The News-Gazette's weekly look at prep football:
Klinger pulling double duty
Arcola's stretch of three games in eight days is taking a toll on its players so far, but none more so than quarterback Mark Klinger. Klinger, who also plays golf for Arcola, has been a busy teenager.
He played in Friday night's 49-16 win against East Central, then played in Saturday's golf sectional in Tuscola, where he shot a 76 and qualified for state. On Friday, he will tee off at 9:15 in the Class 1A state finals in Bloomington, then drive to Arcola after his round and get ready for the Purple Riders' Little Okaw Valley Conference showdown against Villa Grove. Then he'll head back to Bloomington on Saturday morning to compete in the final round of the state golf tournament.
"The two (football) games have been easier than I expected so far because we got up big in both games so a lot of us got to rest, but I'm tired, very tired," he said. "It's been a lot of fun. We're coming down the stretch in both football and golf, so it has been tough, but definitely fun."
Freshman steps right in
When state-ranked Westville needed to make a quarterback change last week, because of disciplinary reasons, coach Guy Goodlove promoted freshman Matt Maser. He was untested at the varsity level, but not overall. He'd led the freshman and junior varsity squads to unbeaten starts.
"He's a difference-maker, a play-maker at those levels," Goodlove said. "We didn't have the entire playbook in, but there were very few plays he had to ask what to do. He showed me he had been paying attention."
Maroons come out ready
The defense has been a staple for Champaign Central's success this season.
And that defense is ready from the opening kickoff.
Central has allowed 120 points – none in the first quarter. And they've done it against some of the Big 12 Conference's best: Normal Community, Mattoon, Bloomington and Normal West.
"We've got guys that can play," Central coach Dave Jacobs said. "Our defense plays better when our offense is producing, too."
The Maroons host Danville on Friday in a contest between two 4-3 teams that need a victory to become playoff eligible.
With Tuscola's loss last week to Maroa-Forsyth, the area's longest regular season football winning streaks belong to Westville (22 games) and St. Joseph-Ogden (19 games).