Too much size, too much defense, too much offensive firepower. Such was the story on Friday night at Augustana College’s Charles D. Lindberg Stadium as the Sterling Golden Warriors swept past the Alleman Pioneers in Western Big 6 football action, 69-0
Sterling improved to 3-1 overall, and 2-0 in the WB6 with the 69-0 victory over the 1-3 Alleman squad. The Pioneers sit at 0-2 in the conference and will face Moline on the road next Friday night. The Golden Warriors will host their long-time rivals from Geneseo on Friday night.
The Golden Warriors (3-1, 2-0 WB6) scored 13 points in the first quarter, and a whopping 42 points in the second quarter to lead the game at halftime by the score of 55-0. With 6 minutes left in the first quarter, Sterling quarterback JP Schilling connected with wide receiver Cale Ledergerber to open the scoring. The extra point attempt was unsuccessful, and the visitors led 6-0.
But that was just the start of an awesome offensive display for Sterling in the half.
With 2 minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Ledergerber picked up his second touchdown, this time on a 3-yard run, and with the extra point kick, Sterling led 13-0.
The Golden Warriors scored six touchdowns in the second period: a 29-yard pass from Schilling to senior Justin Null, touchdown runs of 4 and 24 yards by senior Antonio Tablante, a 30-yard run by senior AJ Kested, and a 37-yard quarterback keeper for a score by Schilling.
Sterling capped off its impressive quarter with a 17-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Drew Nettleton to senior Justin Null.
“We played well in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams,” Sterling coach Jon Schlemmer said. “I thought our special teams play was exceptional in restricting Alleman’s field position and also putting us at midfield or better to open drives.”
The lone highlight for the Pioneers in the half was a 45-yard pass from junior quarterback Daniel VanDeHeede to running back Andrew Torres with the clock expiring in the half.
With a running clock shortening the second half, Sterling scored in the third quarter on a 14-yard touchdown run by junior Aramis Morga, and the Golden Warriors topped off the night with a fourth-quarter touchdown run of 26 yards by junior Gavin Church.
With multiple players scoring, Sterling was able to provide valuable playing time up and down the roster.
“Especially in running-clock situations, it is vital that we keep our focus, and I was pleased to look at the sideline and see our guys cheering for and encouraging our younger players in the second half,” Schlemmer said.
Tablante led the way with 54 yards on six carries, Schilling finished with 42 yards on two rushes, and Ledergerber had five carries for 40 yards. Schilling was 5 for 6 for 72 yards, and Null led the receiving corps with three catches for 56 yards.
Sterling held Alleman star running back Andrew Torres to 21 yards rushing on 12 carries, but Pioneer quarterback Daniel VanDeHeede connected with Torres in the air for three receptions and 55 yards on the night. VanDeHeede was 4 for 16 in the game for 64 yards and one interception.
“We knew coming into the game that Torres was an exceptional talent at running back, and our defense did a great job of pushing him to the perimeter and restricting his access to yards inside,” Schlemmer said.
Coach Schlemmer is looking forward to next Friday night’s matchup with their rivals from Geneseo. It will be the Warriors’ first home game since Week 1.
“Geneseo is improved this year, and they will be an excellent test for us,” Schlemmer said. “I’m encouraged, however, by the experience many of our players gained in tonight’s game. It will bode well for us as the season progresses.”