Week 7 football roundup: Central wins wild one
Champaign Central 58
CHAMPAIGN — Clark Browning scored two touchdowns — including a 67-yard interception return — as the Maroons celebrated homecoming in style. Browning added 12 tackles, teaming with Noah Lessaris (nine tackles, one sack) to pressure the Green Wave.
Mitchell Baker completed 11 of 17 passes for 153 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. Tim Turner rushed for 185 yards on 13 carries — scoring three times — for the Maroons, who pulled away with 27 points in the fourth quarter.
"We have to learn to play some defense," Central coach Ira Jefferson said. "The kids came out and executed on offense. We just need to tighten it up."
The Maroons remained alive for a playoff bid.
"I told the kids it's a three-game season," Jefferson said. "This was Step 1. Now it's on to Step 2 (Danville). We can do it."
DANVILLE — Decatur MacArthur scored first and last, but Danville's state-ranked Vikings put up 43 consecutive points in between and secured their sixth consecutive playoff berth with a Big 12 Conference win at Whitesell Field.
Part of what Danville coach B.J. Luke saw in the first quarter was what he expected.
"They came out physical," he said. "We were preparing for them to throw, but they were the first team to really come right at us with the run game. It caught us off guard on the first series, but after that our kids gathered themselves."
The Generals' running attack was stymied in the middle quarters thanks in part "to our run stoppers, the freshman (Darrien Rose) and Aaron Hardiman," Luke said.
When MacArthur went to its passing game, linebacker Guy Rowell led the surge. "We were able to get pressure on them," Luke said.
MacArthur finished with 176 total yards of offense.
Quarterback Dennis Hightower led the Vikings with 163 yards rushing, scoring touchdowns on three of his 20 carries. He passed for 93 yards on three completions, one of which was a TD.
Normal West 49
NORMAL — Big 12 leader Normal West jumped on the Tigers early.
"We had a slow start and couldn't dig ourselves out," Urbana coach Nathan Watson said. "You can't do that against good teams. We fought to the end."
Cameron Mammen and Dominick Mosley each scored twice for the Tigers, who scored 24 fourth-quarter points. Mammen was 13 of 20 for 192 yards to go with 73 yards rushing. Marcus Hendricks had seven catches for 150 yards. Shemarke Pettigrew had 10 tackles.
BLOOMINGTON — Trequon Peacock returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown in the Chargers' Big 12 road loss.
Taylen Alexander completed 17 of 34 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. He added 29 yards rushing on four rushes.
His favorite targets were Jansin Garth (three catches for 119 yards and a TD) and Kolt Skelton (four catches, one TD).
MAHOMET — Late turnovers cost Mahomet-Seymour its perfect season, but Bulldogs coach Keith Pogue said his team's goals remain intact.
"If we can gather up the troops and come back next week, we still can be co-Corn Belt champs," Pogue said.
The fifth-ranked Bulldogs (Class 5A) led 17-13 in the third quarter after Clay Kibler's great catch capped an 84-yard drive, but Bloomington Central Catholic capitalized in the fourth quarter.
"We really had them where we wanted them. It was one of those games. Whoever made mistakes was going to come up on the short end," Pogue said.
Chase Diedrich gained 109 yards on 21 carries, but he didn't score a touchdown for the first game this season.
M-S quarterback Brad Izatt went 7 of 21 for 118 yards, but he was intercepted twice.
"It was a super hard-fought game, and our kids gave all that they could. We fought the whole time, but we just came up short," Pogue said.
Daniel Roberson led M-S' defensive effort with four tackles, and he stripped the ball and ran it back for a touchdown.
Kyle Dollahon had 16 tackles, and Austin Armetta added 15.
Normal U-High 42
RANTOUL — The Eagles' defense held the Normal U-High passing game in check in the first half. The feet of Pioneers senior quarterback Kyle Morris, however, proved too elusive for Rantoul on the Eagles' homecoming night.
Morris completed 7 of 23 for 97 passing yards. Rantoul senior Jackson Carver intercepted two passes to push his season total to eight, but Morris rushed for 193 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns in the opening two quarters. The win clinched a playoff berth for U-High while Rantoul lost its third straight game.
Morris finished with those totals, with U-High head coach and former Tuscola standout quarterback Dusty Burk electing to rest his starter with Rantoul trailing 30-0 at halftime.
"I was actually kind of disappointed with our offense," Burk said. "We had a couple miscues in our passing game that we need to clean up for next week. I did think he did a really nice job running the ball, but we need to be a balanced attack, and I didn't think we were tonight."
The Eagles had trouble moving the ball, and five turnovers in the first half did not help matters. Rantoul finished with seven, with U-High intercepting senior quarterback Terry Deaville four times. Deaville, the area's passing leader, finished 16 of 36 for 168 yards.
Junior Chris Deaville had six catches for 62 yards, and junior Cord Church had four catches for 67 yards.
"You can't win a game if you turn the ball over seven times," Rantoul coach Shane Carter said. "Terry was running for his dear life."
LeROY — Josh Weier rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers.
FISHER —Deon Unzicker ran for 102 yards and a score for the Bunnies, who trailed 7-3 in the second quarter. Hans Carmein had 14 tackles.
"We had a good week of practice; we just didn't come out and execute," Fisher coach Matt Leng said. "We have to lick our wounds and get back to the drawing table and get healthy and get our minds right for the next game."
GIBSON CITY — The Falcons bounced back from a loss to rival Fisher.
South Piatt 20
ARCOLA — Omar Rojas rushed for 326 yards on 35 carries and scored five touchdowns to spark the Purple Riders.
OAKLAND — Luke Clapp rushed for 234 yards and passed for 99 yards — scoring four touchdowns — as the Titans rallied from a 13-0 deficit.
Doug Findley scored touchdowns on each of his three catches totaling 74 yards.
Tyler Schuring threw for two touchdowns in the loss.
Cerro Gordo/D-W 34
Villa Grove 27
CERRO GORDO — The surging Broncos won their fourth in a row to stay on pace to win at least a share of the Little Okaw Valley Conference title.
"If we take care of our own business, we may be looking at a conference title," coach Andy Kerley said. "That's our focus now."
Dee Woods rushed for 207 yards and five touchdowns as the Broncos rallied from a 21-6 hole.
"We came back and played a great game," Kerley said.
Cody Woollen added 172 yards rushing for Cerro Gordo, which rallied despite completing one pass.
St. Thomas More 49
PAXTON — Paxton-Buckley-Loda was determined to stop St. Thomas More's running game. That was just fine with Kevin Carroll and the Sabers.
The junior receiver had five catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns — all in the first half — as St. Thomas More took an important step toward the playoffs.
"They gave us some room, so we started to throw," Sabers coach Dan Hennessey said. "It looked like right off the bat they were concentrating on stopping our run, which they did. They did a very nice job stopping the run, but then we went to the air."
St. Thomas More ran for 45 yards on 16 carries in the first half, but sophomore quarterback Storm Joop stepped up. He completed 8 of 12 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns, with all of it coming before halftime as his team built a 22-0 lead at the break. Joop's third score was a 20-yard first-quarter pass to Pierre Tuell.
"Our game plan was to stop the run because (running back Paul) Comet the last two or three games tore it up pretty good," PBL coach Jeff Graham said. "We were bound and determined to stop the run, and Carroll came alive and we didn't cover well."
"If any of our wideouts get single coverage, it's good," Hennessey added.
The Sabers were strong in every facet of the game as the defense allowed 174 yards on the night, and 230-pound defensive lineman Travis Whitley blocked a third-quarter punt by PBL, then picked it up himself and rumbled 32 yards for a touchdown.
"We were not going punt block, but he just broke through," Hennessey said. "I was kind of amazed at that."
St. Thomas More finished with 330 yards of total offense. Comet rushed for 46 yards on 14 carries, and Austin Maltbia added 44 rushing yards.
PBL was led by senior fullback Eddie Nuss, who rushed for 69 yards on 13 carries and had 20 receiving yards. The Panthers were hurt by five turnovers and a snap on a punt through the end zone that gave the Sabers a safety for an early 2-0 first-quarter lead.
Clifton Central 53
Iroquois W./TP 0
CLIFTON — The Raiders fell behind 40-0 at halftime.
St. Joseph-Ogden 28
ST. JOSEPH — St. Joseph-Ogden's bid for a 21st consecutive playoff berth remains a possibility after a strong defensive effort.
The Spartans' Chase Patton keyed the homecoming victory with a 66-yard interception return and a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.
"I was pretty well pleased. We did a decent job defending and not letting them downfield on big plays," Spartans coach Dick Duval said.
Patton understood the significance of the victory.
"We knew we had to have this game, and we came together as a team and got the 'W,' " Patton said. "This is a big win for us; we have a lot of motivation now."
SJ-O marched into the red zone early and capitalized against Watseka. Patton went 25 yards to set up the Spartans at the 9-yard line, but two consecutive penalties pushed SJ-O back to the 31. On second down, Spartans quarterback Blake Hoveln connected on a jump ball with wideout Aaron Woller.
Corbin Hesterberg led SJ-0's defense. In the second quarter, Hesterberg picked up a fumble and later pressured Watseka quarterback Shane Schneider, who was intercepted by Logan Carr. The defensive lineman hustled 28 yards to the end zone to double SJ-O's advantage just before halftime.
Watseka employed its wildcat offense in the third quarter, and it paid dividends when running back Austin Blair took a direct snap 69 yards to the end zone.
Patton's interception with 43 seconds left sealed the Spartans' victory.
Hoopeston Area 29
BISMARCK — Caleb Bergman passed for 177 yards and two touchdowns as B-H scored 50 first-half points. Kevin Allen rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown, Adam Baker had 128 yards receiving and Morgan Supergan had 11 tackles, including two sacks.
WESTVILLE — Shane Overshiner rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers, who were sparked by Johnny Sullivan's 90-yard return of the opening kickoff.
"Tooth and nail all the way," Westville coach Guy Goodlove said. "It could have gone either way, but in the end we found a way to win."
Kyle Brazas completed 7 of 16 passes for 100 yards. Jon Hoepner had three catches for 45 yards. Dakottah Burke had 10 tackles.
Ryan Strange had two touchdowns for the Comets, including an 85-yarder.