Monticello Sages head coach Cully Welter was quick to deflect the attention after picking up his 200th victory as a head coach after his team routed Chicago Clark 49-8 Saturday afternoon at Monticello High School in the first round of the Class 3A IHSA football playoffs.
The Sages opened the scoring with a Caleb Hanson 24 yard touchdown run and Chicago Clark answered with a 61-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Everett Spraggs to Demetrius Richardson, but it was all Monticello after that, as the Sages scored the next 41 points and their relentless defensive pressure left the Eagles without answers.
After a postgame ceremony to recognize Coach Welter, now in his sixth year in Monticello, the Sages head man says it's not about him, but the kids he's had in his 20-plus years of coaching.
Chicago Clark's size and athleticism was a focal point of the Sages coming into their Class 3A first round playoff matchup but Coach Welter says he was pleased with the defensive intensity, despite the one coverage break down early in the ballgame.
Leading 46-8 at the half, Monticello was able to rest their starters in the second half and a field goal by Ben Singleton early in the third quarter put the 40-point running clock in motion for virtually the entire second half.
Lucas Lieb found the end zone three times carrying the ball for 87 yards on 13 carries.
Hanson finished 16 for 22 with 210 yards and two touchdowns through the air and ran for 72 yards on five carries and scored another touchdown.
Dylan Thomas and Nathan Graham all caught touchdown passes. Graham led the Sages with 57 yards on five catches, Isiah Florey added 47 yards on four catches and Thomas hauled in three balls for 45 yards.
The Sages improve to 10-0 on the season and travel to Westville next Saturday.
Game time is still to be determined.
Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.