It wasn’t as smooth as the Central High School coaching staff was searching for, but the football Cougars prevailed in blowout fashion 58-18 over the host Carlyle Indians on Saturday afternoon.
The game was rained out on Friday before the Cougars emerged victorious as they moved to 4-0 on the season while Carlyle dropped to 1-3.
Central will welcome in Mater Dei on Friday night at 7 p.m. for the annual Milk Bowl contest. Mater Dei owns a 31-8 record in the Milk Bowl.
As for Saturday’s win, the Cougars fought off a sluggish second quarter and got 172 yards on the ground from Collin Thomas and another 137 yards from Ben Rakers en route to the victory.
Meanwhile, Alex Huels did his part and extended play after play for the Indians at quarterback throwing for 349 yards on 31-of-44 attempts that resulted in a pair of touchdown passes.
After a 23-yard field goal from Jay Detmer on the Cougars’ first possession, Central got a big special teams play when Brice Haselhorst blocked an Indians’ punt with 5:30 left in the first quarter.
Two plays later, while four minutes vanished off the clock, Hunter Toeben found Haselhorst streaking down the middle of the field for a 30-yard touchdown connection.
With Central driving in the second quarter, a fumbled exchange gave the Indians the ball on a turnover by the Cougars.
On the Indians’ ensuing drive, they converted two 3rd-down conversions and a 4th-down conversion before Huels ran a rollout keeper for a 5-yard touchdown run to get the Indians within 10-6 with 3:30 left in the half.
A quick turnover on downs by the Cougars gave the Indians the ball right back with two minutes left in the half.
“The first quarter was OK, but the second quarter was awful,” said Central head coach Brian Short. “We probably had the opportunity to be up 21-0 and then the next thing you know it’s 12-10.”
Five plays later, Dru Johnson got behind the Central secondary and scored on a 53-yard touchdown pass to give the Indians a 12-10 lead with 52 seconds left in the half.
Central got the play of the game on the very next play from scrimmage when senior Trevor Kohrmann out-muscled Carlyle’s Tyler Seiver on a 40-yard pass from Toeben as Kohrmann came down with the ball and set up the Cougars at the Indians’ 20-yard line.
“That was a huge play right before halftime,” added Short. “To get into the end zone there and salvage something and make it 17-12 was real big.”
Two plays later, Toeben found Dalton Wise on a 14-yard touchdown completion with 25 seconds left in the half as Central rallied for a 17-12 lead at the half.
“The name of our game right now is inconsistency,” said Carlyle head coach Chris Birkner. “We have flashes of good and flashes of bad. We just have to be able to put things together and play what we can do and not worry about the other team.”
Central left no doubt in the second half as they scored six touchdowns while limiting the Indians to just one.
Thomas dominated the first drive of the second half as he ran the ball for 38 yards on his first carry and 23 on his next before ending the drive on a 15-yard touchdown run that gave Central a 24-10 lead.
The Central defense got back in on the action when Domonic Weary recovered a Huels fumble on a sack.
On the next drive, the Cougars got called for a holding during a 53-yard touchdown run from Thomas. The Cougars would not score on the drive.
Two drives later, Rakers cashed in from 40 yards out to extend the Cougars’ lead to 30-12 after three quarters of play.
Thomas ran in from 5 yards out before another 13-yard touchdown run from Rakers gave the Cougars a 44-10 lead before they called off the dogs.
With Trent Nunn guiding the Cougars’ offense at quarterback, the junior scored from 3-yards out to extend the lead to 51-10.
Carlyle found the end zone back when Huels hooked up with Colton Reckling for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 3:36 left in the contest.
“Central’s rush is phenomenal, but Alex did what he could and extended a lot of plays,” added Birkner. “Again, this is only his fourth game as a quarterback at the varsity level, so he has some things to work on, but I think he’s progressing fine.”
The final score of the game came when Daniel Tipsord took an interception to the house from 40 yards out as Central won the tilt 58-18.
Along with Rakers and Thomas’ rushing stats, Toeben was 7-of-13 from 134 yards and two touchdown passes. He added 33 yards on the ground as Central totaled 506 yards of offense.
Kohrmann had two catches for 56 yards for Central’s offense.
On defense, Central got seven tackles from Lucas Koopmann and four tackles and a sack from Jake Arter.
While Carlyle had 330 yards of passing, they managed just 42 yards rushing as both Huels and Donte Nettles had 15 yards on the ground.
Nick Becker was Huels’ favorite target as he had five catches for 117 yards. Nettles had eight catches for 63 yards.
“I knew their passing game would test us today,” said Short. “And it definitely did. It was good to see that because the team we play next week can really throw the football well also.”
Contractors interested in bidding on renovation work at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office have until 6 p.m. on Oct. 12 to submit their bids.
The Clinton County Board, at its regular meeting Monday night, authorized advertising for bids for the sheriff’s office remodel.
According to the plans and specifications for the project, which are available at Netemeyer Engineering Associates in Aviston, the project includes: “demolition and disposal of existing interior including walls, ceilings, flooring, etc. on the second floor of the Clinton County jail facility and partial areas on the first floor as required for the second floor alterations. Then, furnishing and installing on the second floor: new exterior windows; new metal studs, drywall, doors, acoustical suspended ceiling, cabinetry, casework, painting, etc.; new HVAC, electrical and plumbing connecting to existing electrical panels and piping with all panels, receptacles and fixtures, etc., for a complete new functioning office installation.”
Floor covering and floor base, communication/telephone wiring, and alarm/ security wiring are not included in the proposal.
Facilities Committee chairman Duane Nordike said Monday night that the committee has been working on the project for over six months. He said the second floor of the sheriff’s office has not been renovated since the jail building was constructed in the 1960s.
In other facilities business, the board approved bids for new flooring and painting of certain areas of the Clinton County Courthouse.
Nordike explained that the initial plans were to upgrade the entire courthouse (except for the storage areas); however, after an initial bid opening on Aug. 10, the plans were scaled down.
Initially, the total low bid for the work came in at $252,885, Nordike said.
A walk-through of the courthouse was conducted by all of the county board members on Sept. 1, and it was determined that certain areas were not “life safety issues” and were not in need of repair or replacement at this time.
“After the walk-through and the Finance Committee meeting on Sept. 14, designated areas to be omitted from the project were finalized,” Nordike said. “I was asked to contact the two contractors for revised numbers.”
Board members voted 11-3 Monday night to approve a low bid of $127,985 from CSI Select of St. Louis for the new flooring. Board members Steve Heiligenstein, Larry Johnson and Chuck Simpson voted in opposition.
The board approved the low bid for painting from Ron Ward Painting of Centralia for $58,323. Board members Johnson and Simpson abstained from the vote.
Nordike said areas where renovation work will not be completed include the offices of GIS, Zoning, Public Defender, Probation, Assessments, Treasurer and all restrooms on the courthouse’s lower level; Courtroom A, the office of the State’s Attorney and all restrooms on the main level; and the holding area and all restrooms on the upper level.
Omitting these areas reduces the total project cost by $66,577.
The board heard a presentation on bond issues from Tom Crabtree, a financial advisor with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
The presentation was prompted by recent questions and concerns from local citizens regarding school funding and whether the county could take steps to limit tax increases sought by school districts.
Local governments and public entities, such as school districts, often issue bonds to meet their financial needs. Bonds can be issued by states, cities, towns or public commissions to provide money for schools, hospitals, and other public works. Crabtree said that when considering a bond issue, a public entity must determine what the funds are being used for and find the right type of bond that legally fits the need.
He discussed different types of bonds and said all governmental entities have a mandated cap on what can be borrowed based on the taxing district’s equalized assessed valuation.
While some bond issues require approval via voter referendum, a variety of bonds can be approved after a 30-day petition period.
Regardless of the types of bond, he said, state laws are written so that no governmental entity can control another entity’s bond proposal.
“There’s no recourse for one government entity to affect another government entity’s bond issue,” Crabtree said. “Each government entity, through state law, has its own contract with a bond holder.”
In other business, Jim “Homer” Rakers, chairman of the board’s Economic Development Committee, said there are two new Clinton County Enterprise Zone applications — one in Trenton and one in Carlyle, totaling $219,000 in construction costs.
Five zoning issues were approved as presented by Clinton County Zoning administrator Jami Staser. The board approved:
• Hedge Haven Subdivision, a one-lot subdivision located in Sugarcreek Township.
• Southtown Estates First Addition, a three-lot subdivision located south of Carlyle in Carlyle Township.
• C&M Estates Subdivision, a one-lot subdivision in Wheatfield Township, which was up for re-approval since the property owner failed to file the final plat within the required 60-day time frame.
• a map amendment from Residential-1 to Agriculture in Sugarcreek Township for Darrin and Rhonda Bohn.
• a map amendment from Residential-1 to Agriculture in Sugarcreek Township for Michael and Amy Cibrowski.
Reporting on highway business, County Engineer Dan Behrens said the resurfacing of St. Rose Road is completed.
He reported that salt prices for winter road maintenance are at the lowest they’ve been since the winter of 2007-08. This year’s price is $49.13 per ton, which is substantially lower than the $67.84 per ton paid last year and the $128.32 per ton paid two years ago.
The county approved an “Adopt-A-Highway” resolution allowing Community Link in Breese to “adopt” and clean up a portion of North Walnut Street in Breese.
Personnel Committee chairman Steve Heiligenstein said his committee is working on contracts for the county’s appointed officials.
Animal Control/County Farm Committee chairman Bryan Wessel said members of the Clinton County Humane Society attended the last committee meeting asking them to consider hiring a licensed veterinarian to serve as administrator for Clinton County Animal Control.
Wessel said having Animal Control Warden Don Deiters handle the administrator’s duties saves taxpayers over $11,000 annually. Also, he said, the committee is unable to find a local veterinarian who is willing to take the job.
John Hudspeth, State’s Attorney for Clinton County, announced that Laura A. Koch, 46, of Breese, has been sentenced to six years in prison and has been ordered to pay $200,837.99 in restitution to her victim. “Koch now stands convicted of the theft, a Class 1 felony, for having exerted unauthorized control over funds of her employer during the time from July 2013, through October 2015,” said Hudspeth.
Last month, Koch pleaded guilty per the Alford plea to Class 1 felony theft in excess of $100,000.
According to court documents, Koch allegedly stole $146,190.28 from Baer Heating & Cooling and American Way Storage in Iuka.
Between July 1, 2013, and Oct. 31, 2015, Koch allegedly committed the offense of theft in that she knowingly obtained unauthorized control over property belonging to Baer Heating & Cooling and American Way Storage in Iuka.
It was reported that over the course of two years, Koch allegedly wrote herself checks and cashed them at a bank in Breese. She was eventually caught after the business’s bank noticed funds missing from the account and “suspicious activity” was flagged by the bank.
After a review, it was determined that money was not authorized for that period of time.
Although the businesses are located in Marion County, Koch is being charged in Clinton County because she cashed the checks in Breese, and since the crime was committed in Clinton County, charges were filed there.
Three other counts have been dismissed per the plea, including a Class 1 felony and Class 2 felony theft and a Class 4 felony fraudulent use of a credit/debit card.
The sentence was handed down at a contested sentencing hearing conducted in the Clinton County Courthouse on Sept. 15, at which one of the victims, their accountant and Koch testified.
Hudspeth stated that his office was “pleased that the judge imposed a prison sentence on the defendant, despite her request for a sentence of probation.”
“The ongoing nature of the crime over three years, the fact that Koch took advantage of a trusting employer, the impact her crime had on the families of her employer and co-workers, and the defendant’s prior criminal record justify a prison sentence,” Hudspeth said.
At the sentencing hearing, the State’s Attorney’s Office asked the judge to impose the maximum available sentence under the law, 15 years in prison.
“The prison sentence and order of restitution can never make up for the stress and anguish suffered by the victims in this case,” said Hudspeth.
Hudspeth thanked the victims for their cooperation during this time. He also thanked the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office for its work in the case.
“The cooperative efforts of the victims, their accountants and the Sheriff’s staff were instrumental in the successful prosecution of Ms. Koch,” Hudspeth said.
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