Struggles continue for Trojans in 41-0 loss

Kewanee linebacker Tyler Johnston wraps up Mendota quarterback Justin Randolph for a sack on Sept. 8 at Kewanee. (Reporter photo)

KEWANEE - It’s been a struggle to say the least for Mendota on both sides of the football through the first two weeks of the season. That trend continued in week three.

The Trojans never mounted a serious scoring threat while Kewanee had no problem solving the Mendota defense on its way to a 41-0 victory in Three Rivers Conference action on Sept. 8 at the newly-refurbished Boiler stadium.

Mendota was barely able to eclipse the 100-yard mark in the contest, running 43 plays from scrimmage and gaining 106 yards. Of the Trojans’ 10 offensive possessions, they visited Kewanee territory four times, and their deepest penetration was to the Boiler 31-yard line to start the second quarter. After that, Mendota could only get inside the Kewanee 40-yard line twice.

On the flip side, the Boiler offense had the ball nine times and was able to find the end zone six times. Kewanee ran 38 plays and picked up 381 yards. Five different players had rushing touchdowns for the Boilers, while quarterback Braden Clark threw for one score.

That Clark touchdown strike came on Kewanee’s first series of the game after Mendota had to punt the ball away when it stalled on its opening possession.

It looked as though Mendota’s defense was going to force Kewanee into a punt after the Boilers started their initial drive at their own 33. But on a third-and-17 from their own 40, Kewanee’s Alejandro Duarte dashed and darted his way for 23 yards down to the Trojan 37. From there, Clark hooked up with Davontae Jordan on a 37-yard TD strike at the 5:13 mark of the opening stanza. Clark kicked the extra point.

Another Mendota punt gave Kewanee excellent field position at its own 42, and just over a minute later, Clark sprinted 51 yards to the end zone, followed by a successful PAT kick, for a 14-0 Boiler lead.

The Trojans had great field position on their ensuing possession, starting at midfield, and they advanced the ball to the Kewanee 31, but that was as far as they could get before turning the ball back to the Boilers on downs.

Kewanee was able to tack on two more scores before halftime. After each team exchanged punts, the Boilers embarked on a 72-yard scoring drive, capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Cruz Paredes. Clark added the extra-point kick. A 38-yard run by Benjamin Taylor set up the Paredes short TD plunge.

After Mendota punted for the fourth time in the half, Kewanee put together a six-play, 61-yard scoring drive. A 1-yard run by Draven Peterson was the final play with 1:29 to go before intermission. Clark’s PAT kick was good.

Kewanee added two touchdowns in the third period to kick in the running clock for the rest of the game.

Greyden Lewis scored on a 3-yard run and Landon Mason added a 6-yard TD run to make it 41-0 at the 3:59 mark of the third quarter.

Aden Tillman led Mendota runners with 20 yards on five carries. Justin Randolph completed seven passes for 54 yards. Tillman had three receptions.