PAXTON – Aric McGuire had 24 carries for 132 yards and one touchdown as St. Thomas More all but assured its second IHSA playoff appearance with a 39-0 win against Paxton-Buckley-Loda on Friday night.
The Sabers are 5-2 and have games against Iroquois West and Tri-Point coming up.
"We've got to go out on a good night," coach Dan Hennessey said. "We need good momentum for the playoffs."
St. Thomas More scored on its first three possessions, including its third play from scrimmage – a 54-yard touchdown run by Dylan Ray. The Sabers racked up 361 yards of offense, including 313 yards on 49 rushes, good for a 6.4 yards per carry average.
Ray had a total of 92 yards on eight carries.
Joe Parkhill added 45 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
"Our goal every game is to run the ball, chew up clock," Hennessey said. "We did that effectively. PBL is a good, big, physical team."
On the other side of the ball, the Sabers shut out PBL with the help of two Carson Woodworth interceptions.
The Panthers were unable to muster consistent offense, rushing for 125 yards and passing for 48 more.
Ricky Tester led PBL's attack, gaining 75 yards on the ground.
"It's pretty hard not to be frustrated if you're a PBL coach, player or fan," coach Jim Zenner said. "We put ourselves in a hole right off the bat."