Grey Ghosts shut out Lions

Justin Miller

The Ghosts not only played the Lions on Friday, they played against the weather too.

The IVC Grey Ghosts varsity football team defeated the Peoria Central Lions, 37-0, on Friday at Taylor Field in their last game before the start of conference play.

From start to finish the game was played in a steady downpour of rain, causing the field to grow more slippery and muddy as the game wore on.

The game began with IVC’s offense going 3 and out.

The Lions offense then did the same but recovered the ball when IVC kick returner Cody Kentzel fumbled a punt return.

Thanks to IVC’s dominating defense, which has now played two shutout games in a row, the turnover led to no points for the Lions as they were stopped on fourth down at IVC’s 23 yard line.

The Ghosts then led a long scoring drive that began with halfbacks Jake Elias and James Lauber combining for 26 yards and two first downs.

After Lauber was stopped for no gain and an incompletion by quarterback Chris Razo, the Ghosts faced a third down and long that threatened to end the drive.

Razo then came up with a clutch completion to wide receiver Terell Williams for 27 yards and a first down.

Thanks to two runs by Elias and a false start on Peoria Central, IVC was set up with first and 10 at the Lions’ 15-yard line when wide receiver Justin McCallister ran the ball 15 yards for the game’s first score. The two point conversion attempt was no good.

IVC’s stellar defense then forced yet another 3 and out by Peoria Central’s offense, which had very little success all night.

After Lauber started off IVC’s next drive with a nine yard run, Razo completed a 33-yard pass to McCallister.

Elias then followed up with an 18 yard run.

On the next set of downs, Elias left the game with an ankle sprain after a two yard gain.

Like the Terminator, Elias said, “I’ll be back for next week.”

On the next play after Elias’ injury, Razo threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Williams.

“I just concentrated on looking at the ball and trying to get open for the pass,” Williams said.

Lauber then pounded the ball in for the two point conversion.

Peoria Central then drove the ball down the field, led by the running of quarterback Jacob Romanus and halfback Angel Garcia.

The Lions were set up at first and goal at the 8 yard line when the Ghost defense took charge and put up their second goal line stand in two weeks.

On first down, Peoria Central halfback Jordan Owens was tackled for a two yard loss by IVC defensive lineman Thomas Foley and linebacker Allen Simmerman.

On second down, Owens rushed for no gain.

On third down, Romanus was sacked by Simmerman and defensive lineman Vince Robinson for a one yard loss.

On fourth down, Romanus threw an incompletion and IVC got the ball back to run the clock down to halftime.

The third quarter began with a Romanus fumble that was recovered by IVC linebacker Kentzel.

After a 19-yard run by Lauber, Kentzel fumbled the ball and gave it back to the Lions.

Although Peoria Central had the ball, it was IVC’s defense that would do the scoring.

On third down, IVC defensive back Nick Brenner sacked Romanus in the end zone for a safety.

On IVC’s next set of downs, the Ghosts converted a fourth and 9 on a 17-yard pass from Razo to Lauber.

The Ghosts moved the ball down to the Peoria Central 13-yard line, led by the strong running of

Lauber and Razo, before Lauber took the ball into the end zone on a 13-yard sweep run. Derek Sprout’s point after was good.

The Lions then fumbled the ball, and Brenner recovered, to give IVC another chance to show off its running game.

On the first play after the turnover, Lauber took the ball 25 yards for his second touchdown of the night. Sprout’s extra point attempt was good.

The IVC defense then forced another 3 and out.

When they got the ball back, the Ghosts sent in their second team to run down the clock and get some game time experience.

Led by the strong running of Scott Hale, IVC scored one last time to make the final score 37-0.

After the game, Lauber, who had 8 rushes for 71 yards and 2 touchdowns, said, “Tonight our team knew we had to come out and not take them lightly. Our line blocked really hard tonight.”

Razo, who went 5 for 11 with 110 yards and a touchdown, said, “We came out flat — we felt it a little before the game. Our first possession we did nothing, then we got in each other’s faces and got rolling. Our line blocked great tonight. It was good to get the second team in there. They work really hard and it was nice to get them some experience.”

Head coach Tim Heinz, has now led his team to a perfect 3-0 start.

“I’m very happy with how we played,” said Heinz. “Our new guys stepped up and played well. I’m proud of them, they work hard in practice and it was nice to get them some experience in a game.”

The Ghosts begin conference play at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Spring Valley Hall at Taylor Field.