Purple Riders keep rolling

ARCOLA – The good old days of winning football appear to be back at Arcola.

Senior quarterback Mark Klinger completed a busy Friday by running for 81 yards and three touchdowns and passing for another 161 to lead the Purple Riders to a 41-12 Little Okaw Valley Conference win against Villa Grove. Klinger had shot a 78 in the first round of the Class A state golf tournament at Prairie Vista in Bloomington earlier in the day.

Dooley, Sages clicking

SHELBYVILLE – Kyle Dooley capped a five-touchdown outburst with a 35-yard interception return in the third quarter, leading Monticello to a 42-12 Okaw Valley Conference victory against Shelbyville on Friday.

Dooley rushed for 141 yards on 18 carries and scored on runs of 10, 59, 8 and 15 yards.

No letdown for Wienke, Warriors

MACON – So much for a potential losing streak.

Tyler Carter returned the game's opening kickoff 79 yards and found the end zone three more times as No. 2 Tuscola hammered host Meridian 55-0 on Friday.

Ray, Gallivan rally Sabers for playoff berth

CHAMPAIGN – Holding a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, St. Thomas More seemingly was cruising to its first playoff berth since 2003.

Then came a controversial call and a botched punt attempt.

Vikings eye playoffs

CHAMPAIGN – Derrius Hightower proved that not all of Danville High School's big-play performers are on the offensive unit.

The senior linebacker officially ended Champaign Central's hopes for a football victory on Friday as the Vikings became playoff-eligible by rallying from a two-touchdown deficit to top the Maroons 27-20 at Tommy Stewart Field.

Sterling junior commits to Illinois

CHAMPAIGN - In the wake of a sudden and promising recruiting haul, it turns out that one of Illinois' more influential recruiters was one of its recruits.

"D.J. (Richardson) played a big part in getting the other two guys," said Sterling coach Peter Goff, whose standout junior Joseph Bertrand committed to Illinois on Thursday night. "D.J. was a pretty good recruiter, as well. He told Joseph, 'Let's get this thing going.'"

Tate: 'We're ahead of schedule'

CHAMPAIGN – Football is once again the engine driving the Illini train, and the hot non-secret is that Illini football coach Ron Zook soon will be locked into a lucrative, long-term contract.

"We have talked," UI athletic director Ron Guenther said. "Ron wants to stay, and we'll have an announcement very soon. We've made significant steps in extending that contract, and I'll be discussing it further with (chancellor) Richard Herman today (Thursday). We're pretty much completed."

Countdown to Iowa: 1 day

That's the fact:

Sages senior Barr continues to raise her game

MONTICELLO – For Chelsea Barr, there is only one appropriate grading scale to evaluate her performance on the volleyball court.

It's pass or fail.

Champaign Central Hall of Fame

Four athletes and a coach will be inducted into the Champaign Central High School Hall of Fame at Saturday's "C" Club Alumni Reunion Dinner at Lincolnshire Fields Country Club (5:30 p.m. start; for information, call Randy Fonner at 217-356-1613). The Class of 2007: