Normal Community junior Easton Schaber, top right, and teammate Justin Fish, junior, bottom right, tackle Champaign Centennial's senior Dustin Walls, left, during Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, game at Normal Community High School in Normal, Illinois. (You Name It Sports/B Corbin)
By Nick McClintock
NORMAL - In what looked like an even matchup in the beginning, turned into a convincing 41-21 win for the Ironmen of Normal Community over Champaign Centennial in Big 12 Conference action Friday night.
A fast start for Centennial (1-3) gave it the quick lead barely four minutes into the game when quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald hooked up with Aaron Quinn for a 4-yard touchdown. Normal Community (2-2) came back less than three minutes later with a touchdown run by quarterback Austin Jones.
Normal Community running back Jerry Patton then came onto the scene by taking an option pitch from Jones and blazing down the sideline for 70 yards to increase the Ironmen lead to 14-6. Patton had a 42-yard touchdown run one drive later, and finished the contest with 117 yards.
Champaign Centennial would score once more in the first half on a 5-yard pass from Fitzgerald to Steven Lee to put the score at 21-14 in favor of NCHS heading into the locker room.
The Ironmen, helped out by leading area rusher Jowanis Edwards, roared to life early in the third quarter. Edwards bulldozed his way through the Centennial's worn down defense on his way to two scores on consecutive drives to put Normal Community on top 35-14 with about six minutes left in the third period.
Normal's defense then squashed any hope of a comeback with a stifling pass rush that only allowed 12 passing yards in the second half.
NCHS plays at unbeaten Normal West next week, and WJBC will have full coverage.