The Chester High School Yellow Jackets made a statement early on Friday and never looked back. In the end, it was a true team effort than led the Jackets over the Wesclin High School Warriors 48-6.
"Tonight we had team effort in all three areas, offense, defense and special teams," said Head Coach Billy Belton. "Our defense was amazing once again. Our offense scored 48 points and special teams did a fantastic job throughout the game!"
Wesclin won the coin toss and elected to kick off to start the game. On the third play of the game, Chester quarterback Ethan Stump found Jordan Merideth who scampered 64 yards for the touchdown. Jared Landeros kicked the extra point and CHS led, 7-0.
Chester tried an onside kick on their opening kickoff that failed because of a Jacket penalty. The ball was on the 42-yard line for Wesclin.
On the first play, Jacob Cowell and Isaac Jany dropped the Wesclin runner for a 2-yard loss. Next play: Jacob Cowell brought down the runner for a 5-yard loss. Warrior quarterback Tristyn Elling missed a pass, forcing a Wesclin punt.
Ethan Stumpe went to work and six plays later handed off to Isaac Jany who scored Chester's second touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run. Landeros's kick was good and Chester led, 14-0.
Wesclin took over on the 35-yard line. Elling missed on his first pass; on his second, Landeros intercepted. The Jackets took over at the 48-yard line.
Chester suddenly went into self-destruction mode, committing three penalties for a loss of 20 yards and had to punt. But the Yellow Jacket defense forced a Wesclin fumble. They couldn't capitalize and the quarter ended 14-0.
In the second quaarter, Chester's Jordan Merideth took a punt and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown. Landeros hit his third kick and CHS led, 21-0.
On Wesclin's next punt, the Jackets ran it to the 35-yard line after which Jordan Merideth, Aidan Jany, Dylan Kelkhoff, and Jordan Merideth created four first downs consecutively, bringing the ball to the 2. Dylan Kelkhoff ran the ball into the end zone. Landeros's kick was good. CHS led 28-0 into halftime.
On the first series after the break, Wesclin's punt had the Jackets taking over at the 25-yard line. Freddie Alverez caught a 5-yard pass. Then, facing 3-and-5 Isaac scored on a 30-yard run but it was called back due to a CHS holding penalty.
Jordan Merideth then ran for a first down and Isaac Jany caught a 3-yard pass to put Chester at first-and-goal. Ethan Stumpe connected with Cooper Eggemeyer for a 6-yard touchdown pass and the Jackets extended their lead to 34-0. Landeros's kick was tipped away by Wesclin's Marshall Partington.
The Jackets next possession came as Chester's Jacob Cowell intercepted a Tristyn Elling pass, which led to a Jordan Merideth 18-yard TD run. Landeros hit the point and Chester led, 41-0, as the third quarter ended.
There was a continuous clock for the final quarter. Wesclin found some sunshine when Elling connected on two passes for two first downs. Warrior Addison Wuebbels ran 2-yards to the 5-yard line, followed by a pair of runs by Gage Radloff who was tackled by Chester's Jared Landeros. Wesclin's Logan Counsel finally got the ball to the end zone. The extra point failed and Wesclin trailed, 41-6.
On the ensuing kickoff Chester took the ball to the 38-yardline. Gage Hopkins got the ball rolling with a 7-yard run. Koby Jany followed with a 4-yard run for a first down, and Will Schuwerk, a junior, scored from 51 yards out. Another extra point, and that wrapped up all the scoring.
Chester sophomore Trent Eggemeyer intercepted a Tristyn Elling pass to put an exclamation point on the win. The YellowJackets improved to 4-1 overall and are 2-0 in the Cahokia Conference.
"I have a good coaching staff that helped me make the best decisions tonight," Belton said after the game. "Our offensive line was tough and blocked well for our runners. All of our boys want to win and hit the weight room throughout the season."
"I really love our seniors. They love the game of football and do whatever it takes to be successful. They play 100 miles per hour every game and the entire team plays better each week. They all are hoping for a long season.
Total plays: CHS 54; Wesclin 45
Total Yards: CHS 461 (214 passing and 247 rushing); Wesclin 94 (104 passing and 110 rushing)
First downs: CHS 17; Wesclin 6
3rd down efficiency: CHS 4-6 (67%)' Wesclin 2-10 (20%)
Turnovers: CHS 0; Wesclin 4 (fumble, 3 interceptions)
Penalties: CHS (11 for 98 yards); Wesclin (6 for 53 yards)
CHS passing: Ethan Stumpe 12/16 (75%), 214 yards and 2 TD's
Wesclin passing: Tristyn Elling 5/16 (31%); 104 yards with 3 interceptions
CHS rushing: Jordan Merideth, 9 for 114 yards, 2 TDs; Dylan Kelkhoff 4 for 25 yards, 1 TD; Isaac Jany, 3 for 20 yards, 1 TD; Will Schuwerk, 1 for 51 yards, 1 TD.
Wesclin rushing: Entire team 23 times for 10 yards
CHS receiving: Jordan Merideth, 4 for 102 yards, 1 TD; Freddie Alvarez 3 for 54 yards; Cooper Eggemeyer, 4 for 38 yards, 1 TD; Isaac Jany, 1 for 20 yards.
Wesclin: Entire team, 5 for 104 yards
CHS tackles: Isaac Jany, 5 solo, 2 assists, 1 sack (2 tackles for loss); Jacob Cowell, 2 solo, 5 assists, a sack (1 tackle for loss); Matt James, 2 solo, a sack (2 tackles for loss).
Wesclin tackles: Jamie Hendrix, 5 solo and 4 assists; Lane Trummel, 4 solo, 2 assists (1 tackle for loss); Gage Radloff, 1 solo (1 tackle for loss)
CHS miscellaneous: Jacob Cowell, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery; Jared Landeros, 1 interception; Trentin Eggemeyer, 1 interception; Landeros kicked off 6 times for 261 yards; Trace Fricke kicked off once for 26 yards.