Week 4 — That's a wrap: Centennial, Danville put up good fight
Normal Comm. 42
NORMAL — Sophomore quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald threw two first-quarter touchdown passes, helping the Chargers into a 14-14 tie after 12 minutes, but the Ironmen scored four successive TDs in the middle two quarters.
Aaron Quinn and Steven Lee hauled in the early scoring strikes from Fitzgerald, who passed for 135 yards. The final Centennial score was on a 12-yard Fitzgerald-to-Dustin Walls pass.
Centennial was outgained 436-206 and was held to 71 yards rushing.
Normal West 49
NORMAL — Trent Sherfield passed for four touchdowns — two to Steven Williams — and rushed for two more scores, but the Vikings fell to sixth-ranked (Class 6A) Normal West.
Danville trailed 35-12 at halftime but regrouped for a 39-35 lead in the fourth quarter. The go-ahead points came when Sherfield hooked up with Chris Collier on a 10-yard scoring strike.
The Wildcats scored twice in the final 3 1/2 minutes to rally.
"We had a shot at winning that thing," Danville coach B.J. Luke said. "I was real pleased with the effort. Mentally, we're about as healthy as a 1-3 team can be.
"We have a chance to be pretty decent by the end of the season."
Sherfield's play came on the heels of a 326-yard second half a week earlier at Centennial.
"Trent is as good as we thought he would be," Luke said. "Our receivers are catching balls, and that helps us move the chains."
CHAMPAIGN — The Maroons remained winless as Bloomington bounced back from last week's loss to Urbana.
"The biggest thing that came out of the game tonight is our kids played hard and kept their heads up," Maroons coach Brett Roberts said. "That was the big positive that came out of it.
"Bloomington is a pretty good football team with a lot of size and speed, and they overmatched us with those two traits."
RANTOUL — If every opponent was Olympia, the Rantoul football team might enjoy a few more Friday nights.
The Eagles knocked off the winless Spartans at Bill Walsh Field to pick up their first victory of the season. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak for Rantoul, dating to last year's lone win against — you guessed it — Olympia in Week 4, a 45-18 triumph. It also gave coach Joe Bendoraitis his first win.
"The last couple weeks when things haven't gone well, we've got a tendency to put our tail between our legs and our heads down," Bendoraitis said. "Our guys didn't do that tonight. ... We're hoping that's something that we can establish and is going to stick for the rest of the season."
Eagles quarterback Tim Morgan, receiver Chris Deaville and safety Charles Cargo made sure it was a memorable night.
Morgan hit Deaville in stride for an 82-yard touchdown pass to give Rantoul a 19-14 lead.
"I just had to put forth the effort as we need, as Coach says," Morgan said. "The effort brought us a winner."
With Olympia driving and in Rantoul territory with less than two minutes left, Cargo made a one-handed tackle of Olympia receiver Rickie McKown's jersey at the Eagles' 25-yard line. Cargo fell on the ball, setting off an uproarious celebration along the Rantoul sidelines and in the stands. After the game, the Eagles rushed toward the student section in the north end zone, and many players had a hard time controlling their emotions after the game.
"It's amazing," Cargo said. "I love this feeling. The first thing I thought about was making the tackle, and then I saw the ball. It was just instinct. I wanted the ball so bad."
Cargo's recovery with 1:04 left in the game allowed Rantoul to escape with its first home win since 2010. Morgan was a big reason why as he finished 5-of-6 passing for 149 yards, with Deaville making two receptions for 101 yards.
Senior fullback Larry Crayton added 129 rushing yards on 14 carries, scoring Rantoul's first two touchdowns.
"We were just tired of losing," Morgan said. "Everybody knew we wanted to win, so we just had to put forth the effort. We didn't do this for one person. We did this for one another."
PONTIAC — Clinging to a one-score lead, Mahomet-Seymour scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away for a Corn Belt victory.
"We knew they were going to challenge us," said coach Keith Pogue, whose Bulldogs took a 20-12 lead into the final period. "They made us earn every inch. We had to fight and claw for everything we got."
M-S, which never trailed, gained some breathing room when Cully Day caught a 5-yard scoring pass from Joe Kenney. After Zach Moore converted the PAT kick, the Bulldogs led 27-12. Just before the TD, Pogue called a timeout to make clear how he wanted the play carried out.
"We adjusted the (pass) pattern," he said. "We wanted to make sure everybody understood the play. We normally don't run that play that close to the goal line.
"Joe make a great throw and Day beat the corner(back) on the slant."
M-S later settled all doubt about the outcome with its fifth TD of the game on a 23-yard run by Tyler Francisco..
With the score 20-12, M-S twice was foiled on fourth-down attempts near midfield, including a fake punt.
"I've got great confidence in my defense," Pogue said. "They came up big again tonight. I put our defense in the hole two times in the middle of the field and they responded like champions."
Kenney finished with three TD passes, including tosses of 10 and 41 yards to Matt Turner.
ARGENTA — Subbing for injured Mitch Negangard, Conner Grace rushed for 165 yards and four touchdowns as the Rockets bounced back from their first loss.
Grace scored on two short runs in the third quarter as Unity rallied from a 20-15 deficit.
"Grace stepped in and made some really good plays," Unity coach Scott Hamilton said.
Justin Deters had 174 yards rushing to hold off the previously unbeaten Bombers.
"At the beginning of the game, I knew they would come out emotional," Hamilton said. "We talked about staying together for four quarters."
Gage Eller passed for 206 yards for Argenta-Oreana.
MAROA — Monticello's offense failed to capitalize on strong field position in the second half as Maroa-Forsyth's defense held the Sages scoreless after the break.
Monticello couldn't overcome an early 14-0 deficit despite holding Maroa-Forsyth without a first down the entire third quarter.
Quarterback Parker Trice scored the Sages' lone touchdown on a 2-yard run.
Jack Hockaday scored all three TDs for Maroa-Forsyth. The sophomore quarterback had rushing scores of 1, 1 and 15 yards.
WATSEKA — Austin Blair (102 yards rushing) and Daulton DePatis (91) combined for three TDs as the Warriors held on.
"We're a gutty little team," Watseka coach Steve Lucas said.
PBL, which committed four turnovers, trailed 21-6.
"We got down early, but we fought back," Paxton-Buckley-Loda coach Jeff Graham said. "I'm so proud of these kids for continuing to fight."
Drew Schrodt had 143 yards rushing and Jesse Houtzel added 84 as the Panthers totaled 246 on the ground.
"Our offensive line did a real good job of executing, and Drew and Jesse ran really hard," Graham said.
Blue Ridge 28
FARMER CITY — Hans Carmien rushed for 241 yards and three scores to lead the Bunnies to their first win of the season. After allowing Blue Ridge to score first, Fisher built leads of 20-7 after one quarter, 47-20 at halftime and 54-20 entering the final period.
Fisher's Aaron Carter contributed 156 yards rushing. Brody Farrar threw for 100 yards and two TDs, both to Grant Pointer.
Clifton Central 7
CLIFTON — Chase Patton scored on a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter as St. Joseph-Ogden rallied on the road.
Bryce Stewart's 38-yard third-down reception set up Patton's game-winner.
"At halftime, we knew we had played poorly but we were only down 7-0," SJ-O coach Dick Duval said. "We knew if we kept plugging away we could stay in the game."
Dalton Walsh's 1-yard plunge tied it up in the third quarter. Walsh completed 19 of 30 passes for 186 yards. Louis Acklin and Aaron Woller each had five catches.
"We had trouble moving the ball in the first half," Duval said. "They were so big up front."
MOMENCE — The Sabers turned the ball over six times, including five on fumbles, in a lopsided road loss. The Sabers trailed 16-0 after one quarter and 42-8 at halftime.
Nate Stringer, who finished with 91 yards on 11 carries, produced STM's lone score on a 3-yard run in the second quarter.
The Saber defense had no answer for Momence running back DeAndre Wright, who piled up 202 yards on 12 carries.
Salt Fork 16
SIDELL — Austin Ringis kicked a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to lift the Storm to a home win.
"Austin Ringis and the whole kicking unit did a great job," Salt Fork coach Brian Plotner said.
The Storm trailed 14-7 at halftime before mounting a comeback that began with Seth McLain's 23-yard TD run in the third quarter. When the PAT kick failed, Milford remained ahead 14-13.
Milford's scores came on a 4-yard TD reception by Alex Rabe and a 47-yard run by Devon Laubscher.
Dec. Lutheran 13
FITHIAN —The Comets scored 21 third-quarter points to take command in a home win. Ahead 16-7 at halftime, O/A-P pulled away on touchdown runs of 29 and 2 yards by Zach Horatschki and a 2-yard score by Parker Lee.
Horatschki finished with 97 yards rushing, while teammate Brandon Harding added 66 ground yards and Lee had 57. Davin Miles of the Comets rushed for 52 yards and scored on a 61-yard punt return in the second quarter.
Craig Ayers racked up 15 stops for O/A-P.
St. Teresa 2
TUSCOLA — The Warriors got back on track for a playoff berth with a defense-fueled victory. Dustin Haake had eight tackles for Tuscola, while Cole Evans and Austin Beniach contributed seven apiece.
Austin Sexson rushed for 104 yards including a 15-yard TD run in the first quarter that gave the Warriors the lead for good. Eli Kauffman contributed 52 yards on the ground.
Tuscola's second TD came on a 31-yard interception return by Zach Bates in the fourth quarter with 2:41 left.
Normal U-High 34
Prairie Central 30
FAIRBURY — Addison Bounds passed for 186 yards and two touchdowns, but a late Hawks' rally fell short.
Villa Grove 44
VILLA GROVE — Ryan Pearce starred on offense (206 yards rushing), defense (two interceptions) and special teams (34-yard punt return for one of his four touchdowns) as the Blue Devils took control early. Jerrod Derby had six tackles, and John Henderson had a 34-yard scoring run.
East Central 0
CERRO GORDO — Steve Isbell took the game's opening kickoff for a TD and the Broncos didn't look back. Isbell scored four times, including a 22-yard interception return, and rushed for 75 yards. Dee Woods added 62 yards rushing, and Cole Blickensderfer passed for two scores.
"We knew we needed to play up to our level and get after it a little bit," Cerro Gordo coach Andy Kerley said. "And we did get after it."
ARCOLA — Zack Moutria rushed for 198 yards and Omar Rojas added 91 as the Purple Riders rolled on the ground (291 yards) in a Little Okaw Valley win.
GIBSON CITY — After Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley's Jordyn Schultz returned a first-quarter kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, Ridgeview took control. Schultz led the Falcons with 62 yards rushing. Zach Walker led the Mustangs with 164 yards rushing.