Unity's Jared Routh (12) catches a pass as St. Joseph-Ogden's Ethan Vanliew (20) watches in a prep football game at Unity High School in Tolono on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.

Listen to this article

TOLONO — Nate Reinhart knows what he has to do when he steps on the field each week. The Unity quarterback doesn’t have to be perfect. He doesn’t have to put up 40 points on the scoreboard.

Simply doing his job efficiently and effectively is enough. The Rockets’ defense takes care of the rest.

Like Friday night at Hicks Field against St. Joseph-Ogden. Reinhart led three scoring drives — including a critical first one at the end of the second quarter — and the Unity defense locked up another opponent for a 20-0 victory against the Spartans and a third straight shutout in Illini Prairie Conference play.

“It’s nice to know your defense is good,” said Reinhart, who completed 7 of 14 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns to Nate Drennan for the Rockets (3-1, 3-1). “You could score 14 — or 20 — and still be in a comfortable position when you can trust your defense. It’s outstanding to watch. I do think we have one of the best defenses in the conference, and they keep proving it every week.”

Hank Cain’s 14-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter — part of his 131-yard night — was the capper to the Rockets’ win. More than enough offense with the way the defense has been playing.

“Now we’ve just got to let our defense work for us,” Unity coach Scott Hamilton said. “We made them drive the length of the field, and we think it will be tough to do that against our defense.”

SJ-O coach Shawn Skinner was disappointed with his Spartans (3-1, 3-1) not finding the end zone, but he liked their effort.

“We feel like we left some plays on the field,” Skinner said. “You can’t do that with a team that’s equal to or maybe a little bit better than you. We tip our cap to them.”

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).