after the game.
Jaylen Clemons had another productive night for the Maroons with 99 rushing yards on 14 carries. Elgin matched Larkin with 19 first downs for the contest and finished with 325 yards for the game.
One highlight for the Maroons was a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive on their first drive of the second half that ended with an 18-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ryan Sitter on a nice option read around the right side.
“I think we were positive on every play and we all got confidence from that drive,” Sitter said. “In the locker room we were talking that we were losing, but this is a major improvement from our last couple weeks. We’re sad now because we lost the Jug game and lost to Larkin, but we realize we took a step forward.”