McLouth earns 3rd straight blowout win
McLouth High football coach Chris Stewart doesn’t have any deep secret or elaborate explanation for why his team has yet to be slowed down this season.
Following a 54-0 road win Friday at Immaculata, in Leavenworth, the Bulldogs improved to 3-0 and have won each game by at least 46 points. Still, Stewart pointed to the basics as the reason for the team’s overwhelming success.
“The fundamentals are looking good,” the coach said.
Most notably, Stewart added, the offensive line has been playing well and blocking, as have the skill players on the edges.
That combination has led to big nights for running backs Shawn Dailey and Dakota Cop, as well as quarterback Marc Walbridge, but Stewart said the offensive line has made McLouth’s 51 points a game scoring average possible.
“They deserve a lot of the credit,” he said of Alen Kramer, Mat Horton, John Berry, Charlie Courtney and Hunter Koch.
Of course, those skill positions sure come in handy, especially when they are versatile. The fourth-year MHS coach said he feels comfortable with the offense’s ability to run or pass and do so while giving the defense different looks. When Immaculata showed it could slow down McLouth’s runs up the middle, the Bulldogs responded by looking for outside running lanes and passes.
“We’ve got a lot of different skill players who can do a lot of things,” Stewart said.
While Dailey put up his third straight 100-yard night with 135 yards on the ground to go with three touchdowns versus IHS, the coach noted Cop has been instrumental running the ball and catching passes — he rushed for 79 yards and a TD and caught three passes for 67 yards and another score Friday.
Plus, Stewart said, MHS can hand the ball to Tim Culter, Drew Cerny or even Cameron Humerickhouse once in a while and see them produce at least one run of 10-plus yards.
“Those kind of runs will keep your drive moving,” he said.
McLouth has some options with its passing attack, too. Cody McHenry had two catches for 74 yards Friday and Walbridge has hit Cop and Culter for TD passes this season. Stewart said his team’s spread offense lines up Nick McAferty and McHenry wide with Culter and Cop in the slots and Walbridge just looks for the open man.
What should frighten future MHS opponents, though, is that another weapon is about to be added to the mix. Senior running back Alex Courtney, who eclipsed 1,000 yards on the ground last season, is expected to be fully back this week after getting injured just before the start of the season.
Considering McLouth has outscored its opponents 153-6 so far this season, Stewart said the defense deserves a lot of credit, too. The defensive line is basically the same unit as the offensive line, with the addition of Cop at nose tackle. The coach said the guys in the trenches and junior linebackers TJ Crowell and Wyatt Farris have been key in the team’s three wins.
However, the Bulldogs will be presented with a very different challenge at 7 p.m. Friday, when Sunrise Christian Academy visits Stan Braksick Stadium for McLouth homecoming. Stewart said MHS has yet to face a team that passes the ball often and that will change on Friday night.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how we do against the pass play,” the coach said, adding that Sunrise’s spread offense is very productive.
Pass happy SCA (3-1) is averaging more than 400 yards through the air and 29.3 points a game. Stewart said it would be up to the McLouth secondary to respond when it is put to the test.
McLouth 54, Immaculata 0
MHS 21 15 6 12 — 54
IHS 0 0 0 0 — 0
M — Shawn Dailey 3 run. John Berry kick.
M — Dakota Cop 46 pass from Marc Walbridge. Berry kick.
M — Cop 67 run. Berry kick.
M — Dailey 15 run. Cop pass from Berry.
M — Dailey 8 run. Berry kick.
M — Dailey 69 run. Kick failed.
M — TJ Crowell 34 run. Kick failed.
M — Dailey 25 fumble recovery. Conversion failed.