Iroquois' resurgence took another step forward Friday night
Iroquois’ resurgence took another step forward Friday night with a 41-6 home win over Southern High School.
The Raiders are off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 1994 after dominating the Trojans (2-2) thoroughly on both sides of the ball. Larry Jackson rushed for 114 yards and scored two TDs before leaving with a minor injury midway through the third quarter. Iroquois rushed for 277 yards overall.
The Iroquois defense limited Southern to 54 rushing yards on 31 carries and returned two interceptions for scores.
“Last week it took until Saturday to sink in that we were 3-0, and this will take a day or two as well,” said first-year coach Preston King. “Our defense played outstanding, but we made too many turnovers on offense. We’ve got to clean that up going into district play. If we clean that up I think we will be force for the rest of the season.”
The Raiders were a force from the opening kick against Southern.
Iroquois built a four-touchdown cushion in the first half, and Southern was never in the game after the first quarter. Iroquois scored with 7:50 left in the first on a nine-yard run by Jackson. A 24-yard run by Jackson and a 13-yard scramble by quarterback Malik Saunders set up the Raiders deep into Southern territory.
Three minutes later, Iroquois’ defense parroted the offense. After his teammates sacked Southern quarterback Calen Warren twice in the early going, Saunders intercepted a ball at midfield and sprinted 50 yards untouched to push the lead to 14-0.
From there, the rout was on.
Saunders (10 carries, 65 yards) scored on a 2-yard run three minutes into the second period, and with 32 seconds left in the half,\ the Raider defense struck again. Jackson intercepted Warren on the Southern 30, broke two tackles and ran 70 yards up the left sideline to push the margin to 28-0 at the half. Iroquois’ defense limited Southern to minus four yards rushing on 17 carries in the first half and held the Trojans to 102 yards overall.
Iroquois cruised through the second half, adding a dazzling 15-yard touchdown pass from Saunders to Richie to make it 34-0 late in the third. Saunders scrambled left, ducked two would-be tacklers and fired a long pass to the back of the end zone where Richie made a diving catch.
Early in the fourth, Gerome Kohn scored on a 59-yard run after having a 40-yard touchdown erased by a holding penalty in the third quarter to push the deficit to 41-0. Kohn finished with 85 yards on five carries.
Southern scored late on a 21-yard pass from Warren to Joseph Campbell. Warren, harassed and hurried all night by the Iroquois defense, threw for 181 yards.
I—Larry Jackson 9 run (Ismail Aden kick), I—Malik Saunders 50 interception return (Aden kick), I—Saunders 2 run (Aden kick), I-Jackson 70 interception return (Aden kick), I—Jordan Richie 15 pass from Saunders (kick failed), I—Gerome Kohn 59 run (Aden kick), S—Joseph Campbell 21 pass from Calen Warren (kick failed)