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PIASA – Roxana’s football team captured its seventh straight victory on Friday night over Southwestern 52-20, with an overpowering 508 yards rushing.
After two initial losses, the Shells have been on a roll and now post a 7-2 record and are guaranteed a spot in the IHSA playoffs. Southwestern concludes the season 3-6, but continues to rebuild after a winless season a few years ago.
Roxana sophomore Jordan Hawkins bulldozed for 100 yards in nine carries and topped the 1,000-yard mark in the game. He now has 1,042 yards rushing for the season, starting in the backfield for only seven games after being an offensive line starter.
Jared Foiles led the Shells with 138 yards rushing in only seven carries, including an 86-yard burst from near one goal to another in the first half. Talon Pile had five carries for 83 yards. In two other games, Roxana surpassed 400 yards rushing in contests, but this is the first game over 500 yards on the ground.
“We played pretty well and I am very happy with our performance,” Roxana head football coach Pat Keith said. “We executed our offense well. We ran the ball and had success with our running game with our blocking. All four of our backs ran pretty well. A key was the blocking of our offensive line.”
Southwestern coach Aaron Fricke said Roxana was as good as advertised.
“Our kids never gave up, really showed a lot of heart by competing even after the score got away from us,” Fricke said. “All three touchdowns were passes from Caleb Robinson; one to Ryan Paslay, one to Scott Kastng and one to Jacob Ritzhaupt.
“We had a lot of young guys playing some serious time this season that we are excited for going forward, especially because our quarterback Caleb Robinson is only a sophomore and he had a great season.”
Roxana had command of the game at halftime with a 44-12 lead. The Shells scored 30 points in the first half before Southwestern broke on the board with 8:06 left in the second quarter on a 4-yard touchdown catch by Paslay.
Defensively, Ryan Harris led Roxana with 8 tackles, 3 assists and one quarterback sack. Talon Pile had 8 tackles and 2 assists, Billy Mathis had 7 tackles and 2 assists, Foiles had 7 tackles and an assist, and Dreyton Daugherty had 5 tackles, 2 assists and one interception return for 46 yards and a quarterback sack.
Roxana will wait today for the playoff schedule for next week and see if they host a game or not. If they host, there will be a fired up Roxana crowd on hand to witness the contest, based on the hearty crowd at last night’s Southwestern game.
“I think the win puts us in position for a home game, depending on what class we fall in,” Keith said. “We will be ready for whoever we play. Hopefully we will keep executing and play well in the playoffs.”
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