The Chester High School Yellowjackets are on a roll.
With a 41-6 victory over Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton on Oct. 12, the Yellowjackets are on a six-game winning streak and, at this pace, are poised to be playoff bound.
The Bearcats came to W.O. Smith Field in Chester pumped up from its homecoming victory over Johnston City the previous week, but it wasn't enough to stop the juggernaut that the Jackets have become. CHS dominated throughout the game, putting up all 41 points before CZR finally got their first points in the final quarter.
On Senior Night, as the Jackets were honored during a soggy pregame ceremony honoring the 2018 Fall Athletes along with their parents, Chester scored first with 8:24 to play in the first quarter. On the first play from scrimmage, Quarterback Nick Meyer connected with wide receiver Keith Kiner III for a 43 yard touchdown pass and Chester led, 6-0. The two-point conversion failed. Later in the quarter, a touchdown run by Ethan Bert was called back due to holding by the Yellowjackets. On the next play Meyer fumbled the ball, but CHS recovered and eventually turned the ball over on downs.
With 57.6 seconds left in the first quarter, Meyer ran the ball 8 yards, setting up a 2-2 situation and just 13.5 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Drake Bollman took the ball and ran it in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed and Chester ended the first quarter with a 12-0 lead.
The Jackets began a three-minute drive at the 11:02 mark in the second quarter that ended with another Chester score. Drake Bollman started the drive with a first-and-ten run followed by a two-yard carry by Tristin Hobeck. Facing 4th and 18, Meyer wanted to pass again but had to scramble for his life when he found Keith Kiner III, who made it to the 8-yard line before the Cats brought him down. Two plays later, Meyer ran a quarterback keeper for a seven-yard touchdown. Ethan Rayburn scored the two-point conversion and the Jackets led, 20-0.
On their next possession, Chester faced a 3rd and 1 when Drake Bollman had a huge run to the 3 yard line. Erik Cowell then pounded the ball through the CZR defense for yet another 3-yard touchdown. Thompson scored on the two-point conversion to extend Chester's lead to 28-0 by halftime.
The Yellowjackets continued their dominance in the second half, holding CZR to a four and out in the opening drive in the third quarter. On the first play from scrimmage, Meyer connected to Kiner III for a 64-yard touchdown pass. The extra point kick failed, putting CHS up 34-0 at the 9:04 mark.
CZR quarterback Bryce Pratt tried to mount a charge, connecting with Gabriel Motsinger for a 45-yaard completion, but Chester's Erik Cowell was there to end the advancement. Penalties hurt the Bearcats' further advance, forcing CZR to punt at the 7:21 mark.
With 4:08 remaining in the period, Meyer found Tristin Hobeck for a 33-yard touchdown pass and the Jackets enjoyed more insurance points. Hobeck kicked the extra point and extended the lead to 41-0.
The Bearcats finally got some momentum in the fourth quarter, as CZR recovered a Chester fumble with 9:50 to play.
Despite a false start penalty that cost them 5 yards, Pratt connected with Gabrielle Motsinger on a huge 74-yard pass which ended with a touchdown. The extra point failed, but CZR was on the board, down 41-6.
CHS Coach Billy Belton finished the game with his bench. Chester held the ball till the 3:00 mark and had to punt. Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton could not do anything with the ball the final minutes and Chester secured the win.
For the game, CHS ran 47 plays compared to CZR with 43. The Jackets racked up 315 yards vs 210 for CZR. Chester had 168 passing yards and CZR had 200 passing yards. The Jackets recorded 147 rushing yards while the Bearcats had just 10 rushing yards. CHS had 154 first downs compared to CZR's seven first downs. Chester had just one turnover while the Bearcats had five turnovers. Chester committed nine penalties for 130 yards and CZR had seven penalties for 68 yards.
Meyer was 6-for-8 in passing for 168 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. CZR's Pratt was 10-for-17 in passing for 200 yards, and one touchdown.
Bollman rushed eight times for 87 yards and one touchdown. Bert ran five times for 30 yards. Meyer ran six times for 10 yards and one touchdown. Cowell ran three times for 10 yards and one touchdown. Hobeck ran three times for seven yards. Caleb Davis led CZR with seven runs for nine yards.
Keith Kiner III led the Jackets in receiving with four receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Hobeck had one reception for 33 yards and one touchdown.
CZR's Gabriel Motsinger led the Bearcats with four receptions for 120 yards and the only Bearcat touchdown. Drew Pheasant had one reception for 44 yards.
The Jackets recorded 15 solo tackles for the evening along with 16 assisted tackles. Bollman, Cowell, Kiner, and Hayden Gendron each led with two solo tackles apiece. Hobeck led the team in assisted tackles with four and Eathan Thompson and Ethen Eggemeyer each added three assisted tackles in the win.
For the night, Bert led the team with two fumble recoveries and Cowell, Thompson, Eggemeyer each grabbed one fumble apiece.