The second game in the regular season for Elmhurst was no different to the opener regarding the weather, cold blistering winds and some showers of frozen ran were present in the pre game warm but did very little to dampen the moods of the home team. Elmhurst, playing once again, at Plunkett Park, faced Chillicothe Barbarians of Central Illinois.
The opening exchanges of the game had Grant Melion in the sin bin for a yellow card for his first carry in the opening stanza. Elmhurst quickly opened the scoring and began to run riot against a weakened Chillicothe team. By all accounts, many of the Chillicothe regular forwards had stayed at home so Elmhurst were able to take full advantage with some barnstorming runs from the tight five players. Once Grant Melion returned to the fray he was able to add a couple of scores and create a few with his direct style of running and some neat offloading.
Ben Bernard and Ben Semmelhak led from the front in the pack and their colleagues followed suit. Ryan Blessing was excellent with the boot and also in attack and defense. The experienced players from last years’ debut campaign led the way and settled the team early on.
Elmhurst did well to suck the Chiilicothe players in on some of the big carries and looked to exploit the depleted flanks of their defense. The half back pairing of Ryan Costello and Nick Bauer bossed proceedings in attack with everyone showing up to take the call on and support the ball carrier.
What was most impressive was Elmhurst in defense; the organization, the first up tackling and the counter rucking was very strong. In particular, Jake Smallwood and Toa Hofflich did a mountain of work in slowing down opposition play by contesting and messing up Chillicothe’s platform of attack.
Unfortunately, Rodriguez saw yellow for a hard carry into Barbarian defender and spent some time in the bin a result. Elmhurst managed to run in a plethora of tries and really dominate the proceedings.
Standout forwards included John Downing, Ben Fett and CJ Cote with Danny Dunne and Patrick Cote shining in the back line. The try scorers were numerous and the final score reflected Elmhurst’s dominance over proceedings.
Patrick Cote, Ryan Blessing, Grant Melion, Gio Rodriguez, Danny Dunn, Nick Bauer, Ryan Costello, CJ Cote, John Downing, Ben Melion, Ben Bernard, Ben Fett, Toa Hofflich, Jake Smallwood, Ben Semmellhak, Nate Lyons.