VIDEO: Hearts Roll Over Breese Central for First Round Playoff Win


Published on November 2 2019 6:17 pm
Last Updated on November 4 2019 10:55 am
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham Hearts rolled over the Breese Central Cougars 55-13 to claim a first-round win in the Class 4A high school football playoffs Saturday afternoon. The game was heard on 979XFM and

Effingham, now 9-1, will be home again next week, playing the Benton Rangers at 3:00pm Saturday. Benton scored late and posted a two-point conversion to beat Salem at Benton 8-7. Since both Effingham and Benton had home games this week, and since the Hearts are the higher seed, Effingham gets the home game next week.

Breese Central turned the ball over seven times Saturday, the first time on their first possession. The Cougars had the ball on the Hearts' 10-yard line when they lost the ball. Jacob Stoneburner grabbed the ball and galloped 90 yards to the end zone giving Effingham a 7-0 lead following the extra point.

Breese Central came back to score on their next possession on a 30-yard pass play to Shane Becker and the extra point to make it 7-7 with 7:26 left in the first period.

The Hearts bounced back, though, and staged an eight-play, 66-yard drive capped by a 30-yard touchdown run by quarterback Nathan Shackelford. The extra point made it 14-7 and Effingham was never headed.

Effingham scored on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Shackelford to Tristin Duncan with 3:24 left in the first, scored on a 27-yard run by Chase Woomer with 2:46 left in the period, and scored on a one-yard run by Shackelford at the end of a 10-play 77-yard drive and the Hearts were up 34-7 early in the second quarter.

Breese Central registered their other score with 5:47 left in the half on a seven-yard pass to Gavin Watts to pull within 34-13, but missed the extra point and never scored again.

Effingham scored on an 18-yard pass to Jett Gillum with 4:30 left in the half, scored on an 84-yard run by Shackelford with 7:17 left in the third period, and scored on an eight-yard pass to Gillum with 8:03 remaining in the game to post the 42-point win. The rest of the game was played under a continuous clock.

Effingham posted 19 first downs, 10 on the ground. The Hearts rolled up 510 yards in total offense, to 192 yards for Breese Central. The Cougars managed just eight first downs, two in the second half. Four of the first downs were on the ground. Effingham totaled 321 yards rushing on 40 carries with four touchdowns. Breese Central rushed for 73 yards on 28 carries.

Shackelford rushed for 216 yards on 10 carries and scored three times. He also completed 13 of 21 pass attempts for 189 yards and three more scores with one interception.

Woomer rushed for 130 yards on 26 carries with one score.

Duncan caught five passes for 105 yards and one touchdown, Gillum had five grabs for 65 yards and two scores, Cameron Kalber had a 10-yard grab, Kollin Waymoth caught an eight-yard pass, and Holden Lewis had a one-yard catch.

Tyler Huegen rushed 24 times for Breese Central for 91 yards.

Kyle Athmer attempted 20 passes and completed seven for 119 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Becker had three catches for 104 yards and a score. 

On defense, Austin Herboth had a monster game with 12 tackles, one for loss and recorded a sack. Also on the tackle sheet: Mason Hasty three, Alex Baughman four, Parker Wolfe three, Logan Arend one, Logan Brown one and forced a fumble, Luke Spencer two, Jacob Stoneburner four, Zac Slifer one, Dawson Whitten two and blocked an extra point try, Hayvin Prather three, Payton Simmons one, and Tristen Elkin one. 

In addition to his tackles, Wolfe had a record-tying performance snagging four interceptions. That ties Bob Smothers' single-game record from 1972.

Besides Stoneburner's fumble recovery that led to a touchdown, Herboth also recovered a fumble. 

Also on special teams, Dawson Whitten punted three times for 100 yards including a 41-yarder; Parker Wolfe had a five-yard punt return; Ivan Angel kicked off nine times for 434 yards including a 60-yarder and two others over 50 yards; Bryce Ikemire returned two kicks for nine yards and Trevon Benavides covered an onside kick attempt.

This is the third straight playoff trip for Effingham, the third straight time they will advance at least to the second round, and the third straight season they've reached the nine-win mark.