Ghosts win first Mid-State 6 game

Justin Miller
Connor Benson makes sure he is lined up before a play Friday at home.

In their second game in the Mid-State 6, the Illinois Valley Central Grey Ghosts picked up their first win in the conference with a 56-26 beating of Manual.

“We did really well offensively,” coach Tim Heinz said. “Our backs ran really well and did a good job of getting to the outside.”

Manual took the kickoff in the first meeting between the teams but was quickly faced with fourth and 18.

The Ghosts then took the ball and set the tone for the game with breakout runs from Jake Innis and scrambles from quarterback Sherrarr Tate.

“Their defenders play hard and they have good, talented linebackers,” Innis said. “It’s been about getting to the outside and getting speed.”

The Ghosts got on the board when Innis powered into the end zone from one-yard out.

After Jesse Hall’s point-after-try, IVC was leading 7-0.

Several plays later, the Ghosts took the ball back when Tate jumped a Ram wideout’s route and snatched an interception near midfield.

Six plays later, Tate scurried past Manual defenders 31-yards to put IVC up, 14-0.

“He played a great game for us,” Heinz said. “He did a good job of breaking out of the pocket when they tried to take away our running game.”

On the ensuing kickoff, the Ram returner fumbled the ball and Jake Waller swarmed in to scoop up the ball.

“We put the ball on the ground a few times, but we were able to get a few more turnovers than they were,” Heinz said. “That’s always important.”

The Ghosts were unable to capitalize on their good fortune, however, and fumbled the ball back to Manual several plays later.

Manual took advantage of the turnover and cut IVC’s lead to 14-6.

When the Ghost offense took over, it went back to dominating Manual with breakout runs from running back Tommy Jenkins and Tate.

From 11-yards out, Innis powered his way through Ram defenders to put IVC up, 21-6.

“Our linemen are blocking great,” Innis said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have scored.”

The Ghosts then tried an onside kick and wideout Nolan Seiler made a heads-up play to recover.

Two plays later, Innis turned on the afterburners to burst 47-yards through the Manual defense to give IVC a 28-6 lead.

Manual scored on the next drive, but IVC still lead at halftime.

“We did a good job to control their inside running but we need to do a better job of stopping runs to the outside,” Heinz said.

In the opening drive of the second half, Innis and Hall churned out yards to quickly move into Manual territory.

Near the Ram goal, Jenkins broke free for several long runs and capped the drive with a one-yard run for the score.

IVC was up, 35-12.

Tate again got the ball back for IVC when he picked up a Manual fumble.

IVC pushed the lead to 42-12 several plays later when Innis bulled his way into the end zone from one-yard out.

IVC continued to dominate and eventually pulled the starters.

The Ghosts next play at 7 p.m. Friday at Mid-State 6 foe Quincy Notre Dame.