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CHS football: Week 4 Yellow Jackets buzz by Sparta in conference opener

  • CHS quarterback Ethan Stumpe connected on 3 of 6 passes for 61 yards passing and 2 touchdowns in the 48-6 win over the Sparta Bulldogs.

    CHS quarterback Ethan Stumpe connected on 3 of 6 passes for 61 yards passing and 2 touchdowns in the 48-6 win over the Sparta Bulldogs.
    Jim Beers photo

By Jim Beers
Contributing writer
updated: 9/21/2021 10:16 PM

Chester opened its conference play against an old rival on Friday, leading Sparta 35-0 at halftime and wrapping up the game 48-6.

Chester and Sparta both joined the Cahokia Conference this season and play in the same division. They haven't been rivals since they were both in the River to River Conference together more than 10 years ago.

Chester scored first, with a 21-yard touchdown run by Isaac Jany and extra point by Jared Landeros. Minutes later Cooper Eggemeyer caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Stumpe and Landeros connected on another kick, and the Jackets led, 14-0.

With 59 seconds left in the first quarter, Dylan Kelkhoff intercepted a Bulldog pass. Stumpe found Cooper Eggemeyer once again, this time for a 28-yard touchdown. Landeros kicked his third extra point and the Jackets led, 21-0 after one quarter.

Sparta got the ball to start the second quarter. A 1-yard pass got the Bulldogs to 3rd and 9 as Chester's Jacob Cowell put a quick stop to the advance. After an offsides penalty put the Dogs at 3-19, Sparta's Merideth attempted a run and was stopped again by Cowell. Facing 4 and 19, Sparta punted.

On the Jackets' possession, Jordan Merideth carried the ball three times and put the Jackets at 1st and goal with 9:50 left in the half. Stumpe ran it in for the touchdown. Jared Landeros kicked his 4th extra point and the Jackets led, 28-0.

During the next two minutes Sparta was called for two penalties and the Dogs could not muster any offense. Chester took over at their own 44-yard line following the punt, and Dylan Kelkhoff, Jordan Merideth, Aiden Jany and Freddie Alvarez each got 1st-and-tens, taking the ball to first-and-goal. Merideth ran for 5 yards and gave Chester its fifth touchdown. Another Landeros kick and the score was 35-0.

The Jacket defense held Sparta scoreless the final 4:02 of the first half, include Shane Bickett's back-to-back tackles.

The misery continued for the Bulldogs in the second half, as Aiden Jany took the opening kickoff and ran it back 78 yards for a touchdown. Jared Landeros missed the kick and the Jackets were up 41-0.

The Dogs tried to get something going on their next possession, after D. Merideth got a first down and Bierman and Hagene each had good runs. But Chester's Matt James had a great tackle for a 4-yard loss and Shane Bickett followed with a 4-yard tackle for a loss of his own. Sparta punted.

With 6:19 in the third quarter Freddie Alvarez gave CHS a 1st-and-10 and Jordan Merideth and Aiden Jany combined 5-yard runs for another first down. Merideth then ran 53 yards down the right side of the field for his second touchdown of the game. Landeros hit the extra point and the lead was now 48-0.

Sparta's Riley Bierman took the Chester kickoff and ran it to the Sparta 37-yard line before Chester special teams' member Branden Whitley made the tackle. D. Williams ran the ball two yards. Sparta's Merideth completed a 5-yard pass to Nesbit for a first down. With 1-minute left in the quarter, Zach Bodeker ran the ball four yards before Will Schuwerk made a great tackle to halt the play. An incomplete pass with 16.4-seconds remaining would end the quarter with Chester holding their 48-0 lead into the fourth quarter.

Head Coach Billy Belton substituted heavily down the stretch.

Sparta's one moment of sunshine started with D. Merideth getting a first down on a quarterback keeper. Hagene followed with an 8-yard run and then a 1st down. Hagene then scored Sparta's only TD, making the score 48-6.

Chester's defense held strong the remainder of the game to win, 48-6.

With the win, Chester improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Cahokia Conference. Sparta fell to 0-2 on the season.

"I am very proud of all of my players on both sides of the ball," coach Billy Belton said. "Jacob Cowell has been averaging 8 or more tackles a game so far. Special teams has been outstanding and scored another touchdown against Sparta."

The coach singled out Dylan Kelkhoff, Ethan Stumpe and Will Schuwerk for recognition.

"Our younger players have impressed me too," he added. "Most of our skilled players are seniors this year and it is good to see that our younger players are able to step in and do the job when needed."

Game stats

Total plays: CHS, 39; Sparta 52

Total yards: CHS, 342; Sparta 152

Passing yards: CHS, 61; Sparta 34

Rushing yards: CHS 281; Sparta 118

3rd down efficiency: CHS 2-4 (50%); Sparta 5-12 (42%)

Turnovers: CHS 1 (fumble); Sparta 2 (fumble, interception)

CHS Passing: Ethan Stumpe 3/6, 61 yards, 2 TD's

CHS rushing: Jordan Merideth, 15 for 144 yards and 2 TD's; Aiden Jany, 5 for 39 yards; Isaac Jany, 2 for 30 yards and 1 TD; Ethan Stumpe, 3 for 24 yards and 1 TD; Freddie Alvarez, 2 for 19 yards.

CHS receiving: Cooper Eggemeyer 2/46, 2 TDs; Jordan Merideth 1/15.

CHS tackles: Will Schuwerk 4 solo, 3 assists, 1 fumble recovery; Dylan Kelkhoff, 2 solo, 2 assists; Jacob Cowell, 2 solo, 4 assists, 1 sack; Matt James, 2 solo, 2 assists, 1 sack; Braxton Conder, 2 solo; Isaac Jany, 1 solo, 1 assist, 1 sack.