SHELBYVILLE — Mitch Negangard, Conner Grace and Justin Deters each rushed for more than 100 yards as the Rockets clinched their fourth consecutive Okaw Valley Black title.
“It’s one of our goals in the offseason — to get that,” Unity coach Scott Hamilton said. “It’s a good league and a good football conference. We feel fortunate to have won four in a row.”
Shelbyville, trying to win a share of the title, drove to the Unity 5 in a scoreless game. But the Rockets stopped the Rams on downs and went 95 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
“From there it went pretty well,” Hamilton said. “Our tough kids hung in there and played through the tough times.”
Unity’s ground game was dominating.
“It starts with the offensive line play,” Hamilton said. “They continue to get better each week.”
The defense wasn’t shabby, either.
Colton Reed had 21/2 sacks, Gage Bolt had two sacks and Negangard had seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
“It was a good way to wrap up the regular season,” Hamilton said.
St. Teresa 22
DECATUR — The Monticello offense has had its ups and downs this season. The Sages are hoping they can keep climbing now that the playoffs are here.
Parker Trice threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns, and Monticello overcame four lost fumbles to win its regular season finale.
The Sages’ offense either struck quickly — three touchdown drives of just one play — or ended in a turnover. Monticello didn’t have to punt until the fourth quarter.
Ryan Donohue and Isaac Bales were on the receiving end of two of those big plays, a 68-yard pass to Donohue and a 65-yard grab by Bales to lead the Sages to a 28-7 halftime advantage.
“I really want to be positive coming out of here because I think we did a lot of good things, but the big mistakes just kill you,” Monticello coach Cully Welter said.
Monticello managed to shrug off early setbacks, capitalizing on big plays in an otherwise-sloppy offensive night for the normally sure-handed Sages. Bales finished with two catches for 72 yards, and Austin Eckerty added six catches for 92 yards.
Welter didn’t forget about the running game as Donohue rushed 19 times for 170 yards and two more TDs.
“Coach really wanted to go half-and-half today with pass and run,” Donohue said. “We’re definitely going to bump up our focus on that in practice. It won’t happen in the playoffs.”
EFFINGHAM — Needing a win to make the playoffs, the Bulldogs got a clutch defensive stand and a pressure-packed kick from Andrew Shroyer in overtime.
“The kids all week knew we didn’t have enough playoff points if we didn’t win tonight,” M-S coach Keith Pogue said. “We would have been turning in our gear.”
After M-S stopped Effingham on downs on the first possession of overtime, Pogue played it conservative knowing he had the reliable Shroyer on hand. The senior didn’t disappoint, drilling a 22-yarder.
“It was his best kick of the year,” Pogue said. “It would have been good from 40.”
Jordan Rock rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown for M-S.
“It was pretty tense,” Pogue said. “But once we stopped them (in overtime), you could feel the energy.”
Normal Community 37
CHAMPAIGN — The winless Maroons struck first on Tion Posey’s first-quarter touchdown run. The Ironmen dominated the rest of the way.
Posey rushed for 45 yards and led Central with three catches for 52 yards.
The last winless season for Champaign was 1896, when the school was
Normal West 44
CHAMPAIGN — In their home finale, the Chargers matched their lowest scoring output of the season in a Big 12 loss to Normal West. Centennial also was held to seven points in its Week 7 loss at Springfield.
GEORGETOWN — Rylee Goodwin connected with Dylan Bina for touchdowns of 68 and 47 yards as the Buffaloes hung on.
G-RF/C excelled in fourth-down situations, stopping Westville four times in the second half.
Derek Shuman had four sacks to finish with 10 tackles.
“The defense played out of their minds tonight,” G-RF/C coach Josh Cavanaugh said. “It was our best defensive effort of the season. Getting them in long-yardage situations was huge for us.”
Salt Fork 7
OAKWOOD — Clayton Fauver returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown as the Storm survived.
“Their kids played extremely well,” Salt Fork coach Brian Plotner said. “We were fortunate to get out of there with a victory, that’s for sure. Hopefully that’s a wakeup call for us.”
Salt Fork was held to 50 yards in offense and four first downs.
Craig Ayers rushed for 96 yards and had 10 tackles to spark the Comets. Skyler Slade also had 10 tackles.
ARGENTA — The Warriors’ streak of three consecutive trips to the state championship game ended a week before the playoffs started.
Taylor Ferrill scored twice, including a game-clinching TD catch late in the third quarter, as Argenta-Oreana got its all-important sixth win.
Tuscola, missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993, got four catches from Nolan Walsh and 67 yards rushing from Austin Sexson.
ST. JOSEPH — St. Joseph-Ogden bounced back from its first loss of the season to clinch the outright Sangamon Valley Conference title.
“Obviously, it wasn’t very pretty,” SJ-O coach Dick Duval said. “We put a lot of different people in there for the first time. They’re bound to make mistakes. We’ve got some work to do, but we’re going into the playoffs. Our record is now 0-0. We’ve just got to be ready to play from the first kick to the last horn.”
Paxton-Buckley-Loda lost its fourth straight game. SJ-O, meanwhile, celebrated a championship.
“We had a share of it, but we wanted to be selfish and keep it all for themselves,” Duval said.
PBL doubled its win total from last season.
“It’s not a good way to end the season,” PBL coach Jeff Graham said. “It’s disappointing, and I think everybody involved is disappointed. What we’re doing here is building a program, and everybody involved can see that we’re going in the right direction. We have great kids that work hard. I wouldn’t trade our kids for anybody. We’re going to build this program back up, and these kids have the work ethic to do that.”
Aaron Woller’s 45-yard punt return for a touchdown opened the scoring with 6:24 left in the second quarter. Taking over for the injured Chase Patton as SJ-O’s main rusher, Austin Hedrick ran 29 times for 145 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
“This year, we’ve been as deep as we’ve ever been at the running back spot,” Duval said. “Austin’s a very capable runner. When Patton got hurt, Austin stepped in. Hopefully, he’s going to carry the load for us for a while.”
PBL’s Weston Weber completed 5 of 11 passes for 72 yards and two interceptions. Drew Schrodt ran for 52 yards and two touchdowns, and Jesse Houtzel gained 42 yards on 12 carries.
Trent Wooten had 81/2 tackles, two sacks and one interception.
“We preached defense for two weeks, and our defense came out and played pretty doggone good,” Graham said. “Our defense held in there, but they capitalized on our mistakes, and we shot ourselves in the foot.”
Iroquois West/T-P 0
WATSEKA — Austin Blair rushed for 238 yards and two touchdowns, Daulton DePatis added 132 yards and two scores, and the Warriors broke open a close game in the second half.
MARTINSVILLE — Tyler Schuring completed 10 of 14 passes for 171 yards and four touchdowns as Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond took over early.
Andy Webb had four catches for 105 yards and three touchdowns. He also starred defensively, the linebacker finishing with 15 tackles. Defensive end Justin Hayes added 12 tackles.
Cerro Gordo 42
CERRO GORDO — Steve Isbell rushed for 300 yards and scored four times as the unbeaten Broncos wrapped up the outright Little Okaw Valley title.
“They gave us a heck of a game,” Cerro Gordo coach Andy Kerley said. “Going into the playoffs we needed a challenge and they gave us one. They played well, but we played a little better.”
Dee Woods added 145 yards rushing and an 85-yard touchdown grab for the Broncos. Cole Blickensderfer was 3-of-6 passing for 160 yards.
Zach Moutria rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns for the Purple Riders.
Villa Grove 41
East Central 0
VILLA GROVE — John Henson rushed for 143 yards and Terrion Price and Shane Frick each scored twice as the Blue Devils did all their scoring in the first half. Frick and Bjorn Oberg each had seven tackles and Jake Reifsteck had an interception in the win.
Henderson was 4-of-8 passing for 75 yards and two touchdowns.
FISHER — Nick Retherford scored twice and Jesse Boma and Jordyn Schultz added touchdowns for Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, which dominated defensively.
“In the second half, we held them to minus-1 yard,” GCMS coach Mike Allen said. “We rallied to the ball and played awesome defense.”
DOWNS — The Panthers won their first Heart of Illinois title with a dominant second half, scoring 28 points to break open a close game. Shane Bruning scored three touchdowns and became LeRoy’s career rushing leader with a 241-yard performance.
“It was one of those nights when everything we prepared for on defense worked,” Panthers coach B.J. Zeleznik said. “We struggled in the first half offensively, then made a couple of minor tweaks at halftime and every-
thing worked. I’m very proud of our