COLFAX - Forcing a turnover is not enough, according to first-year Lexington High School football coach Mike Castleman.
"You've got to take advantage of them, too," said Castleman, whose team milked 20 points out of a blocked punt and four Ridgeview turnovers during a 35-6 triumph Friday night.
Lexington, 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the Heart of Illinois Conference, clinched a third consecutive playoff berth and its 20th since 1980. Ridgeview (5-3, 5-2) is also a probable qualifier.
"The momentum really got going on our side," said Castleman, whose team received a touchdown and 101 yards from Tyler Van Vickle on 14 carries.
"Games are won and lost up front and they beat us up front," said Ridgeview coach Mike Benton, whose team was outgained, 329-182. "You can't make mistakes when you're playing a good team like that."
Lexington's Bruce Freed had a good night, passing for two scores.
"The passing game really kind of opened up our running game," said Freed, who completed 8 of 15 for 118 yards and rushed for 45 yards. "We picked on their corners. The line gave us enough time to get it there."
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The first scoring pass was a 16-yarder to Michael Emberton, who finished with three catches for 55 yards. He scored at the 7:10 mark of the first quarter after Ben Snodgrass had recovered a fumbled punt.
Sophomore teammate Jesse Kemp made it 13-0 two minutes later on a 20-yard return of a Ridgeview punt that was blocked by Will Horton.
Kemp also intercepted a fourth-quarter pass to set up a 46-yard scoring drive Van Vickle ended with a 5-yard run. T.J. Stinde added one of his three conversion kicks, one of which came after his 3-yard run.
"(Kemp) had missed a couple games with a knee injury," Castleman said. "He just got back last week. It's nice to have him come in and get going. He's got fresher legs than everyone else because he hasn't been working that much."
Lexington led 21-0 after Ryan Hanes scored on a 17-yard reception with 2:50 left in the second quarter. Benny Winterland added a conversion catch.
"Hanes is just as good of a running back as a receiver," noted Freed. "We used him all over the field. He's got great hands and made a great play."
Ridgeview averted the shutout in the third quarter when Nathan Boyd capped an 83-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown reception from Derek Powell, who completed 8 of 17 for 73 yards, but was intercepted three times.
"They got a guy behind our guy," said Castleman, whose other interceptors were Winterland and Evan Leake.
David Givens led Ridgeview with 76 yards rushing on 10 carries before leaving the game with 7:41 left via ambulance because of a possible concussion.