Grant Hardwick erupted for 97-yards on just six carries scoring three times and also came up big with a sack late in the first half to end any hope of a Sullivan comeback in a 56-13 Warrior rout of the Redskins. Tuscola forced a three-and-out on the home team’s first drive after winning the flip and taking the ball and two plays later the Warriors went on top 6-0 following a 44-yard run by Jalen Quinn. Quinn reversed fields weaved in an out to find the end zone twice cutting off blocks down field by starting QB Logan Tabeling.
Aiden Beachy connected on the point after to make it 7-0 boys in black. The junior kicker was good on 8-of-8 point after attempts in the game. Sullivan answered back a few minutes later following a long run and a Warrior penalty that gave them new life knotting it at 7’s. Coach Romine’s group wasted no time to squash the Redskins homecoming hopes culminating a 9-play drive with a 17-yard scoring scamper by Hardwick. The junior went over the left side and followed blocks by Jonah Pierce and Hans Goodman to the promise land putting the Warriors in front for good.
“We were a lot better up front tonight, but we still have some things to fix,” commented Coach Andy Romine. “Coach Ted Minger does a good job with our lineman and there is no doubt our guys on the line will get better every week out with his guidance.”
Tuscola’s defense posted its third three-and-out on Sullivan’s next possession and less than three minutes and six plays later Quinn scored for the second time. Quinn hauled in 13-yard scoring strike from Tabeling pushing the lead to fourteen 21-7. Tabeling was good on 10 of 14 thru the air for 185-yards and a score. Quinn was his top target grabbing four balls for 102-yards. Brandon Douglas was next with 3-catches for 37-yards and Jacob Kibler followed him with two grabs for 39-yards.
Pierce set up the next score returning an interception at midfield to Sullivan’s 32-yard line. Tabeling ended a quick 3-play drive with a twenty-one yard touchdown run with 6:10 left in the second making it 28-7 Warriors. The senior signal caller gained 55-yards on six tries.
Kibler was the next to pick off a Redskin pass on their following drive. Five plays and just over thirty seconds later Hardwick turned it into points running behind Big Mike Calderon, Caden Cradle and Colton Guenther for a fifteen yard score with :51 seconds left in the half. The junior running back showed up on defense ending a Sullivan’s hopes of a late score with a fifteen yard sack as the clock struck zero sending the Warriors into the half on top 35-7.
Quinn went in with less than two minutes gone in third quarter increasing the lead to 42-7 and following a Lucas Kresin interception, Tuscola’s third of the game set the 40-point slaughter rule clock running when Hardwick knifed thru the Redskins defense for a touchdown pushing the lead to 42-points. Backup QB Payton Armstrong put the cherry on top with a 25-yard scoring run. The sophomore impressed in his short time on the field toting the ball six time for 64-yards and a score. “Payton gets down hill in a hurry,” commented Romine. “He’s at the other teams second level before you can blink an eye, he’s going to be fun to watch moving forward.”
The Warriors move to 4-2 on the year and 2-2 in the Central Illinois Conference with the victory. Romine’s group is back on the road this week traveling to Warrensburg to do battle with a dangerous Cardinal squad that sits at 3-3 on the year following a big win over Shelbyville last Friday night.