ROCHELLE — Due to an early afternoon thunderstorm, Eli Luxton wasn’t sure if there was going to be a game or not Tuesday afternoon.
“Someone told me the game was cancelled,” the sophomore midfielder for the Rochelle Township High School boys’ varsity soccer team said. “I didn’t find out (we were playing) until 2:30 p.m.”
With dark clouds looming, even then it wasn’t clear what was going to happen on the field.
“I thought we were going to play in the rain,” fellow sophomore Diego Salazar said.
According to RTHS head coach Brad Male, the Hubs could have played in the rain, but by Illinois High School Association rules – they couldn’t if it was lightning.
“Our field was pretty dry,” he said.
As it turned out, the only storm that hit the RTHS soccer field was the Hubs. Behind Luxton and freshman Alberto Casillas, who had four goals each, the Hubs walloped Morris 9-2. The win improves Rochelle’s record to 4-3 while Morris drops to 1-6-6.
Despite injuries and other problems, which left Morris severely shorthanded, the visitors managed to score first – and quickly – within the first four minutes.
After that, it was pretty much all Rochelle as the Hubs tallied four straight goals, including two by Luxton, one by Casillas and one by Josue Orozco, a senior.
Morris managed to get on the board again before Rochelle countered with Luxton’s third goal of the first half, which ended with the Hubs on top 5-2.
“We were just pressing them really well,” Salazar said.
“We did a really good job moving the ball,” Male said.
The Hubs scored four more times in the second half to seal the win.
Although they didn’t score, Male singled out several other players, including defenders Christian Harding and Nathan Sergeant, who he said did a good job of clearing the ball.
“If we keep moving the ball and looking for each other, we should progress well,” he said.