Matt Forster did not touch the ball on Evansville’s first possession Friday night.
The Blue Devils called four passing plays and then were forced to punt.
From that point on, however, Forster had his fingerprints all over the team’s seventh straight victory.
The senior intercepted passes on Big Foot’s first two possessions and turned around and scored rushing touchdowns on both of the ensuing drives.
He finished with 254 yards of total offense, three touchdowns and two extra points as Evansville remained undefeated with a 40-14 Homecoming victory on Ron Grovesteen Field.
“I wasn’t worried (after that first possesion), because I know what we’re capable of, and we all get involved,” Forster said.
“This feels really good after going 0-9 last year. It’s fun to be playing as a team.”
Evansville is 7-0.
The Blue Devils remain one game ahead of Edgerton, which lost to the Blue Devils in Week 2. Big Foot’s three-game losing streak came to an end as the Chiefs fell to 4-3.
The Blue Devils set the tone with their physicality up front and by scoring three touchdowns in a span of 3 minutes, 30 seconds late in the first quarter.
Forster’s first touchdown, from 2 yards out with 3:40 left in the quarter, came at the end of an eight-play, 80-yard drive—where he accounted for 41 yards on six carries. He set it up with an interception in the end zone.
He intercepted another pass at the Big Foot 42-yard line on the next possession, and three plays later he burst up the middle for a 31-yard touchdown with 1:43 left.
“Turnovers are always very important,” Forster said.”We just stay together. Even if things don’t go right, we just come back out and play better.”
Senior receiver Sulley Geske caught a 21-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left in the quarter, one play after Evansville’s defense forced a fumble.
The Blue Devils had seven takeaways on the night—four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
“That’s a really good football team,” Big Foot coach Mike Welden said. “They out-physicaled us the whole game. Our guys weren’t used to that. They hadn’t been pushed around like that since probably Week 1 against Jefferson.
“Things had been going pretty good, and we had got some breaks. It’s nice for our guys to see where their minds are at when things are a little tougher. But we’re still 4-3 and have a lot to play for.”
Jack Gillingham scored on a 10-yard run to draw Big Foot within 21-7 at halftime, but Forster scored again on the Blue Devils’ second possession out of the break. He caught a screen pass and took it 39 yards for the score.
Forster rushed 20 times for 203 yards and two TDs and caught two passes for 51 and a score.
Junior quarterback Tyr Severson completed 11 of 21 passes for 173 yards and the two touchdowns, and he added a 1-yard scoring plunge that extended the lead to 33-7 early in the fourth quarter.
Geske caught five passes for 88 yards for Evansville, which outgained Big Foot 463-290 in total offensive yards. Matt Kostroun and Jaden O’Bel each had interceptions, while Nick Wille, Colin Roberts and Owin Korfmacher recovered fumbles.
Cole Vance rushed 25 times for 98 yards and also caught a 45-yard pass for the Chiefs, who got a late touchdown from John Rause.
EVANSVILLE 40, BIG FOOT 14
Big Foot 0 7 0 7—14
Evansville 21 0 6 13—40
Scoring: E—Matt Forster 2 run (Jaden O’Bel pass from Tyr Severson). E—Forster 31 run (kick failed). E—Sulley Geske 21 pass from Tyr Severson (Forster kick). BF—Jack Gillingham 10 run (Owen Martin kick). E—Forster 39 pass from Severson (pass failed). E—Severson 1 run (kick failed). E—Mason Young 3 run (Forster kick). BF—John Rouse 3 run (Martin kick).
Satistics: First downs—Big Foot 15, Evansville 26. Rushing—Big Foot 48-215, Evansville 39-290. Passing yards—Big Foot 75, Evansville 173. Passes—Big Foot 14-3-4, Evansville 21-11-0. Fumbles—Big Foot 4-3, Evansville 1-0. Penalties—Big Foot 3-25, Evansville 8-80.