CARLINVILLE - On this year’s Mischief Night, otherwise known as the night before Halloween, families from Carlinville and Roxana did not hit the cities’ sidewalks to go trick or treating. Instead, they traded their costumes for spirit wear as the Roxana High School Shells football team travelled to Carlinville High School for round one of the IHSA playoffs.

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A total of 1,721 people were in attendance as the Shells fell to the Cavaliers 52-12.

Although his team was ultimately defeated, Roxana Head Coach Pat Keith is satisfied with how his team competed throughout the season and hopes to make this back-to-back playoff appearance “a tradition.”

“I’m proud of these kids, and hopefully the young guys see all of the hard work the seniors have put in and keep the tradition going,” Keith said.

Having been defeated by the Cavaliers in the first game of the regular season on Aug. 28, the Shells held on to the hope for redemption in the playoff rematch. Unfortunately for the Shells, the 2015 playoff season marks the 10th appearance in a row for the Cavaliers.

At the beginning of the first quarter, the Shells attempted to gain yardage down the field. However, once the team lost possession of the ball to the Cavaliers, all bets were off. A little less than halfway through the quarter, Carlinville junior Jacob Dixon (#21) made a touchdown from the 9-yard line. After the first of many good kicks by junior Hayden Thompson (#5), the Cavaliers were up against the Shells 7-0.

Maintaining possession from the kickoff, the Cavaliers made their way down the field once again. After an incomplete pass, the downs began to rack up. However, a fumbled pass was recovered by Carlinville at the 1-yard line. With such a short distance to go, Dixon struck again and brought in his second touchdown of the evening. After another kick by Thompson, the Cavies continued to lead the Shells 14-0.

After the kickoff, the Shells lost possession after two first downs and a 20-yard punt. After a 7-yard gain, Cavaliers quarterback and freshman Jarret Easterday (#1) made a successful throw to wide receiver and junior Konnor Emmons (#81), who rushed 52 yards to bring in a touchdown. After the good kick, the Cavies maintained a heavy lead at 21-0 to end the first quarter.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Shells maintained possession and seemed to make their way down the field with ease. With fans cheering them on from the visitor bleachers, Shells senior Blane Vandiver (#5) brought in his team’s first touchdown with seven and a half minutes left of the quarter. The team pushed for a two point conversion, but the defense of the Cavies were too strong to let the offense push into the end zone. This play brought the score to a 21-6 in favor of the Cavaliers.

Soon after gaining possession of the ball, the Cavaliers pushed their way down the field. As the fourth down snuck up on them, the team made the decision to attempt a 21-yard field goal. Thompson successfully kicked in a three-point field goal, which brought the score to 24-6.

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When the kickoff landed the ball in the hand of the Shells, they made their push toward their opponent’s end zone. When one of the Cavaliers’ defensive linemen tripped up running back Vandiver, he stayed on his feet and ran in his second and his team’s final touchdown of the game, bringing the score to 24-12 after a failed two-point conversion.

Unfortunately for the Shells, as soon as the Cavaliers regained possession of the ball, Dixon made an excellent 50-yard run, running out of bounds at Roxana’s 11-yard line.

With less than 40 seconds left of the second quarter, Carlinville scored not one, but two touchdowns. The first was ran in by junior wide receiver Brady Jamieson (#88). Dixon ran in yet another touchdown for his team. At the end of the second quarter, the Cavaliers were dominating the Shells 38-12.

When the third quarter came around, the Shells began to make some costly turnovers that the team could not come back from. Dixon brought in his fourth touchdown of the evening for the Cavaliers after an offensive push that left him with six yards left to go. After yet another kick by Thompson, the Cavies led the Shells 45-12.

In attempt to move the ball down the field, the Shells quarterback and junior Zach Golenor (#11) made two unsuccessful passes to his teammates. Vandiver punted the ball to the 31-yard line that landed in the hands of their opponents. The Shells struggled to hold the Cavaliers off, but two successful passes to Jamieson ultimately led to two touchdowns. However, the first run was nullified as one of his teammates was flagged for illegal holding. That did not stop him from running the exact same play to end up in the end zone. After a good kick by Thompson, the score was now 52-12.

At this point in the game, since the Cavaliers led the Shells by an astounding 40-point lead, the clock kept running after each play as reflected in the mercy rule. Shortly afterward, the third quarter ended and led directly into the fourth after the teams and their coaches quickly met.

As the clock kept ticking down, Roxana put what fight they had in them on the floor, pushing with all their might to close out the game with their dignity in tow. Both teams closed out the fourth with no added points to the scoreboard. Unfortunately, the rematch ended like the beginning of the season began; with a Carlinville victory.

Carlinville Head Coach Chad Easterday is excited for his team to move on to tomorrow’s round two game at St. Joe. Since this was his team’s 10th straight playoff appearance, he credits it to the dedication of his team and teams before it.

“We have a line around here that says that we didn’t create Carlinville tradition, that we’re just responsible for holding it. I think our kids take that very seriously and I am really proud that I can be a part of something that is very rich in tradition here at this school.”

Coach Keith is not the slightest upset with his team’s performance this evening.

“[Our team] has had a great year and there is really nothing to be mad about,” Keith said. “[Carlinville] is a good ball club, and they really put it to us tonight. I hope that they can move up in the playoffs and I wish them good luck.”

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