Big second quarter seals Lincoln-Way West win

SHARE Big second quarter seals Lincoln-Way West win

Jake Robbins is one of Justin Keuch’s favorite targets. That keeps peace in the family.

“He’s always a pest wanting the ball,” Keuch laughed Saturday after the duo connected on three second-quarter touchdown passes in a 3-minute, 19-second span to help Lincoln-Way West whip visiting Urban Prep-Bronzeville 48-8 in the opening round of the Class 5A state football playoffs.

Next up for the No. 6 seed Warriors (9-1) is a visit to Glenbard South. No. 11 Urban Prep-Bronzeville (7-3) never really was in the game, but that was especially so after Keuch and Robbins finished business. The Warriors led 41-8 at halftime.

“Not in a while,” Robbins said when asked if he had a previous three-touchdown game. “Our offensive line had a good game. They bought Justin some time.”

Robbins’ scores were from 3, 8 and 41 yards and helped West to a 41-0 lead, though the Lions did get on the board before halftime on Lamar Tripplet’s 93-yard kickoff return and a two-point conversion run by Hassan Anderson (122 rushing yards in 20 carries).

“Yeah, I even got a chance to run a post route,” Robbins said. “Jake found me.”

“Jake finds a way,” Keuch said. “We did some quick audibles, and I just gave it to him.”

West coach Dave Ernst said he has seen good things from Robbins for about a decade.

“Jake’s been running our post pattern since he was 8 and came to our camps at Lincoln-Way Central,” Ernst said. “He was a little chubby kid then. Now he’s grown into a man.

“He and Colin (DuCray, Warriors’ other starting wide receiver) are two of the best blocking receivers you are going to see. They are unselfish.”

Keuch hit 7-of-8 passes for 89 yards and the three scores. He sat out the second half with right elbow and right leg iced. Both bruises came compliments of the same hit early in the second quarter. He said he’s fine, however.

Sophomore running back Adam Knerr provided more fireworks. His 58-yard run set up Robbins’ second touchdown catch and he scored from 12 and 21 yards, finishing with 164 yards in 10 carries.

Javier Montalvo, who had been averaging nearly 250 yards per full game, chipped in with 67 in 10 carries.

The Warriors’ Nate Paniak, with blocks from Danny Hensel, Alex Gray and Sean Evans, returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

“Nate’s been doing a good job all year,” West coach Dave Ernst said. “Any time you get a punt return for a touchdown, I look at it as a 14-point turnaround.”

Urban Prep-Bronzeville managed 36 net yards and two first downs in the first half. Anderson had 87 of his rushing yards in the second half when the Warriors emptied the bench on both sides of the ball.

“Both our freshman quarterbacks, Connor Lowman and Dino Burelli, got quite a few snaps,” Ernst said. “That’s good experience for them.”

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