Illini West thumps Green Dragons

Robert Blackford/Editor
Aledo quarterback Brett Anderson runs for a touchdown against Illini West Friday, Sept. 19, in Carthage.

The Green Dragons of Aledo lost its first game of the year to conference rival Illini West Friday, Sept. 19. Illini West built a 28-0 lead at the half and coasted to a 36-21 victory.

"I was really worried about this game," said Aledo head coach Cullen Welter. "I was concerned with our lack of discipline defensively and our tackling. They (Illini West) exploited both of those tonight."

The Green Dragons stopped the first Illini West drive as Colton Welch picked off a Michael Laffery pass at the Green Dragon 36-yard-line.

The Chargers couldn't be stopped for long though. They scored on a Lafferty six-yard run at the 3:36 mark in the first quarter. The score came at the end of an 11-play drive.

Drake Schmudlach's 20-yard run gave the Chargers a 14-0 lead at the 10:57 mark. Seconds later Chris Vinson recovered an Aledo fumble in the endzone and the Green Dragons trailed 21-0 at the 10:01 mark.

Illini West increased its lead to 28-0 on a 27-yard run by Lafferty at the 6:27 mark.

Aledo managed only one first down offensively in the first half.

The Green Dragons got on the board in the third quarter. With 6:35 remaining Aledo quarterback Brett Anderson scored on a two-yard touchdown run.

Illini West answered immediately as Stefan Flynn scored on a 10-yard run with 3:29 remaining and Illini West increased its lead to 36-7 after the two-point conversion run.

The Green Dragons cut the Illini West lead to 36-15 on a 17-yard touchdown run by Matt Dawson. Anderson completed the conversion pass to Matt Dawson.

The Green Dragons scored again with 8.6 seconds remaining on Matt Dawson's 86-yard touchdown run.

Dawson finished the night with 133 yards on 15 carries.

Carthage's attack was led by Flynn's 158 yards on 34 carries.

"They were a great team. We knew it was going to be tough. Practices were slow this week. We'll have to turn it up a notch on Monday," said team captain Colton Welch. 

"We got better in the second half," said Welch.

Welter said, "We knew win or lose we needed to get better in the second half. I thought we played better offensively in the second half."

The Green Dragons host Elmwood Friday at 7 p.m. Welter said, "They've been in the playoffs the last two years. Hopefully we'll be better."