A glance at Week 6 games, compiled by Sports Editor MATT DANIELS:
Lincoln 13, Mahomet-Seymour 6
MAHOMET — The host Bulldogs trailed 6-0 entering the fourth quarter and couldn’t come away with an Apollo Conference win at Frank Dutton Field. The loss eliminated M-S from playoff contention.
Prairie Central 33, St. Joseph-Ogden 13
FAIRBURY — The host Hawks used a strong fourth quarter to pull away for the Illini Prairie Conference win, outscoring SJ-O 20-6 in the final 12 minutes. Kaden King rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries to spark Prairie Central, while Jacob Niffen (83 rushing yards, two TDs) and Corbin Moser (63 rushing yards, one TD) chipped in.
Jarrett Stevenson paced SJ-O with 70 rushing yards on 14 carries, while Brayden Weaver added 46 rushing yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Crayton Burnett threw for 151 yards, with Ty Pence hauling in four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Bloomington CC 45, St. Thomas More 18
BLOOMINGTON — The visiting Sabers trailed 24-6 at halftime and couldn’t make up the deficit in an Illini Prairie loss that eliminated STM from playoff contention.
Chillicothe IVC 49, Rantoul 7
CHILLICOTHE — The visiting Eagles — still searching for their first win — fell behind 35-0 at halftime of an eventual Illini Prairie loss. The host Grey Ghosts clinched a playoff berth with the win as Rantoul scored its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Tuscola 56, Sullivan/Okaw Valley 13
SULLIVAN — Jalen Quinn scored four touchdowns and the visiting Warriors rolled to a Central Illinois Conference win.
Quinn finished with 66 rushing yards on just three carries, including a 19-yard score to stake Tuscola to a 7-0 lead and a 5-yard score early in the third quarter that put the Warriors up 42-7. He also added 102 receiving yards on four catches and one TD. Logan Tabeling went 10 of 14 for 185 passing yards, while Grant Hardwick had 97 rushing yards and two TDs on six carries.
Fisher 29, Heyworth 23
FISHER — Drew Purvis caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Will Delaney with less than 15 seconds left, giving the host Bunnies a thrilling come-from-behind win in Heart of Illinois Conference Small action.
Purvis finished with 41 receiving yards on four catches, none bigger than his late score that lifted Fisher out of a 23-21 deficit. Purvis also forced a fumble to seal the win when Heyworth tried a few laterals to run the final kickoff back.
“He stepped up in a big moment,” Fisher coach Jake Palmer said. “He really came up clutch, and I’m really proud of him.”
Delaney finished with 108 passing yards and 72 rushing yards on offense to go along with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave Fisher an early 7-0 lead. Tyler Wilson added 140 rushing yards on 21 carries to top 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight season and help the Bunnies avoid a two-game losing streak. Now, they’re a win away from becoming eligible for the playoffs.
“This win is just really special,” Palmer said. “The kids just fought and overcame adversity.”
GCMS 22, Tri-Valley 7
DOWNS — Isaiah Chatman had 88 yards on nine carries, along with two touchdowns of 10 and 18 yards, respectively, and Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley held on in the second half to secure an HOIC Large victory over Tri-Valley in the Falcons’ first game at Downs since 2012.
“Our counter attack was working,” GCMS coach Mike Allen said. “Unfortunately, (Tri-Valley was) flowing very fast with Aidan (Laughery), but then we came under with Isaiah and got two touchdowns out of it.”
GCMS, which became eligible for the playoffs with the win, recovered four Tri-Valley fumbles and Cade Elliott intercepted a fourth-down throw in the fourth quarter.
Laughery led the Falcons with 92 rushing on the ground on 24 carries, and Payton Kean chipped in with 58 rushing yards
“We didn’t play as good as we were able to, and against Tri-Valley you have to,” Allen said. “We talked all week, ‘This is about execution,’ and we didn’t execute.”
Tremont 22, Ridgeview/Lexington 13
TREMONT — The visiting Mustangs only trailed 16-13 at halftime, but didn’t score in the second half of an HOIC Small loss. Jared Leake threw for 184 yards to lead Ridgeview/Lexington.
PBL 42, Salt Fork 0
CATLIN — With a convincing nonconference road win, Paxton-Buckley-Loda is eligible for its sixth straight playoff appearance.
“Playoffs are always fun,” PBL junior Gavin Coplea said. “Hopefully, we can clinch it with a sixth win.”
Gunner Belt connected with Coplea for two touchdown passes covering a combined 168 yards in the first half. After Coplea tallied the Panthers’ first score via an 82-yard reception, Jarred Gronsky intercepted a pass to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Drake Schrodt that extended PBL’s lead to 14-0 with 4:57 left in the first quarter. Salt Fork drove into the red zone on its ensuing possession, but lost a fumble that was recovered by the Panthers on their own 14-yard line. On the next play, Belt, who wound up with 291 passing yards, and Coplea connected for an 86-yard touchdown.
“I was just doing my job,” Coplea said. “Gunner put the ball right on, and I was playing my hardest.”
Hunter Anderson extended PBL’s lead to 28-0 via a 24-yard touchdown run with 5:35 left in the second quarter. After Anderson scored from 34 yards out with 8:15 left in the third quarter, a fumble recovery by Keegan Marty set up a 39-yard scoring reception by Coplea that put the running clock into play.
“We hit some big plays early, and we spread the ball around,” PBL coach Josh Pritchard said. “(Gavin’s) just a big-play kid.”
Marty’s fumble recovery was the third tunover forced by a PBL defense that pitched its second shutout of the season. Tate Johnson led Salt Fork with 66 rushing yards on 17 carries.
“Pitching shutouts is not an easy thing to do,” Pritchard said. “We forced turnovers. We put them out of their game. Our size and numbers pretty much took over that game, and that’s what we have to do as a Class 3A program when you’re playing a 1A program. I know (Salt Fork’s) not happy about it, but I don’t put the schedule together. I just play the games that they line up for me.”
Oakwood 34, Georgetown-RF 20
FITHIAN — The host Comets prevailed in Vermilion Valley Conference play, reaching playoff eligibility with the win. Gaven Clouse rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, with Rhett Harrison completing 7 of 8 passes for 113 yards and two TDs. Blaine McCord (11 tackles) and Caide Borden (10 tackles) led Oakwood’s defense.
Arcola 48, Sangamon Valley 6
NIANTIC — Arcola quarterback Beau Jones accounted for four total touchdowns — three passing and one rushing — to lead the Purple Riders to an easy Lincoln Prairie Conference road win. Diego Perez added a 63-yard punt return for a score and Ivan Franco returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown to give Arcola a 48-0 lead at halftime.
Argenta-Oreana 48, Villa Grove/Heritage 34
VILLA GROVE — An offensive showdown saw the visiting Bombers prevail in Lincoln Prairie play. Makail Stanley rushed for 264 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries, including a game-clinching 39-yard score with less than a minute remaining to put A-O, which became eligible for the playoffs with the win, up by 14 points. A-O quarterback Josh Williams also reached the end zone three times, rushing for 147 yards on 18 carries.
Blake Smith completed 7 of 9 passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns while also adding a team-high 67 rushing yards on 18 carries for VG/H. Ierik Sorenson led the Blue Devils with five receptions for 90 yards and three touchdowns.
ALAH 46, Cerro Gordo/Bement 0
CERRO GORDO — Kaden Feagin returned the opening kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown, setting the tone for the visiting Knights in a Lincoln Prairie win. Billy Fifer added two rushing scores, while Brady Borntreger threw two TD passes.
Tri-County 34, Cumberland 33
OAKLAND — The host Titans overcame a 33-20 deficit in the fourth quarter to pull off a stunning Lincoln Prairie win.
Clifton Central 33, Watseka 7
CLIFTON — Jameson Cluver led the visiting Warriors with 84 rushing yards on eight carries, but Watseka suffered its first loss of the season in this Sangamon Valley Conference setback.
Chicago Hope 33, BHRA 28
BISMARCK — The host Blue Devils led 28-21, but couldn’t wrap up a playoff berth, suffering a nonconference defeat. Avery McConkey went 6 of 10 for 142 passing yards and Caleb Lahey rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in BHRA’s first loss this season.
Milford/Cissna Park 78, F-C/Woodland 36
MILFORD — The host Bearcats remained unbeaten and racked up 687 yards of offense in the 8-man football win. Penn Stoller (292 rushing yards, four touchdowns on 16 carries) and Nick Allen (188 rushing yards, four TDs on 13 carries) sparked M/CP to the resounding win.