Mattoon battled Mahomet to a scoreless first half scoreless tie, but could not hold off the Apollo Conference football champions in the second half during an 18-0 loss at MSHS on Friday.
The Green Wave were able to remain close for most of the game despite losing the statistical battle by a wide margin.
Mahomet gained nearly four times more total yards than Mattoon (343 to 97), which was even more pronounced in the passing game where the Green Wave managed only 25 to Mahomet’s 145.
Jackson Spurgeon completed only five of 17 passes – including two for 30 yards to Matthew Gordon and two for minus-3 yards to Gavin Cline. Owen Hawkins caught the other one for minus-2 yards.
Taeriek Grace gained 32 of Mattoon’s 72 total yards for a 4.6 average per carry. Spurgeon added 20 and Cline had five carries for 15 yards. Mahomet compiled 195 total rushing yards.
Mattoon also struggled on third down, converting just 2 of 11 opportunities compared to Mahomet’s 11-of-17 success rate.
Mahomet scored twice thanks to lengthy runs – 22 yards by Mitchell Gallier with 9:21 left in the third quarter to make it 6-0 after the PAT failed. And a 39-yard run by Nolan Nierhausen with 5:24 remaining in the game to make it 18-0 after another PAT failed.
Mattoon dropped to 3-5 overall and 3-3 in the conference and Mahomet is now 8-0, 6-0, clinching the conference title Friday evening. The Green Wave are now effectively eliminated from postseason consideration.
NOTE: Entering the game, Mattoon middle linebacker Aidan Spurgeon was the state’s leader in tackles, averaging 17.4 over seven games for 122 total – 13 more than the next ranked defensive player.