CHERRYVALE — A prolific campaign on the gridiron continued full-speed ahead for Humboldt's Trey Sommer Friday night.
The superstar tailback racked up 175 yards and a trio of first half rushing touchdowns en route to the Cubs' 46-0 thrashing of the Cherryvale Chargers.
Slotting in for starting quarterback Blake Ellis, Sommer's monster first half also included 5-of-5 passing for 97 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
The Chargers (4-3) trailed 8-0 at the conclusion of the opening frame after yielding a 45-yard touchdown reception from Sommer to Sam Hull.
The Cubs (5-2) then detonated for 30 points in the second quarter.
The first two scores of the quarter came via runs by Sommer of 7 and 44 yards, as the Cubs led 22-0 with 8:09 remaining in the half. On the ensuing possession, Sommer connected with Hull for a 41-yard touchdown strike, followed by Dakota Slocumb's reception for 2, and a commanding 30-0 advantage.
A 37-yard Sommer scamper to paydirt put the cherry on top of his dazzling first half performance. Cole Mathes was on the receiving end of a Sommer pass on the 2-point play, staking the Cubs to a 38-0 halftime advantage.
With the turbo clock activated for the duration of the second half, the Cubs coasted to victory.
A myriad of miscues were too much to overcome, according to Cherryvale coach Daniel Vaughn.
"Mistakes and mental errors early on put us in a bad position and the game just got away from us," Vaughn said.
Vaughn addressed his club's inability to contain Sommer.
"We didn't match up well and this was our worst night tackling we've had all season. We knew we needed to tackle Trey and we just didn't do a good job of that," he said. "We try to teach tackling through the hips and to keep our head up — but we were diving at his feet all night long. He's just too good of a back — if you dive at his feet he's going to make you miss."
Vaughn said he felt good about his squad’s prospects heading into the second quarter down 8-0.
“We were in position and felt like we were going to move the ball a little better than we did,” he said. “We weren’t able to move their defensive line like we thought we would, and our run-scheme just didn’t produce how we thought it would tonight.”
The Cubs defense succeeded in shutting down dual-threat quarterback Jackson Knight, as well as Cherryvale’s top wideout Stetson Schafer.
“They did a great job on defense,” Vaughn said.
Humboldt coach Logan Wyrick was pleased with his club’s performance.
“I wasn’t really sure where our intensity would be, so it was good to see us come out and play well from the get-go,” Wyrick said.
Wyrick was even a bit surprised by the Cubs lockdown defensive performance, accentuated by Chase DeMerrit’s interception of Knight.
“We knew they have some athletes that play the skill spots,” he said. “We’ve done a pretty good job most of the year against the run, so we knew we really had to concentrate on the passing game this week.”
Sophomore signal caller Ellis suffered his concussion during the Cubs’ Sept. 30 victory over Eureka.
“He’s (been) out for a couple weeks,” Wyrick said, adding that a determination has yet to be made on his availability for next week’s regular-season finale against West Franklin.
Wyrick was not surprised by the ease with which Sommer slotted into quarterback.
“He started six or seven games at quarterback as a sophomore and one last year as a junior,” Wyrick said, noting that Cole Mathes also made the seamless transition to starting tailback Friday night. “He’s about as good of a backup tailback as it gets.”
Cherryvale hosts Neodesha, while Humboldt plays host to West Franklin.
“We need to beat Neodesha to hold our (playoff-seeding) position,” Vaughn said, as Cherryvale entered the night seeded second in its district.
Wyrick said he is unfamiliar with West Franklin.
“We haven’t seen too much of them and they have a new coach this year,” he said. “With a new coach, it’s always hard to tell.