By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco ran away to a 34-0 lead in the first 16 minutes of its homecoming game against Fremont and never looked back, wining 61-0.
Now, ’Busco has its sights set on Central Noble — beating the rival Cougars would give Churubusco the outright Northeast Corner Conference Small Division title.
The hosts put on a show for the homecoming crowd, scoring on its first possession after a flurry of pass plays. Quarterback Tom Richards completed four passes, including the 30-yard touchdown pass to Mason Anderson, along with an 11-yard run himself, to lead the 85-yard opening drive.
“Tom is working extremely hard. He’s a dynamic athlete and we can use him for more than handing the ball off,” Churubusco head coach Paul Sade said. “I’m happy with the way he’s been playing. He’s a great leader.”
Fremont struggled to make progress against ’Busco’s defense, being forced to punt three times in the first quarter. On Fremont’s second punt, Churubusco’s Joey Emenhiser returned the kick for a 95-yard touchdown at the 2:17 mark of the first quarter.
On Fremont’s next punt, ’Busco’s Gage Kelly returned the ball to the end zone once more, but the play was called back on a personal foul flag against Churubusco. The Eagles went on to score two minutes later on a Richards’ pass to Emenhiser, going ahead 20-0 with 10:19 left in the half.
Churubusco scored again with 9:17 and 8:30 left in the second quarter, first on a 5-yard pass to Josh Bear, then on a 5-yard carry by Nathaniel Keener, to lead 34-0. The Eagles had the defense to thank for those touchdowns.
Churubusco led 41-0 at the half.
The first drive began with an interception by Anderson and the second on a Fremont fumble recovery.
’Busco’s Jake Fulk scooped up another Fremont fumble on the visitor’s next possession for the last touchdown of the half, leading 41-0.
“I’m happy for Jake Fulk, that’s a play a lot of sophomores wouldn’t make — they’d fall on the ball. It was a great heads up play by him,” Sade said.
Two minutes into the second half, Churubusco scored in four plays, ending with a run by Keener.
Fulk scored again six minutes later on a six-play drive.
Freshman Jackson Paul scored the last touchdown of the game with 10:15 to play, giving Churubusco the 61-0 victory.
Though Fremont wasn’t a competitive team for Churubusco this season, Sade said he expects the team to see big improvement in the coming years.
“They’re a young team and Coach (Jim) Hummer is doing the right things over there,” Sade said.
Churubusco will spend the week preparing for their rivals to the north.
“The next game is a big one,” Sade said. “They’re playing for the same thing we are.”
If Churubusco wins next week, it will be the outright conference champs. If Central Noble wins, the Cougars will still have to beat Eastside to have the outright title.