Effingham Daily News
The rainy conditions may have hampered both teams' offenses Friday night between Cumberland and Palestine/Hutsonville, but that played right into the Pirates' hands.
Cumberland entered the game having allowed just 39 points, and that number stayed put as the Pirates shut out Palestine 6-0.
It's the third time the Pirates have scored six points in a game this season, but it was the first time all year that was enough.
The win moves Cumberland to 1-3 and 1-1 in the Little Illini Conference's Eastern Division. It was also Cumberland coach Kevin Maynard's first win as the head coach.
"It was finally nice to win one of those close games," Maynard said. "I give our kids a lot of credit. We've worked real hard for the last three, four weeks. It's good for the kids, good for the staff."
Dylan Martin got the Pirates on the board early, scoring on a three-yard touchdown with 6:35 remaining in the first quarter.
That would hold up, as the Pirates defense took control of the game from there. Palestine never seriously threatened to score, and a fourth-down stop at midfield with 2:39 left allowed Cumberland to run out the clock.
"Palestine's a run team too, they went right at us," Maynard said. "(The defensive line) allowed our linebackers to make plays."
Ethan Kemper led the Pirate defense with eight tackles, Cody Judson had 6.5 tackles and Monte Wolke had 5.5 tackles.
Holden Elwood carried the ball a team-high 16 times for 47 yards, while Houston Napier chipped in six carries for 31 yards. Wolke had six carries for 10 yards at the quarterback position, and went 1-for-5 passing for one yard.
Martin had 12 yards on eight carries and a score and Danny Duniphan had one carry for 28 yards. The offense wasn't explosive, but allowed the team to control the clock with more steady play than the Pirates' previous three losses.
"Our offensive lineman stepped up and carried the load for us," Maynard said. The conditions were such that we weren't able to throw the ball as much as we wanted to.
"We lacked the big run, but we didn't find ourselves in second-and-long situations. We can control that, a lot better than second-and-10, second-and-12."
While the win gives the Pirates its first of the year, the road gets very rough next week when they host undefeated Casey-Westfield (4-0, 2-0). The Warriors are the second-ranked team in Class 1A.
Cumberland 6 0 0 0 6
Palestine/Hutsonville 0 0 0 0 0
Rushing: Wolke 6-10-0; Elwood 16-47-0; Napier 6-31-0; Martin 8-12-1; Duniphan 1-28-0
Passing: Wolke 1-5-1 yard, 0 TD, 0 INT
Tackles: Kemper 8; Judson 6.5; Wolke 5.5