Plainfield Central running back Jordan Ellingwood didn’t want there to be any doubt the host Wildcats would dominate their Southwest Prairie opener Friday night at home against Romeoville.
Ellingwood made sure of that by the end of the first quarter, when the Wildcats were up by three touchdowns.
Central went on to beat Romeoville 42-0 behind Ellingwood’s four scores and his 18-carry, 144-yard performance.
“I was just following my blocks and reading every block and was just chugging along,” Ellingwood said. “I knew I was going to blow the doors down.”
Ellingwood already had 113 yards on 12 carries and scored a touchdown — a 4-yard run — by halftime. His backfield mate, Gino Giarratano, had 73 yards on seven carries with a 15-yard touchdown by the break.
Giarratano finished with 93 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.
“We’re like brothers and we’ve been together since eighth grade,” Ellingwood said. “We just have that chemistry going back and forth with each other.”
The Wildcats (3-0, 1-0) had a commanding 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Ellingwood scored his first touchdown at the 8:17 mark. Giarratano then added his 15-yard score on the next Central possession. The Wildcats’ final score of the quarter came with no time remaining on the clock, when 6-foot-2, 320-pound Bryce Douglas, normally a nose tackle, scored on a 1-yard run.
“It’s been (a decade) since we started 3-0,” Central coach John Jackson said. “I thought Jordan ran angry tonight and Gino ran well. It was one of those knock down, drag out nights for us.”
Romeoville’s dual threat Caleb Bailey, a linebacker/running back who has offers from seven Division I schools — Miami (Ohio), Toledo, Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Bowling Green and Wyoming — did not do much offensively and had only one carry for minus-4 yards. Defensively, Bailey had two sacks. Bailey was selected to play in the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American game in Phoenix in January.
Quarterback Kelvin Jones, a sophomore, made his first varsity start for Romeoville and had a rough start to his prep career.
Jones, filling in for senior Jacob Bambule who was out with the after-effects of a concussion, threw an interception and was unable to complete a pass.
Down 21-0 deficit, Romeoville’s defense forced a fumble with four minutes to go in the first half. The Spartans got the ball back in excellent field position on the Central 14 and looked poised to score.
But Jones threw an incomplete pass over the head of Ivan Diaz, who was lunging toward the ball in the corner of the end zone.
A nine-yard run by Miguel Ford brought Romeoville (0-3, 0-1) to the Plainfield four, but Jones got stuffed for a one-yard gain and then a bad snap was knocked into the air and tipped into the hands of a Wildcats defender.
Central upped the score to 42-0 late in the third quarter and Romeoville’s frustration seemed to boil over. The Spartans were whistled for their second unsportsmanlike penalty two plays before Ellingwood scored on a 9-yard run.