The Charleston Trojans went south on Interstate 57 Friday night to take on Effingham in the rainy Apollo Conference opener for both teams.
After dropping their first loss of the season last week, Charleston came out a little sluggish in the first quarter.
A drive that tallied 70 yards, all on the ground from running back Terrence Hill, on 11 plays, ended in a one-yard touchdown run on a 4th and goal from the one by Hill. Effingham led 7-0 early.
Hill ran for 240 yards as Effingham beat Charleston 27-7.
The Charleston offense struggled in the first half, with new starter Seth Higgins under center. Charleston recorded just one first down in the whole first half, and that came on a 25 yard run from Bryce Frederick on the last play of the first half.
Effingham led 13-0 at halftime, after a Hill run where it looked like he was brought down, but he ended up just rolling over the defender and not touching the ground. It was a heads up play by the running back and it resulted in a 39 yard touchdown run for the Hearts.
Charleston received the kick-off to begin the second half and gave it right back to Effingham. A Higgins pass over the middle was picked-off by Alec Morrissey who took it back to the endzone for an Effingham defensive touchdown.
The Hearts forced a Trojan turnover on downs on their next possession to get their offense on the field for the first time in the half.
After just a couple plays, the wet football was fumbled by Hill and Charleston recovered. But another Morrissey interception gave the ball right back while Charleston was putting together one of their best drives of the game.
Another short touchdown run gave Terrence Hill his third touchdown of the game and gave Effingham a commanding 27-0 lead.
A punt each and a turnover on downs each were all but one of the results of the fourth quarter drives. Until Charleston put together a little drive at the end of the game which resulted in a short touchdown run with five seconds left on the clock.
With the loss, Charleston drops to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play. The Trojans will take on Mattoon(1-3) next week at O’Brien field at Eastern Illinois University for the Coles County clash Friday night.
For Effingham, they improve to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in Apollo action. The Hearts will head on the road next week at Salem (1-3).