Larkin routs rival ElginLarkin's Tony Hernandez (12) and Tony Escamilla (9) box out Elgin's Josue Chavez (11) as they chase the ball Tuesday at Memorial Field in Elgin. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 4, 2011 9:30PM
In a way, the intense Elgin-Larkin rivalry may have led to a big blowout on the soccer field Tuesday night when the Royals got three goals from Tony Hernandez in an easy 6-0 victory over the Maroons at Memorial Field.
Larkin scored 1:05 into the match, and in the second half just kept adding goals before a large and raucous crowd.
“That’s been kind of our Achilles all year,” Larkin coach Ken Hall said. “We score early and then we drop intensity. That’s happened four or five times.
“I think the fact it’s Elgin we were playing did not allow us to drop our intensity.”
Only 1:05 into the match, Matthias Warren benefited from a free kick that caromed around in front of the net. It came directly to him at a portion of the net that was unprotected and he tapped it in for a 1-0 lead that stood up until halftime.
After the half, the goals came early and often, starting with Hernandez’s header off Manny Aguilar’s corner kick only 1:05 into the half.
“They took advantage of our mistakes,” Elgin coach Dave Borg said. “That’s what they did. The first one in the game, we just have to stop that kind of thing. We’ve got to learn how to beat Larkin.
“And I know this will probably get me in trouble, but this isn’t the best team we’ve played, but this is the worst beating we got. So we need to regroup. I take responsibility for it.”
Hernandez, who has nine goals on the season, scored again after Tony Escamilla made it 3-0 on a beautiful turnaround kick from 25 yards out off an assist from Michel Gomez in the 47th minute.
Hernandez was cherry picking near midfield and Elgin goalie Omar Villagomez came out to the football numerals on the field to play a ball. Hernandez intercepted Villagomez’s kick and quickly returned fire back at the net from 40 yards out before the goalie could even get back into position.
Then Hernandez scored on a header off a free kick by Aguilar with 8:41 remaining as the Royals improved to 11-4-4 on the year and 2-0-2 in the Upstate Eight River.
“They gave us a lot of space and we took advantage,” Hernandez said. “They weren’t marking us, so we had to take it.”
“He has a great understanding of the game,” Hall said of Hernandez. “He knows where to be and when he controls the midfield for us we’re hard to beat. And I think he showed that tonight.
“It was by far, not just because of his scoring but controlling the game, his best game all year.”
Hernandez said once the Maroons (8-6-6, 2-2-1) got behind, he noticed a drop in intensity.
“I personally think they gave up after the third goal,” he said. “They didn’t have a leader to push them. They went downhill after the third goal.”
Borg noted the two teams could play again in regionals.
“Our kids are going to come back and they (Larkin) better hope they don’t play us in the playoffs,” he said. “They’re a good team, but I want to see them again.”