Football Insider

Football Insider

Each Saturday, prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner will review Friday night's action:


Most improved

Two one-win schools last season, St. Thomas More and Milford, have shown the greatest improvement in 2007. The Sabers are 6-2 and made major strides on defense, cutting last year's points allowed (22.7) to less than half (11.1). The Bearcats are 4-4 under first-year coach Michael Packard, showing what can happen with an outstanding receiver (Ryan Kunce) and a quarterback who can get him the ball (Justin Garrelts).

Playoff outlook

Friday was a tough night for schools trying to clinch playoff berths by winning their sixth game or staying in contention by improving to 4-4. St. Thomas More was the only five-win team to prevail (besides Salt Fork, which won by forfeit) with Ridgeview, Villa Grove and Watseka losing. The three-win teams who had faint hopes had those snuffed out. Bismarck-Henning, Fisher and Iroquois West/Crescent-Iroquois were all defeated. The four-win teams that became playoff eligible by winning No. 5 were Danville, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, Monticello, Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac and Unity.

Receiving attention

There's no shortage of top-flight receivers in the area. Through eight games, 33 different players have been listed as among the five leaders for a particular week. The only ones who have made the list more than twice are Argenta-Oreana senior Nathan Tolbert and Danville sophomore Derrick Cunningham (three times apiece). Cunningham is the only returnee to this week's list.


TIM COLLINS, Unity: Returned opening kickoff to fire up the Rockets and later intercepted a pass.

CHASE VIRE, Georgetown-Ridge Farm: Quarterback tossed game-winning pass in overtime and also collected a career-high 15 tackles.

TYLER SMITH, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley: Junior linebacker had 16 tackles as Falcons held on for a two-point triumph.


Top five rushers

ANDREW BREWER, Mahomet-Seymour: 15 carries, 338 yards, four touchdowns

CALEB PRATT, Westville: 19 carries, 292 yards, seven touchdowns

COREY DOWD, Arthur-Lovington: seven carries, 155 yards, two touchdowns

JUSTIN SCHURING, Arthur-Lovington: 18 carries, 153 yards, two touchdowns

AARON WILLIAMS, Georgetown-Ridge Farm: 16 carries, 143 yards, one touchdown

Top five passers

KENDALL CARTER, Danville: 16 of 32, 263 yards, three touchdowns

BROCK BAKER, Hoopeston Area: 12 of 32, 247 yards, three touchdowns

KENDALL COX, Paxton-Buckley-Loda: 12 of 20, 192 yards, four touchdowns

KYLE EASTHAM, LeRoy: 8 of 12, 186 yards, no touchdowns

SCOTT FIFER, South Piatt: 6 of 13, 184 yards, one touchdown

Top five receivers

DARYL BROWN, Hoopeston Area: seven receptions, 153 yards, three touchdowns

JUSTIN WALSH, South Piatt: three receptions, 128 yards, one touchdown

DAVEON ALLEN, Danville: seven receptions, 111 yards, one touchdown

BRADLEY KLAYER, Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac: two receptions, 93 yards, two touchdowns

DERRICK CUNNINGHAM, Danville: five receptions, 85 yards, one touchdown



The Purple Riders completed their 3-0 sweep in the past eight days by handling Villa Grove handily. Now, quarterback Mark Klinger can concentrate on golf today at state.



After starting out 4-0, the Warriors lost for the third time in the past four weeks.


School, Record

1) Westville (1), 8-0

Won 51-29 at Hoopeston Area.

2) St. Joseph-Ogden (2), 7-0

Postponed vs. Tri-Point; makeup uncertain.

3) Mahomet-Seymour (3), 7-1

Won 64-19 vs. Rantoul.

4) Tuscola (4), 7-1

Won 55-0 at Meridian.

5) Salt Fork (5), 6-2

Won by forfeit from Schlarman.

6) Cerro Gordo/DeLand-Weldon (6), 6-1

Plays today at home at 1:30 p.m. vs. Johnston City.

7) Villa Grove (7), 5-3

Lost 41-12 at Arcola.

8) Unity (8), 5-3

Won 41-13 at Clinton.

9) Centennial (9), 4-4

Lost 10-7 at Mattoon.

10) Arcola (10), 7-1

Won 41-12 vs. Villa Grove.

Sections (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports
Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports

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