MOLINE – The long bus ride was well worth it.
Alex Tibble completed 19 of 37 passes for 224 yards and, except for a couple of plays, the Joliet West defense stuffed Moline’s offense Friday, as the Tigers opened their season with a 30-15 nonconference victory.
West’s Xavier Smith caught seven passes for 111 yards, and freshman Kavon Dorris grabbed five for 72 yards. Jakob Coyl rushed for two touchdowns and Robert Ford caught a touchdown pass.
Juwan McBee led Tigers’ rushers with 36 yards in seven carries. Tibble, who helped lead West to its first playoff berth a year ago, chipped in 25 yards in eight carries.
“It’s absolutely good to get the win,” West coach Jason Aubry said. “It actually was a little frustrating. We were up, 8-7, at halftime, and we left three touchdowns on the field.”
An 80-yard run set up the first Moline score, and the second was set up when West punted out of its end zone and the ball was returned to the 1-yard line. At that, the Maroons needed three plays to score the touchdown.
“Our defense played very well,” Aubry said. “Except for the two big plays, they didn’t do much offensively against us.”
West still was leading, 16-15, in the third quarter when the Tigers embarked on a long scoring drive. The defense held, and West went on another scoring drive to help put it away.
“There definitely are things we need to improve on,” Aubry said. “We have to punch the ball in when we get it down there in the red zone. But I’m very pleased with with how our defense played. It was good to win.”
West finished 310 total yards and converted six of 14 third downs. Moline managed 167 yards and converted only two third downs in 10 opportunities.