FLANAGAN - After traveling 80 minutes Friday, only to return home due to another storm, senior running backs Key-Shawn Girkin and Nick Meunier erupted for 300 yards and four touchdowns Saturday, as GCMS (4-0) defeated Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland (0-4) 50-13.
The storm didn’t allow for a single play to occur Friday, which may have fueled the fire for a squad that would have played its third straight Saturday game had Tremont’s football team not insisted on staying in Gibson City a few weeks ago.
“To come back two times in a row in less than 24 hours, on that bus ride, (we were) very proud of how the guys got off the bus Saturday and played hard for 48 minutes,” GCMS coach Mike Allen said.
Led by the galloping play of Girkin and Meunier, GCMS jumped out to a 30-0 halftime lead behind touchdown runs from the duo, a quarterback keeper by Keegan Allen and a 27-yard touchdown pass to James Fairfield.
Meunier and Girkin each scored again in the second half and were joined by sophomore Luke Freehill on a creative 31-yard touchdown scamper late in the game.
FCW senior running back Austin Dutko, who ran for 251 yards in last year’s 26-20 loss to GCMS, was held to 138 yards this time, as his Falcons only managed 150 total yards.
Dutko did manage to score twice, running for a 97-yard touchdown when GCMS overran a safety attempt, then picked up and returned a fumble 75-yards the next quarter.
Outside of those two plays, GCMS contained the senior and kept FCW’s offense from moving.
“We were a younger team last year. So with experience and Coach Augspurger doing a great job of getting our defense rallied, we played well,” Allen said of this year’s play compared to the team's last meeting with FCW. “Our kids are hungry. They’re excited. They worked hard in the weight room this summer, and they have a chip on their shoulder and wanted to prove something. I think that was the difference. We were ready Friday night. Some guys had to miss some things Saturday, and they weren’t in good moods about it.”
One big presence in GCMS’ stout defensive stance was the return of junior Levi Davis, who missed the first three games but responded with eight tackles in his first game back.
Benefiting most from Davis’ return was Tristan Smith, who led the Falcons with 13 total tackles.
“Tristan Smith had an outstanding game. And that helps when you’ve got a nose guard in front of you that’s demanding a double team,” Allen said. “It lets you play a little freer. First game back, Levi had a very good game, but he wasn’t satisfied. He was disappointed after the game. It was almost like we had lost. He knows he can play better, and that’s an exciting thing. We didn’t have to say anything. He was his toughest critic.”
Nick Meunier finished with 20 carries and 165 yards, followed by Key-Shawn Girkin with 12 carries and 134 yards.
Luke Freehill ran for 47 yards on eight carries, and Brooks Schmitt and Nathan Garard added 30 total yards.
Austin Allen had the only other catch outside of Fairfield’s, with a 15-yard grab.