For the second straight week, Indian Creek played the gracious host off the football field, but once on the field, the Braves were anything but nice.
Using a balanced attack, the Braves streaked past Galesburg (Illinois), 35-14, in what could be called a statement game against a larger school in a rare Saturday matinee game.
Indian Creek had an opening when longtime opponent Brown County decided it wasn’t worth the 27-mile trek north for their annual pasting. Instead, the Braves got the Silver Streaks to make the 4 1/2-hour trip for what appears to be the only time.
Galesburg (with a Greenwood-like enrollment of 1,239), located between Peoria and the Quad Cities, found itself with an open date when conference foe Rock Island Alleman dropped varsity football for the year. With Alleman continuing football for 2024, the Streaks won’t need to host a rematch.
“I’m glad the Silver Streaks came over here,” Indian Creek coach Casey Gillin said.
The Streaks may feel otherwise after the Braves (2-2) rolled up more than 400 yards in offense and were able to contain the speedy backfield duo of quarterback Gino Williams and Amarie Richardson.
It didn’t take long for the Braves to score first, as they went 80 yards in 10 plays with senior quarterback Jalen Sauer scoring from the 10. After a Galesburg punt, the Braves scored again, this time with Sauer hitting Jaxson Palmer for an 11-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
“We came out on fire early and got after them,” Gillin said. “I think they were a little surprised.”
Gillin then really gambled and had the Braves do a squib kick, which they recovered; however, four straight incompletions netted nothing except to keep Galesburg guessing the rest of the way.
Prior to halftime, the Silver Streaks finally mounted a worthy drive, getting the ball to the Indian Creek 1, but Williams couldn’t handle the ball after the snap and fumbled it away to the Braves with 20 seconds left.
“That was huge,” Gillin said.
Building on that momentum, Indian Creek made it 21-0 when Sauer threw a 10-yard touchdown to Bobby Emberton.
Galesburg’s offense still couldn’t do anything, but the Streaks defense did. Creek’s Malachi Mink fumbled the ball and it was then scooped up by Kenny Ward, who dashed 24 yards for the score to finally get the Streaks on the board.
Then came the play that cut the heart out of Galesburg.
After the kickoff, Sauer took the snap, ran up the middle and raced 80 yards untouched for the touchdown. Just like that, Indian Creek was back up by three touchdowns, 28-7.
Galesburg scored again on a 2-yard run by Williams, but that was it for the visitors. Palmer scored on an 8-yard run late in the fourth to give the Braves their second straight 30-point performance.
Sauer led all runners with 121 yards and two touchdowns, while Mink atoned for his fumble and ran for 105 yards. Sauer also threw for 146 yards and two scores. Palmer had five catches for 74 yards.
Galesburg had less than 250 total yards, something Gillin was especially happy with.
“We knew coming in (Galesburg) would have a bunch of speed,” Gillin said. “We did a great job, and have the last two weeks. The only reason they scored points in my opinion is because our offense gave them too many possessions.”
Up next for Indian Creek is Class 2A No. 4 Triton Central. It will be the Braves’ fourth of five straight home games.
“They’re good, but we will be prepared,” Gillin said of the Tigers.