PLAINFIELD – Going into the final week while out of the playoff hunt, one of the only things left on the line is pride.
Despite the rain and muddy field conditions Friday, Plainfield East showed how much pride it still had by beating District 202 and Southwest Prairie Conference rival Plainfield Central, 52-19, Friday night.
“We played hard and our kids practiced hard all week,” East coach Mike Romeli said. “We didn’t know what we were getting into, but our seniors continued to lead, and they did a great job tonight.”
The Bengals (4-5, 4-3) began the rout of the Wildcats (0-9, 0-7) when senior quarterback Matt Mazurkiewicz (6 of 14 passing, 109 yards) found Dylan Koch for a 61-yard gain on East’s first drive. A couple of plays later, Mazurkiewicz capped the seven-play drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to DJ Donofrio for a 6-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the Bengals poured the points on Central, even as the rain continued to fall. East found the end zone four times, all on running plays. Jalen Hutt scored from 52 yards out, DJ Donofrio on a 2-yard run and Jeremy Reitz from 7 and 17 yards.
Central running back Lovelle Houston scored on a 5-yard run, making it 31-6 at halftime.
“ [Reitz] did a good job,” Romeli said. “Our offensive line did a good job in opening up holes for him.”
“Big holes tonight,” Reitz said, crediting his offensive line. “A lot of opportunities, and I want to say thank to my linemen for that.”
To begin the second half, the Bengals converted two Wildcats’ turnovers into touchdowns to make it 45-6.
“It’s little things that separate 0-9 teams from 9-0 teams,” Central coach John Jackson said. “We shot ourselves in the foot, and we don’t even have a foot to shoot anymore.”
The Wildcats got on the board two more times before their season came to an end. Trevor Ervin ran it in from 18 yards out, and quarterback Cameron Cercone hit Nate Graves for a 37-yard touchdown as time expired.
By night’s end, both coaches were proud of their seniors.
“The seniors have won a lot of games here,” Romeli said. “They did a good job and continued to fight.”
“The seniors played well and they didn’t quit on me,” Jackson said. “I’m proud of them.”