On a night that was more akin to mid summer than mid season, the Richwoods Knights took care of business as they dominated Manual, 42-8. It was Homecoming and the Class of 1978 and other returning alumni were treated to a nice display of Richwoods football as the Knights mixed a well executed passing attack with their consistently improving ground game.
Manual, despite their 0-4 record coming in, had nonetheless shown the ability to put up big offensive numbers in the previous four games. It was not to be on this night as the staunch Knights defense once again kept their opponent from gaining any offensive momentum whatsoever. In fact, the Knights starters have not given up a point in the last three games.
After taking the opening kickoff to the Rams 49 yard line on a nice snare of the boot by Christian Gibson, it took just four plays and two minutes before Max Berres tossed a beautiful ball into the hands of Sean Flaherty for a 23 yard touchdown. Later in the first, Richwoods got the ground game going with a 72 yard drive that wound into the second quarter before Kiontre O'Neal took it in from the six to make it 14-0 in favor of the home team. The drive featured several nice runs by Daejgon Love who was beginning to stretch his wings a bit on the offensive side of the ball. This evolved into the Daejgon Love show as he scored two touchdowns in the last minute of the half, one on an eight yard fumble recovery, for a 28-0 lead at the break
O'Neal found the end zone for the second time early in the third quarter and the rout was on. In what is surely a peek into the future for the Knights, sophomore Damion Gillespie spelled Berres at quarterback later in the period and scampered 46 yards to put the Knights up 42-0. Only a late Manual score against the second unit prevented a shut out for the Rams. Up next for Richwoods is another I-74 road trip to face East Moline United Township next Friday night as they will try to improve their record to 4-2.
In other games of note locally, Central did their best to hang in there with state ranked Rock Island at Peoria Stadium, but the Rocks are heading home with a 54-27 win. Notre Dame rolled at Galesburg, 35-7. In the Mid Illini Conference, Washington, Metamora and Limestone all had wins to create a quagmire of 3-0 teams at the top of the conference standings heading into the homestretch.