WATSEKA — In a Sangamon Valley showdown, St. Joseph-Ogden saved its best for last.
Scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter, the Spartans remained undefeated and dealt their league rival a blow in the process.
“It was a big win for us,” SJ-O coach Dick Duval said. “It got us one step closer to winning a conference championship, which we haven’t done since 2007. It was an important step for us.”
Chase Patton rushed for 271 yards and four touchdowns to help rally the Spartans, who trailed 13-7 at the break.
“Starting off the second half, we tried to pound the ball straight at them,” Duval said. “We methodically did that the whole second half, and Chase was the workhorse.”
“We started off the second half, we tried to pound the ball straight. We methodically did that the whole second half.
“Chase was the workhorse.”
Patton, who had 40 carries, sealed the win with a 29-yard touchdown run.
“Usually he’s not a guy who runs between the tackles, but he did extremely well tonight,” Duval said. “Our offensive line did a great job. I can’t say enough about them.”
Austin Blair led the Warriors with
179 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
BLOOMINGTON — Something had to give when Mahomet-Seymour tangled with Bloomington Central Catholic on Friday night.
The Bulldogs entered the Corn Belt Conference contest on a five-game winning streak. The Saints had won three in a row.
Despite quarterback Joe Kenney’s performance (23-of-44 passing for 306 yards), M-S couldn’t capitalize against its rivals.
“We dropped several balls that we’ve been catching, and that slowed down (our offense) quite a bit,” Bulldogs coach Keith Pogue said. “BCC played with more intensity than we did. I thought our kids hung in there, but BCC is a very good football team.”
The Saints marched down the field on their first possession, scoring on a 36-yard TD pass from Tony Rettick to Cory Hardema. The Bulldogs tied the game in the first quarter on a 31-yard TD pass from Kenney to Jordan Rock.
BCC took a 14-7 lead late in the quarter when Rettick and Hardema hooked up on a 58-yard TD.
M-S had a chance to tie the game late in the first half, when Kenney completed four consecutive passes before he was intercepted at the 1-yard line with 15 seconds left.
“We need to put this behind us and get ready for an outstanding Normal U-High team,” Pogue said.
The Saints turned the ball over four times, but the Bulldogs couldn’t take advantage.
BCC completed the scoring in the third quarter, when Rettick and McKay Moews teamed up on a 20-yard TD pass.
WESTVILLE — On a cold and rainy night, it’s almost a guarantee running backs will have ample opportunities to carry the ball.
Dalton Hilligoss followed through on that theory.
The Westville junior running back rushed for 171 yards on 40 carries and all four Westville touchdowns in the Tigers’ home win against Vermilion Valley Conference foe Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac.
“He’s our workhorse,” Westville coach Guy Goodlove said of Hilligoss, who also added a 43-yard reception on a screen pass for Westville’s only completion in the first half. “He’s a guy that’s got speed on the team. He’s a tough kid. He’s not going to juke you or run around you. He’s going to get those tough yards. The way he was running tonight, we just kept feeding him the ball.”
The game was originally scheduled to take place on the Comets’ home field, but after Westville picked up a forfeit win in its Week 6 home game against Schlarman, the game was moved to the Tigers’ home field.
Westville honored its senior athletes and homecoming court at the game.
“We’re very thankful for that,” Goodlove said. “They didn’t have to do it. They called. It wasn’t us initiating the call. They called us and offered the opportunity for our kids to have a Senior Night. What a class act. That’s something that won’t be forgotten.”
Hanging on to the ball was a problem for both teams in the first half. The teams combined to fumble the ball 11 times, with each team losing the ball three times.
For the game, there were 14 fumbles, with eight lost.
Westville senior defensive lineman Justin Parker recovered two fumbles. Two of Hilligoss’ touchdowns in the first half came on the first play after the Comets either lost a fumble or turned the ball over on downs as a result of a fumble. The other touchdown came at the end of the first quarter two plays after the Comets lost a fumble.
O/A-P’s losing streak reached three games, and its playoff chances took a serious hit with only two games left — at Milford in Week 8 and at home against Salt Fork in Week 9.
“It’s pretty disappointing,” O/A-P coach Jeremy Dirksmeyer said. “We try to regroup as much as possible and get two more. Tonight I just felt like we had so many mistakes and shot ourselves in the foot more than anything else. I don’t think we were that overwhelmed by any means, but we made some costly mistakes at pivotal times.”
O/A-P’s only touchdown came 48 seconds into the game, when senior Ryan Bott recovered a fumble and went 30 yards untouched into the end zone.
“We didn’t get the losers’ limp, and we fought back,” Goodlove said. “When we hung on to the football, I thought we played well.”
Normal U-High 56
NORMAL — The Eagles were held to 130 yards and had four turnovers in the Corn Belt loss. Larry Crayton led Rantoul with 103 yards rushing.
MAROA — The Warriors were held to 30 yards rushing on 27 carries and threw two interceptions in the Okaw Valley defeat. Tristan Williams had an interception for Tuscola, which trailed 31-0 at halftime.
ARGENTA — Cameron Hupp returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown and also rushed for 150 yards and two more scores as the Bombers climbed above .500.
St. Teresa 20
CLINTON — Kye Reczek rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown for the Maroons, who led 12-7 at halftime. Reczek also had six tackles.
Salt Fork 33
GEORGETOWN — Alec Dutton and Max Stutsman returned interceptions for touchdowns, and the Storm took control in the second half.
“The kids are starting to come together,” Salt Fork coach Brian Plotner said. We talked to them about this being the week they had to grow up and mature as far as being varsity players. They showed some good mettle playing a good Georgetown team.”
Taylor Kirby rushed for 90 yards and Seth McLain scored twice for Salt Fork. Drew Collom and Hunter Tharp had eight tackles apiece.
“It was nice to bounce back after the tough loss to Bismarck and a two-week break,” Plotner said. “And we played through the elements pretty well.”
Attica (Ind.) 0
ATTICA, Ind. — Kevin Allen rushed for 166 yards and Patrick Ganley added 160, including an outcome-sealing 25-yard touchdown burst late in the fourth quarter, as the Blue Devils stayed unbeaten despite losing four fumbles.
Austin Reinken sparked the defense with a sack and two tackles for loss. Luke Horton and Dustyn Ingram had interceptions, and Allen had eight tackles. B-H held Attica to 16 total yards.
East Central 14
OAKLAND — Luke Clapp rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns and Preston Skinner added 91 yards rushing and two scores for the Titans. Michael Hudson chipped in 82 yards rushing and a TD for Tri-County, which got 13 tackles apiece from Luke Nash and Zach Hoel.
Villa Grove 41
ARTHUR — The Blue Devils bounced back from their first loss in a big way, getting three touchdown runs from Ryan Pearce. A quick start (Villa Grove led 22-0 at halftime) and a stingy defense were more than enough for the visitors. Jordan Feagin led Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond with 51 yards rushing.
MARTINSVILLE — Omar Rojas returned two punts for touchdowns and rushed for 156 yards and another score to lift the Purple Riders. Zach Moutria added a rushing touchdown and a defensive score as Arcola stayed in the hunt for a playoff bid.
GIBSON CITY — Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley kept its playoff hopes alive as Jesse Boma rushed for 130 yards and returned an interception for one of his three touchdowns. Nick Retherford added 108 yards rushing and Jordyn Schultz scored twice for the Falcons, who led 28-0 after one quarter. Ross Royal had an interception in the win.
LeROY — Shane Bruning’s 265 yards rushing and four touchdowns kept the Panthers in the hunt for a Heart of Illinois title. LeRoy finished with 380 yards rushing, Austin Eddy chipped in with 94.
Bruning also starred on defense, sharing the team lead in tackles (13) with Lane Lindstrom. Eddy had an interception as the Panthers raced to a 22-0 halftime lead against their previously unbeaten opponent.
“We jumped on them early and had a great first half,” LeRoy coach B.J. Zeleznik said.
El Paso-Gridley 12
GRIDLEY — Aaron Carter rushed for two touchdowns and made five tackles to spark the Bunnies. Graham Hortin had a key fourth-quarter sack, and Josh Wallick had two tackles for loss and recovered a blocked punt.
Hans Carmien rushed for 123 yards and Dion Unzicker added 80 for Fisher.
Blue Ridge 6
FARMER CITY — Lexington quarterback Donavan Laible threw for five touchdowns and ran for two more as Lexington ended a 12-game losing streak in a battle of winless teams
Six turnovers cost the host Knights, who got a touchdown from running back Johnny Bruden early in the third period to cut the lead to 30-6.