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CHURUBUSCO — A dash of Kyle Mathewson. A hint of an overpowering Churubusco defense along with a couple of pounds of Kyle Monk and you’ve got a recipe for what class 3A No. 8 Angola experienced Friday night.
The Hornet team that was set to dispose the class A No. 3 Eagles in a battle of unbeatens had troubles of their own. Mathewson's 219 rushing yards on the ground combined with a stuffing ’Busco defense, silenced the questions of which team was better by putting Angola away early 34-7.
“We were ready for that big game,” ’Busco QB Kyle Monk said. “We were ready for that challenge. People doubting us makes it feel even better.”
It was the first true test for Monk and his fellow Eagles. After facing four opponents to start the season with a combined record of 1-16, most within the NECC conference saw a battle of ranked teams in week five deciding the league title.
Angola, No. 8 in class 3A, came in with a flashy passing attack behind quarterback Alexx Bauer.
Class A’s No. 3 Eagles had the same game plan with Mathewson headlining. After blowouts to start the season, Mathewson saw his rushing attempts nearly double in the first half Friday with 19 carries for 162 of his final 219 rushing yards.
“They knew we were going to run the ball,” Mathewson noted. “We ran the ball a lot. I ran the ball a lot more and it was rough but that’s what you have to do to be a championship team.”
Mathewson helped Churubusco bust out of the gates with the first of four consecutive scores in the first half. On his third rush, the senior back broke down the sideline for 58 yards to quickly put the Eagles up 6-0 with 10:10 left in the first quarter.
For as good as 219 yards on the ground is, Churubusco’s other Kyle, quarterback Kyle Monk’s long locks under his helmet might have outshined his fellow senior.
With Angola handing the Eagles their first deficit of the season on its first possession, Monk took control first running in for a 10-yard scramble to put ’Busco up 12-7 at the end of one period.
What followed was Monk debuting a passing attack not many opposing defense prepare for.
On the first of three touchdown passes on the night, Monk rolled out and found Josh LeFever on a cutback for 12 yards and a score.
“He kept the play alive with his athleticism,” ’Busco coach Lee Etzler said of Monk. “He was smart to not do stupid things with the football. That’s why we have him there.”
Denouncing most predictions of a close contest, the Eagles added one more score before half with Monk connecting cross field 21 yards to Jes Percey for one of his two TD receptions.
Angola tried to climb back into the game with its passing attack in the second half but the defense came next for Churubusco.
With Monk getting his third TD pass in the third quarter, the Eagles defense pressured Bauer and the Hornet offense recording two sacks in the opening drive.
“They are an outstanding offensive football team and to hold them to seven points, I wouldn’t have put any money on that going into the game,” Etzler commented.
The game in hand, Monk turned to the defensive side of the ball adding two interceptions in the fourth quarter to his resume.