FULTON, Ill. — Senior Night was a success for the Steamers, Friday, as they rolled past the visiting Clippers in a 37-13 win. After the game, several players described the air of determination the seniors had to leave everything on the field for their final home game as Steamers.
“We have a philosophy and it’s ‘Play loose; play relaxed but play ready to go,’ ” said senior Jake Wilging.
The win over Amboy/LaMoille ended an 11-year drought for the Steamers, something that was in the back of their heads all game long.
“It feels absolutely amazing with it being after 11 years," senior Bryce Holesinger said. "That’s the best part.”
Led by a strong core of seniors on both sides of the ball the Steamers asserted themselves early with strong tackling defending against the Clippers on their first offensive series, then forcing the turnover with their suffocating pass coverage. Seniors Paul Velasco and Wilging led both lines, throwing their weight around and moving Amboy’s lines where they wanted and needed for most of the night.
Velasco started off with a handful of key tackles for losses. In the second quarter Wilging got into the action getting a sack on the Amboy quarterback Liam Ohlendorf. That energy spread to the rest of the Steamers on the front lines as Conor Hugunin, Justin Shaffer and Tristin Huisingh helped keep the pressure on Amboy’s offensive line and quarterback.
Fulton’s pass coverage, anchored by veteran seniors Bryce Holesinger, Devin Kuehl and Kody Crosthwaite, outmatched the opponent for the third week in a row forcing turnovers and inconsistency from Amboy as it had against Riverdale and Princeton.
“I had 100 percent faith in my team that they would come out and play 100 percent, but they came out and played 150 percent,” Holesinger said. “That’s the best defensive game I’ve seen our coverage play all year long.”