Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer|
Decatur players Levi Cook (21) and Edgar Salgado (93) congratulate teammate Dewan Troupe (40) on intercepting a pass in the first quarter against West Point on Friday night at Ogle Stadium. Decatur won 42-0.
Entire Decatur roster plays in easy win
By Ross Dellenger
Quarterback Torin Dupper slapped hands with teammate Chris Steeples as the two Decatur reserves raced down field for the biggest celebration of their football lives.
The Red Raiders’ third-string quarterback and second-string lineman jogged jubilantly toward backup receiver Ryan Watson, who was tumbling into the end zone more than 50 yards away.
By the time they reached the freshman wideout, he was already engulfed in a mad frenzy of celebration that put an end to some wild, explosive scoring.
West Point couldn’t slow Decatur’s reserves on this night.
Dupper’s 76-yard touchdown strike midway through the fourth quarter was the first of his career and it put an exclamation mark on Decatur’s 42-0 thrashing of West Point on Friday night in Ogle Stadium.
“I was real happy,” said Dupper, standing in Decatur’s locker room accepting countless pats on the back from teammates.
Starting quarterback Ben Neill added, “He deserved it. He’s been working just as hard as anyone else has.”
Decatur put West Point away early, jumping out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and cruising to its easiest victory of the season. It allowed Decatur coach Jere Adcock to rest his starters, bringing reserves like Dupper and Watson into the game to show the homecoming crowd the future of Decatur football.
“We played a lot of kids,” Adcock said.
Adcock later said that every player saw action Friday night, but it was Dupper, a sophomore, who finally was rewarded for all of those hits he takes in practice as a member of the scout team.
“That’s good to see,” Adcock said.
“He’s really developed this year, really come a long way.”
The win moved the Red Raiders to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in Class 5A, Region 8, setting up a pivotal region match with undefeated Russellville on Friday.
Adcock claims he never thought about Russellville until the final whistle blew Friday night.
Well, that’s a different story.
“We’ve been thinking about them all week. We weren’t supposed to be, but we’ve been thinking about them,” Neill said.
Neill passed for 145 yards and completed 70 percent of his passes, shredding the Warriors’ defense for four touchdowns.
He found tight end Justin Bishop for a 16-yard score with 7:48 left in the third quarter, giving Decatur a 35-0 lead. He spent the rest of the game on the bench resting for next week’s showdown between two of the state’s top-10 5A powers.
“Now, it’s time to get focused,” Neill said after the game.
Starting running back Chris Coffey had just three carries but gained 38 yards. His final carry came with 1:21 left in the first quarter. That 27-yard dash put Decatur inside the Warrior 11-yard line. Two plays later, Neill found receiver Cory Dodson to make the score 14-0.
The Red Raiders began the game with some trickery, using a reverse pass to score their first touchdown.
Neill handed off to Coffey, who then flipped the ball to Bishop. Bishop acted as if he was going to run, but at the last minute, he pulled up and tossed the ball 28 yards to a wide open Dodson at the goal line, opening what became a night of big plays.
“We’ve been working on that for about two weeks now,” Neil said.
Defensive lineman Dewan Troupe intercepted a West Point pass late in the first quarter. Neill hit receiver Brown on the next play for a 21-0 lead with just seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
The Red Raiders had scored three touchdowns before West Point (1-5) picked up a first down.
Neill hooked up with Bishop again late in the second quarter for a 61-yard touchdown, giving Decatur a 28-0 halftime lead.
Adcock gave his defense a challenge at the half.
“We challenged them not to let them cross the 50,” he said. “That’s what we set out to do.”
And they did it for another quarter. Decatur’s defense never let the Warriors cross
midfield until the fourth quarter.
Decatur’s reserve defenders made two crucial fourth-down stops in the second half.
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