Things are changing for William Chrisman football team.
In 2014, head coach Scorpio Horn’s first year, his team lost seven of 11 games by 30 or more points.
This season, Horn and his Bears are finding themselves on the opposite side of routs. After dominating Oak Park 35-6 in the season opener, the Bears thrashed Suburban Middle Six foe Ruskin 48-0 Saturday at Independence All-School Stadium in the completion of a game suspended Friday by lightning and heavy rain.
It’s the first 2-0 start for the Bears since 1998.
“It’s hard to get a zero in our league, we haven’t had one in forever,” Horn said of the shutout. “I feel good about our defense. I feel good about our offense.
“My storyline for this is when I first came here, people said it would never be done. These kids don’t get a fair opportunity to show how good they really are. So the only time they can show how good they are is when they are playing sports. As far as academics and education, we are up there with anyone else. But the sports programs have been so bad for so long, no one has celebrated these kids like they need to. And that’s my job. And that’s what I am going to continue to do. I know we’re not there yet, but I am going to continue to fight to let them know they can play with anybody.”
Junior linebacker Emori Thomas agreed that the culture of the program is changing.
“My freshman year coming into Chrisman from out of town was a disappointment,” Thomas said. “Everyone held their head down when they played football, when they played basketball and wore their letterman jackets. This year it’s turning around. We got some people dialing and tuning in. This is going to be something great. Trust me.”
On Friday Chrisman built a 28-0 lead thanks to three rushing touchdowns from quarterback James Bailey and a rushing score from running back Michael Blewett.
The game continued with 3:42 left on the clock in the third quarter, and the Bears wasted little time scoring again. Kyron Mason scored on a 4-yard run and Bailey waltzed in for a 2-point conversion to make it 36-0.
After only giving up 75 yards on Friday, the Bears defense surrendered just 39 yards the rest of the way for a total of 104. Aside from three plays of 10 or more yards for Ruskin, Chrisman held its opponent in check, forcing 10 Eagle plays to go for negative yards. Linemen Daniel Carson and Christian Felix and Thomas led the charge.
“The defense is the heart of our team in my opinion,” Thomas said. “It relies a lot on me, Christian and Daniel, but as a team, we’re unstoppable.”
The Bears sealed it when running back Bryan Cox found a huge hole up the middle for a 56-yard jaunt. Mason added a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“I knew (Mark Robins) was throwing it to No. 6,” Mason said. “As soon as No. 6 stopped and went on his break, I knew it was mine. I went in and I was gone.”