NEW LENOX – Lincoln-Way Central's football team didn't get off to the type of start that it wanted to and failed to capitalize on some good opportunities on Friday.
But after the Knights scored six touchdowns while not allowing Sandburg to collect any points and limiting it to just 70 total yards, it was hard to be too disappointed.
Central captured its seventh win of the regular season and improved to 7-1, both feats that it last accomplished in 2005, to help it claim a 42-0 Southwest Suburban Conference win.
The Knights (7-1, 4-1), who only led 6-0 late in the second quarter, got two scores before halftime to grab a 21-0 advantage. They finished with 292 rushing yards and 396 total yards.
"One of our big program mottoes is 'start fast and finish faster,' " Knights coach Jeremy Cordell said. "I don't think that we got off to the start that we wanted to, but we're excited to bounce back and learn from that. We're excited to throw three shutouts through eight games. No matter who we're playing, we're always striving to put a zero on the board. Our kids are flying around and playing fast, physical and free and they're also playing for each other."
Central, which is allowing nine points per game, posted its third shutout after limiting the Eagles (3-5, 2-4) to 54 yards on 42 rushes. Only two runs or catches went for 10 or more yards while 22 plays resulted in gains of two yards or less. The visitors were unable to advance the ball inside the Knights' 30 yard line.
"The whole week our emphasis was on a shutout and we came out and got the job done," said linebacker Nick DeGregorio, who led the Knights with a team-high eight tackles and also added two sacks and a fumble recovery. "It's a total team game and all of my brothers are out there getting to the ball fast on every single play, like we're taught to do. In coach Cordell's words, defense wins championships, so we have to go out and show that."
Central moved in front on an 11-yard run by Mike Gossage (10-103 rushing) late in the first quarter and got a 30-yard run from Matt Pollack (10-71 rushing) and a 13-yard keeper by Sam Pipiras to make 21-0 at halftime. In the third, Mike Morgan (8-56 rushing) caught a 10-yard pass from Pipiras and ran in from 30 yards while Gossage added a late 48-yard run.
"We had some missed opportunities that they could have taken advantage of so we owe a lot to our defense," Gossage said. "I'm so proud of them and they're always fun to watch. Our offense starts with our O-line, which isn't the biggest line, but they really work hard. We have a lot of diverse backs and sometimes we have too many backs that can get the ball, which is not a bad problem to have. The best thing about our team is that we're just brothers."
Lincoln-Way Central senior linebacker Nick DeGregorio led his team with eight tackles, which included two sacks, and also recovered a fumble in the Knights' 42-0 win over Sandburg.
Sandburg 0 0 0 0 - 0
Lincoln-Way Central 6 15 14 7 – 42
First: LWC - Gossage 11 run (kick failed) 1:30
Second: LWC - Pollack 30 run (Pollack run) 4:25
Second: LWC - Pipiras 13 run (Sereleas kick) 0:14
Third: LWC - Morgan 10 pass from Pipiras (Sereleas kick) 8:38
Third: LWC - Morgan 30 run (Sereleas kick) 2:20
Fourth: LWC - Gossage 48 run (Sereleas kick) 1:12
First downs - S 9, LWC 20; rushing yards - S 54, LWC 292; passing yards - S 16, LWC 104; total yards - S 70; LWC 396; fumbles lost - S 1, LWC 1; penalties - S 4-45, LWC 10-114.
Rushing: S - Shab 23-60, Marines 13-(-15), Murphy 3-15, Milanti 1-8, Villa 1-(-1), Hirshfield 1-(-13), Total 42-54; LWC - Gossage 10-103, Pollack 10-71, Morgan 8-56, McWilliams 8-25, Pipiras 2-13, Ellis 2-12, Katzmann 2-10, Hayes 1-2, Total 43-292.
Passing: S - Marines 3-8-1i-16; LWC - Pipiras 9-18-1i-104, Hayes 0-1-0i-0.
Receiving: S - Hansler 2-12, Schulio 1-4; LWC - Pollack 2-29, Morgan 2-23, McWilliams 1-24, Stoklosa 2-19, Gossage 1-4, Rodriguez 1-5.