Chargers kept in check
CHAMPAIGN — Normal Community solved Centennial’s offense Friday night, handing the Chargers a 39-12 Big 12 defeat.
Quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald was 21-of-27 passing for 155 yards and one touchdown for the Chargers, who lost their third consecutive game.
“Jimmy had a lot of pressure on him (Friday night),” Chargers coach Mike McDonnell said. “They blitzed a lot, almost every single down; they’re noted for that.”
Normal Community’s blitzing scheme all but neutralized Fitzgerald and disrupted the run game. The Chargers finished with 105 rushing yards, most coming after the game was decided. Fitzgerald accounted for 41 of those.
Penalties also disrupted Centennial’s momentum.
At one point, the Chargers faced fourth and 67 after making a drive deep into Ironmen territory.
The contest was scoreless after the first quarter, but Normal Community led 22-0 at halftime, scoring 15 points in 58 seconds.
The third quarter was similar. A few special teams miscues by the Chargers and a pair of Ironmen touchdowns within 12 seconds put the game out of reach.
Fitzgerald had a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter, and Jordan Terry added a rushing touchdown.
Regardless of the three-game losing streak, McDonnell is certain his team will be ready next week.
“Hey, it’s homecoming,” McDonnell said. “It’s Urbana, the Twin City championship. If you can’t get up for that, you can’t get up for anything.”
Big 12 standings
TEAM CONF. OVERALL
Normal West 4 0 4 0
Bloomington 3 1 3 1
Normal Community 2 2 2 2
Decatur MacArthur 1 1 2 1
Danville 1 2 1 3
Decatur Eisenhower 1 2 1 2
Centennial 1 3 1 3
Champaign Central 1 3 1 3
Urbana 0 3 0 3
Springfield Lanphier at Urbana
MacArthur at Eisenhower
NEXT FRIDAY’S GAMES
Urbana at Centennial
Central at MacArthur
Danville at Eisenhower
Normal West at Normal Community
NEXT SATURDAY’S GAME
Bloomington at Chicago St. Patrick