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Du Quoin Indians open season on the road with win over Chester

  • Du Quoin's Nishan Woody (18) and Braden Harsy (3) successfully defend what would have been a Yellow Jacket touchdown in the second quarter, when Chester quarterback Ethan Stumpe threw a perfect touchdown pass to Cooper Eggemeyer (7).

    Du Quoin's Nishan Woody (18) and Braden Harsy (3) successfully defend what would have been a Yellow Jacket touchdown in the second quarter, when Chester quarterback Ethan Stumpe threw a perfect touchdown pass to Cooper Eggemeyer (7).
    Jim Beers photo

By Geary Deniston
Contributing writer
updated: 8/31/2021 9:22 AM

Coming off a disappointing spring season the Du Quoin football team got off to a good start with an 18-7 win over Chester in a nonconference road game Friday night.

"We were pleased," said Du Quoin coach Derek Beard. "Our coaches felt like we played well for our first game for not having a lot of experience back. It's now time to get back to work."

The Indians remain on the road for Week 2 playing its second of three nonconference games against Harrisburg this Friday. The Bulldogs won their opening game at home, 34-6, over Cerro Gordo.

The Indians defense stopped the Yellow Jackets on the opening drive on a 4th-and-2 at the Indians 29 following a 33-yard pass. Du Quoin then launched a 13-play drive, but it stalled on the Chester 23 when the Indians fell a yard short on 4th-and-3.

In the second quarter the Indians fumbled the ball on the Chester 40, but got it right back on the next play when senior cornerback Hunter Douglas picked off Ethan Stumpe at the Indian 30.

One play later senior quarterback David Lee connected with senior wide receiver Jaden Smith for a 60-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed leaving the Indians up 6-0 with 10 minutes left in the first half.

That duo connected again six minutes later on a 35-yard catch and run. The Indians led 12-0 after the two-point conversion failed again with four minutes remaining before halftime.

The Yellow Jackets were driving again at the end of the second quarter, but senior safety Nishan Woody ended that threat with an interception at the eight to keep the score 12-0 at the half.

The Indians upped their lead to 18-0 four minutes into the third quarter on a 15-yard touchdown run by senior running back Nick Brown. Once again the two-point conversion was unsuccessful.

The Yellow Jackets broke the shutout at the start of the fourth quarter on a three-yard run by Jordan Merideth. The extra point kick was good cutting the score to 18-7 with 11 minutes remaining.

Chester was driving again at the end of the game, but Lee -- from his inside linebacker spot -- shut down the drive at the Chester 35 with the third interception of the game for the Indians defense. Du Quoin then closed out the game driving to the five where Lee took a knee.

Brown led the game in rushing with 96 yards on 19 attempts, including a 46 yard run in the fourth quarter.

"Brown's long run was an off-tackle play that he bounced outside down the sideline to the five-yard line," Beard said.

Lee completed 16 of 26 passes for 222 yards with no interceptions. In addition to the 60- and 35-yard touchdown passes Lee had four other completions over 20 yards. Lee also had 40 yards rushing on nine attempts.

"Chester was bringing some pressure and limiting the things we could do short, so we found some things that were going to be open deep and took some shots," Beard said.

Smith finished with five receptions for 142 yards with all but one over 20 yards and senior wide receiver Caden Hutchens added four catches for 60 yards. Gage Green finished with two catches for 23 yards.

"That was Jaden Smith's first varsity action -- he didn't play in the spring," Beard said. "Gage's two catches kept drives alive, including getting a first down for us."

Defensively, the Indians held the Yellow Jackets to 223 total yards -- 94 passing and 129 rushing -- while limiting them to just 1-of-8 third down conversions.

The Indians forced a total of four turnovers with Lee recovering a fumble in the third quarter that shut down a Chester possible scoring drive at the Du Quoin 15.

"When things didn't go well offensively the defense bailed us out coming up with big stops all throughout the game and making plays when they had to," Beard said. "I'm real proud of that group. They just kept battling all night."

Game stats

Du Quoin 18, Chester 7

Du Quoin 0 12 6 0 -- 18

Chester 0 0 0 7 -- 7

First Downs: DQ: 20. CH: 14. Total Yards: DQ: 429. CH: 223. Rushing Att-Yds: DQ: 44-207. CH: 30-129. Passing Comp-Att-Yds: DQ: 16-26-222. CH: 7-18-94. Penalties: DQ: 6-54. CH: 5-28. Fumbles Lost: DQ: 1. CH: 1.

RUSHING: DQ-Nick Brown 19-96-1TD, David Lee 9-40, Jacob Eaton 8-34, Gabe Abrams 5-17, Jonathan Hamilton 2-7, Elijah Jones 1-7, Traijon Smith 4-6. CH-Freddie Alvarez 7-58, Jordan Merideth 8-55-1TD, Aiden Jany 5-15, Dylan Kelkhoff 7-13, Ethan Stumpe 3-(-12).

PASSING: DQ-David Lee 12-26-222-0int-2TD. CH-Ethan Stumpe 7-18-94-3int-0TD.

RECEIVING: DQ-Jaden Smith 5-142-2TD, Caden Hutchens 4-60, Gage Green 2-23, Traijon Smith 1-(-3). CH-Jordan Merideth 5-59, Isaac Jany 1-33, Aiden Kennon 1-2.

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