Friday night roundup (9/27): Falcons return favor
TUSCOLA — Nick Bates was 11-of-14 passing for 220 yards and three touchdowns as the Warriors finished with a strong second half. Bates hooked up with Austin Martin, Zach Bates and Tristan Williams for scoring receptions — and the defense did the rest.
Nick Bates and Stephen Gibson each had a tackle for loss, and Cole Evans had 10 tackles for the Warriors.
Sullivan/Okaw Valley 0
SULLIVAN — Following a 48-7 loss to Maroa-Forsyth last week that Unity coach Scott Hamilton called “humiliating and humbling,” the Rockets bounced back in a big way.
Conner Grace ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns, and Taylor White guided the Unity offense in Justin Deters’ stead in a shutout victory.
“It was good to get back out there and kind of get momentum turned back around,” Hamilton said. “It was a long, humiliating, humbling week for us. I’m happy for our kids.”
Hamilton was especially pleased with receiver Darian Goembel.
“We got sparked by one of the kids we’ve been tough on all week — receiver Darian Goembel,” Hamilton said. “We need some of these other guys to make some plays. Tonight, he really stepped up for us.”
Goembel had a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown to open the scoring and “a nice, diving catch on third down,” Hamilton said.
White, who also played safety, ran for 100 yards.
“Him stepping in and handling the quarterback role and getting our offense going was a big key for us.”
The next two weeks will be key for the Rockets, who face St. Teresa and Monticello.
“We realize this being the last run for the Okaw, we want to see if we can go out with another conference championship, and tonight was a start for that,” Hamilton said.
Iroquois West 27
GILMAN — Austin Hedrick rushed for 289 yards and four touchdowns as St. Joseph-Ogden kept it on the ground for the road win.
“Our offensive line, they were making pretty good holes, so we kept running the ball,” SJ-O coach Dick Duval said.
The Spartans, coming off a disheartening loss to Clifton Central, attempted five passes. Hedrick did the rest, rushing 42 times.
“He’s pretty sore right now,” Duval said. “He’s a tough kid, an all-state wrestler.
“We kept giving him the ball, and it seemed to work.”
Jake Stewart returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown for the Spartans, who allowed Iroquois West to stay within striking distance because of shoddy tackling.
“We didn’t tackle well at the end,” Duval said. “That’s a worry.”
GIBSON CITY — A year after losing by a point to Paxton-Buckley-Loda, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley got the upper hand in this installment of the Ford County rivalry.
Tyler Hinshaw ran for 124 yards on eight carries. He scored on a 40-yard run with 5:59 left in the second quarter to put GCMS up 14-0 and tallied what would be the game-winning touchdown on a 65-yard scamper with 1:35 left in the third.
Ross Royal (9-of-15 passing for 98 yards) hooked up with Aaron Thomason for an early touchdown. Thomason caught three passes for 53 yards.
“Our kids executed our game plan to perfection,” GCMS coach Mike Allen said. “Tyler hasn’t gotten the ball that much through the first few games, and that’s been my fault. (Friday night), we have him the ball, and he responded well.”
Hinshaw’s game-winning touchdown ended a 20-0 run by PBL, as Tyson Snyder scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter before Payton Dudley received a 14-yard scoring pass from Weston Weber in the third to tie the game at 14.
Weber’s 9-yard touchdown run put PBL ahead 20-14.
Weber completed 2 of 6 passes for 34 yards and ran for 67 more on 17 carries, while Drew Schrodt ran 20 times for 162 yards. The Panthers’ last drive ended on an interception by Hinshaw near midfield with 2:15 remaining.
“We didn’t do a very good job of tackling,” PBL coach Jeff Graham said. “We had a lot of mistakes, and when you play good teams, you can’t do that.
“But I don’t want to take anything away from GCMS. I give a lot of credit to them. They had a game plan and executed it well. They showed their speed and their athleticism.”
DOWNS — Fisher’s unbeaten run ended in a hurry, the state-ranked Vikings jumping to an early lead.
“They’re awfully good, every bit as good as advertised,” Fisher coach Matt Leng said.
The Vikings got two long touchdown runs from senior running back Branden Herman.
The Bunnies got a 63-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brody Farrar to tight end Billy Fairfield to open the third quarter. Linebacker Jacob Franklin and defensive lineman Justin Unzicker recovered fumbles deep in Vikings territory.
Conrad Thomas had 12 carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns.
“We played pretty inspired football in the second half,” Leng said. “We battled, we fought hard and we did the best we could in the second half. Now we have to bounce back and get ready for homecoming next week.”
CLINTON — Quarterback Sam Parrish threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Sages stayed perfect.
The Sages were crisp on offense, scoring on their first four offensive possessions and found the end zone six of their seven opportunities in the first half.
After Clay Becker opened the scoring with a 17-yard touchdown run in the game’s opening minutes, Parrish found Josh Burton in the front corner of the end zone for an 11-yard score. Then it was tight end Colton Gibson’s turn, hauling in two touchdown catches, one from 4 yards out and another from 19 yards.
“We didn’t overlook the opponent this week like we did in Warrensburg,” Parrish said. “We had a real good week in practice. We were throwing and catching balls. The line was really good. That kind of boosted my confidence a little bit and made me come out a little bit more relaxed.”
Running backs Dylan Knisley (40 yards) and Matt Justus (52, 11) scored the other three touchdowns for Monticello. The Clinton offense struggled for the second week in a row, finally reaching the end zone late in the fourth quarter on a Caleb Luck 25-yard TD run.
Luck finished with 99 yards on nine carries.
After recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the Maroons scored again one play later, a 31-yard pass by running back Mason Dial to Eli Logue.
Clifton Central 35
St. Thomas More 10
CLIFTON — The Sabers kicked a field goal on their opening drive. Then the Comets took over.
“They shut us down,” Sabers coach Dan Hennessey said. “We tried to run, we tried to pass, we tried to spread them out ..”
Freshman Josh Parker rushed 18 times for 174 yards and a touchdown for the Sabers.
The Sabers host SJ-O for homecoming next week.
“That’s enough fuel to get you going,” Hennessey said. “Plus you’re 3-2, so you have to get back in the saddle and get back in the playoffs.”
LeROY — Defensive miscues proved to be the difference in LeRoy’s homecoming loss at McKean Field.
Lane Lindstrom had 141 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers.
“We had some breakdowns defensively that cost us,” LeRoy coach B.J. Zeleznik said. “It wasn’t a lack of effort. I thought we played incredibly hard and incredibly physical. We did some really nice things offensively. Defensively, we just had too many breakdowns.”
The Panthers completed 6 of 18 passes for 88 yards. But Heyworth’s Kyle Schultz put up 140 yards on 14 carries that helped lead the Hornets to their fourth victory.
“Obviously, we are a ball-control team. It was going to be a matter of who got the lead first and then controlled the clock, and they did a nice job of that,” Zeleznik said.
Cerro Gordo 41
CERRO GORDO — The unbeaten Broncos got big-time performances from Steve Isbell (15 carries for 186 yards) and Dee Woods (nine carries for 151 yards and three touchdowns).
Cole Blickensderfer passed for two touchdowns.
GEORGETOWN — Troy Rodriguez rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns, including a 2-yard burst that sealed the homecoming win. Rodriguez also broke up a late pass attempt to thwart a Comets drive.
“We got a great game out of Rodriguez,” G-RF coach Josh Cavanaugh said. “All eight of our offensive linemen made great contributions.
“This was extra special because we didn’t have a homecoming game last year.”
Dylan Bina had 76 yards rushing and seven tackles. Dakota Chapman had nine tackles and Jake Osborne (three tackles for loss) and Matt Penry (two tackles for loss) also sparked the defense.
Prairie Central 27
FAIRBURY — Matt Hartke rushed for 131 yards, Ed Shafer had two sacks and the Hawks held on.
DECATUR — Trent Sherfield accounted for all four of Danville’s first-half touchdowns as the Vikings took a 27-0 lead en route to a Big 12 win.
Sherfield started the scoring with a 25-yard pass to Chris Collier and then ran into the end zone three times. The Danville starters played one series after intermission.
“We got a lot of kids a chance to play, and it was nice that we kept them out of the end zone,” Danville coach B.J. Luke said.
DECATUR — Decatur MacArthur converted a key fourth-down attempt with three minutes left and ran out the clock.
“They had fourth and 2, and we had the kid wrapped up and he pitched the ball to the quarterback. We had him, too, and he made a forward pass to another kid for the first down,” Central coach Nate Albaugh said. “It was a chaotic play.”
The Maroons fell behind 14-0 and trailed 21-12 in the fourth quarter before Toby Rivera scored on a fourth-down plunge.
“They got us down early, and the kids could have let it get out of hand,” Albaugh said. “But they regrouped and they battled and they fought back. There’s not a lot of quit in them.”
Rivera had 160 yards rushing on 27 carries as the Maroons pounded the Generals on the ground. Central had 21 first downs and 267 yards of total offense.
Nick Glenn was 3-of-6 passing for 26 yards.
ARTHUR — Tyler Schuring passed for 101 yards and three touchdowns, Jordan Feagin scored on two long touchdowns and Logan West had nine tackles for Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond.
Villa Grove 34
VILLA GROVE — John Henderson rushed for 148 yards and Noah Palmer had 119 yards receiving as the Blue Devils pulled away in the second half.
Austin Hubbart rushed for 93 yards and two touchdowns and also caught five passes for 55 yards. Henderson completed 14 of 23 passes for 184 yards.
Terrion Price led Villa Grove/Heritage with nine tackles. Tanner Bergner had eight.
WESTVILLE — Jeff Thompson rushed for two touchdowns as the Tigers rolled.
Jacob Marquez threw for 111 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown pass to Josh Marquez, for the Bearcats. Devon Laubscher added a 35-yard touchdown run in the loss.