West Noble took advantage of four Eagle turnovers in the first half and did what West Noble Coach Monte Mawhorter wanted to do. Keep the ball away from Busco’s running backs. “We knew we had to stop those big backs and the best way to stop them is not to let them have the football,” said Coach Mawhorter.
The Eagles began the game with a nine play drive to the West Noble 24 yard line, ending in an interception near the goal line. The next possession the Eagles ran six plays moving thirty yards before fumbling the ball away at mid field.West Noble wasn’t getting anything going in the first quarter either. They went three and out in their first series and got a first down on an Eagle penality.
After another interception by the Charger defense early in the second quarter West Noble controlled the ball for the next eight and a half minutes. The West Noble offense ran the clock to perfection. The Chargers ran fifteen plays on the drive and converted three fourth down plays. Luke Hardesty ran to the end zone with only eighteen seconds left in the half putting the Chargers up 6-0 after a missed extra point. Kyle Mathewson gave the Eagle fans something to cheer about as he returned the kickoff 54 yards to the 21 yard line with seven seconds remaining in the half. Monk was intercepted for the third time as the halftime buzzer went off.
“They had a good gameplan to defend us and they played really hard,” stated Coach Lee Etzler. “Our kids need to understand that we are going to be in some close games and we need to know how to win at that point.”
The teams traded punts to start the second half. The Eagles finally got on the scoreboard with 2:18 remaining in the third quarter, as Mathewson darted twenty yards for the touchdown. Bryce Shively ran in the extra point for an 8-6 Eagle lead.
On the Chargers’ next possession Shively picked up an errant backwards pass and returned it for an Eagle score, to make it 14-6 Churubusco.
The Eagle defense stopped West Noble on their next series, forcing them to punt. A bad snap gave the Eagles great field position. Four plays later Shively plunged into the end zone from one yard out. Mathewson collected 61 yards on Busco’s next series and scored from eight yards out to give the Eagles a 28-6 advantage.
In the first half the Eagles were held to just 65 yards on 14 carries. The second half looked like the Eagle team we are accustomed to gaining 188 yards on 21 attempts. Mathewson again led the way for Churubusco with 164 yards rushing, bringing his season total to 1099 yards on the ground. Mathewson is averaging 11.7 yards per carry for the season.
“We needed a game like this to regain our focus,” explained Coach Etzler. “Our first five games were relatively easy and you can lose your focus when things are too easy. You make mistakes, you turn the ball over, you don’t make a block.”
The Eagles move to 6-0 on the season as the Chargers fall to 0-6. Lakeland and Fairfield both ran their records to 6-0 also, with the Lakers defeating Eastside 55-0 and the Falcons beating Angola 29-14. That sets up the meeting between Fairfield and Lakeland next Friday night. Busco will host Fairfield a week from Friday and travel to Lakeland to close out the season.