Pacific grabbed an early lead, but Sullivan quickly took over in a Four Rivers Conference football victory last Friday.
The Eagles (3-2, 3-0) jumped to a big halftime advantage and cruised to a 49-9 win over the Indians.
“Our offensive line controlled things up front and we got things going pretty good,” said Sullivan Head Coach Andy Arnette. “Our defense did a great job. Our defensive line and inside linebackers put a lot of pressure on their young quarterback and our outside linebackers helped shut down their run game.”
The Indians (1-4, 0-3) tried to stay close in the first half, but couldn’t keep up with Sullivan’s offense.
“We made too many mistakes. We had a good offense set up, but dropped some balls at crucial times,” said Pacific Head Coach George Hinkle. “We took the lead on a punt return and also kicked a field goal to keep it close. We had them in bad situations. There were just too many errors at critical moments.”
Pacific took a 6-0 lead with 9:51 left in the opening quarter when Chris Klenke returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown.
“Chris has really improved as a player. That was a big play to give us the lead. We set up a good wall for him and he ran behind his blocks,” Hinkle said. “That play showed our kids that we’re capable of making plays against good teams. We just have to execute better than we have before.”
Sullivan responded with six touchdowns in the first half, led by quarterback Justin Biermann.
“We took some positives from the game. Our special teams played well. Our defense did some good things, even though we took some bad angles at times,” Hinkle said. “We’ll learn from our mistakes and move on.”
Arnette, a 2003 Pacific graduate, hopes for the best for the Indians.
“I’d like to see Pacific win some games and take some momentum into next season,” Arnette said. “They’ve had some injuries to key players. I wish them the best.”
Sullivan accumulated 451 yards, 375 rushing and 76 passing.
Biermann carried the ball eight times for 228 yards and scored two touchdowns. He was 3-5 passing for 76 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
“Biermann put on a show in the first half,” Arnette said. “We didn’t use him much toward the end of the second quarter and he played the first series of the second half.”
Caden Weigl rushed for 51 yards on seven attempts and a touchdown. Devin Harris had five carries for 50 yards and a score.
McGowan finished with two receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. Joey Rigdon had one catch for 27 yards.
Defensively, Weigl paced the Eagles with seven solo tackles and one assist.
Pacific accumulated 125 yards, 81 passing and 44 rushing.
Lucas Zurliene was 7-18 passing for 81 yards. He rushed for 17 yards on six attempts.
Caleb Moman (15 yards) and Tanner Brown (11 yards) both had four rushing attempts.
Josh Vondriska collected four receptions for 50 yards. Klenke added two catches for 27 yards. Lane Smith had one catch for four yards. He also had an interception on defense.
Defensively, Dalton Voyles paced the Indians with 11 solo tackles and three assists.
Shane Henderson finished with eight solos and one assist. Vondriska registered six solos and one assist. Dustin Cowsert and Scott Roberts both had four solos and two assists.
Week Six Preview
Sullivan hosts Hermann Friday in a contest between the final two unbeaten teams in FRC play.
The Bearcats (3-2, 2-0) won last week’s Gasconade County Bowl over Owensville, 66-21. They also own wins over Cuba and St. James and have lost to Montgomery County and South Callaway.
Quarterback Craig Winkelmann is the catalyst for Hermann’s offense. He rushed for three touchdowns and threw for three more against Owensville.
“Hermann has been putting up a lot of points. They’re getting back to what they used to run with that option attack,” Arnette said. “Our defense will have to be disciplined and stay on their assignments. Hopefully we’ll be able to control the ball and the clock with our offense.”
Pacific visits Owensville (0-5, 0-2) as both teams look for their first conference victory.
“Owensville is behind the eight-ball, too. They’re struggling to get to where they want to be,” Hinkle said. “We have a lot of work to do this week in practice. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we have to make plays. That’s what we have to do in Owensville.”