DU QUOIN — Du Quoin halfback Westly Milam could hardly believe his eyes.
Milam, a senior, got the ball on Du Quoin’s final play from scrimmage in the first half, taking the handoff at his own 14. He broke a tackle at the line, cut back slightly to the middle and saw the entire field open up.
By the time he reached the Carterville 40, he was running clear for an 86-yard score.
Fast forward the game tape slightly to the second play of the third quarter.
This time Milam took the ball on his own 9 and bolted straight up the middle for a 91-yard touchdown. Those two sprints propelled the Indians to a 41-0 SIRR Mississippi Division win over Carterville.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had that before (two long scoring runs),” Milam said. “I’m excited about it. They did a good job blocking.”
It’s a great night when it happens once, but twice …
“It was pretty much a repeat of the one before halftime,” he said.
And while sprinting to daylight, Milam had just one thing on his mind.
“Run fast,” he said. “Run faster if you can.”
“You can see his burst when he gets to that second level,” said Du Quoin coach A.J. Hill. “There aren’t many people that can keep up with him. He runs hard. Those were two huge plays.”
Once again it was big plays that carried the Du Quoin offense. In addition to Milam’s runs, the Indians scored on a 35-yard jaunt by Dasani Edward, a 20-yard run by quarterback Josh Heape and a 15-yarder by Shamar Adams.
Speed was the big element of the game,” said Carterville coach Dennis Drust. “Milam, (Dasani) Edward and you throw in Shamar Adams, they’ve got some weapons. Their quarterback throws the ball well. That was the big difference in the game. We didn’t have the speed to stay with them at the edge.”
Despite the big plays, Du Quoin struggled in the early going.
An early fumble and several penalties kept the Indians backed up in their own territory.
On their third possession of the game, set up by an Ethan Zettler interception, Du Quoin took possession at its own 40. Three plays later, Josh Heape tossed a screen pass to Adams. Adams followed his escort downfield and wasn’t dropped until he gained a first down at midfield.
That play seemed to turn the tide in Du Quoin’s favor.
“Du Quoin got the momentum and they took advantage of that,” Drust said. “They rolled from that point on. We had them backed up and had a chance to get momentum for us. They took advantage of the momentum and the breaks we gave them.”
Four plays after Adams’ catch and run, Edward found a crease on the left side of the Carterville line and swept into the end zone from 35 yards out. By halftime, the Indians held a 28-0 advantage.
Du Quoin triggered the running clock at the 6:38 mark of the third quarter when Adams scored on a 15-yard run. Overall, the Indians rushed for 278 yards.
“We knew that was the kind of team we had going into the season,” Hill said. “Really, then it’s on the coaches. We have to get these guys the ball in a position to be successful. Last week it was Dasani Edward that had the big week. This week I think they kind of focused on taking Sani out of our game plan. That takes another guy out of the box and Wes is a great runner.”
The 4-0 Indians take on Perry County rival Pinckneyville next week. The Panthers are 3-1.
Carterville, 1-3, returns home to face 2-2 Anna-Jonesboro.