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Monticello Hosting North Boone in First Round of IHSA Football Playoffs

The Monticello Sages will play host North Boone on Saturday afternoon at a time to be determined.
 
The Sages finished the regular season at 8-1 overall and head coach Cully Welter says their 3A first round opponent is going to be a real challenge.
 
 
Other 3A matchups:
 
Spring Valley (6-3) @ Williamsville (9-0)
Beardstown (7-2) @ Bloomington Central Catholic (8-1)
Eureka (6-3) @ Byron (9-0)
Marshall (6-3) @ Decatur St. Teresa (8-1)
 
Class 1A pairings:
 
Fisher (6-3) @ Freeport Aquin (7-2)
Chester (5-4) @ Tuscola (9-0)
Toledo Cumberland (7-2) @  Decatur LSA (7-2)
Central A&M (5-4) @ Argenta-Oreana (8-1)
Warrensburg-Latham (6-3) @ Athens (7-2)
 
Class 2A pairings
 
Illini West (6-3) @ Maroa-Forsyth (8-1)
Dee-Mack (5-4) @ Westville (9-0)
Bunker Hill (5-4) @ Tri-Valley (8-1)
Villa Grove-Heritage (6-3) @ Shelbyville (7-2)
 
Class 4A pairings:
 
Prairie Central (5-4) @ Rochester (9-0)
Pontiac (6-3) @ Tolono Unity (8-1)
 
Class 5A Pairings:
 
Streator (5-4) @ Dunlap (9-0)
Mahomet-Seymour (6-3) @ Chatham-Glenwood (7-2)
Morton (6-3) @ Centralia (7-2)
Peoria Richwoods (5-4) @ Triad (8-1)
Tinley Park (5-4) @ Washington (7-2)
Peoria Notre Dame @ Decatur MacArthur (7-2)
 
Class 6A Pairings:
 
Blue Island Eisenhower (6-3) @ Normal West (7-2)
Sprignfield (5-4) @ Nazareth Academy (8-1)
Chicago Hubbard (6-3) @ Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (7-2)
 
Start times for each matchup will be released by Monday afternoon.

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Week 9 Football Scores

Central Illinois:

 

Shelbyville 20, Decatur St. Teresa 28, F

Sullivan-Okaw Valley 10, Tuscola 68, F

Warrensburg-Latham 59, Central A&M 12, F

 

Illini Prairie:

 

Illinois Valley Central 41, Olympia 20, F

Prairie Central 56, Champaign St. Thomas More 13, F

Pontiac 35, Rantoul 6, F

Tolono Unity 13, Bloomington Central Catholic 35, F

 

Big Twelve:

 

Bloomington 23, Danville 48, F

Champaign Centennial 16, Peoria Richwoods 45, F

Normal West at Peoria Notre Dame (Sat.)

Normal Community 50, Champaign Central 21, F

Peoria Manual 6, Urbana 42, F

 

Central State Eight:

 

Chatham Glenwood 37, Normal U-High 36, F

Decatur Eisenhower 6, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 63, F

Jacksonville 16, Springfield Southeast 19, F

Springfield 16, Rochester 49, F

Springfield Lanphier 12, Decatur MacArthur 48, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Large):

 

El Paso-Gridley 26, Eureka 23, F

Dee-Mack 14, Tri-Valley 56, F

Fieldcrest 34, Ridgeview 6, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Small):

 

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Heyworth (Sat.)

LeRoy 18, Fisher 44, F

Tremont at Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland (Sat.)

 

Mid-Illini:

 

Limestone 0, Pekin 56, F

Dunlap 35, Canton 7, F

Metamora 35, East Peoria 6, F

Washington 40, Morton 20, F

 

Sangamo:

 

Maroa-Forsyth 45, Virden North Mac 8, F

New Berlin 21, Auburn 48, F

Pittsfield 16, Riverton 27, F

Pleasant Plains 42, Petersburg PORTA 12, F

Williamsville 28, Athens 0, F

 

Non-conference action:

 

Arcola 49, Oblong 7, F

Argenta-Oreana 44, Toledo Cumberland 26, F

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 7, Villa Grover-Heritage 48, F

Cerro Gordo-Bement 34, Martinsville 13, F

Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran 34, Blue Ridge 50, F

Freeburg 56, Lincoln 41, F

Galesburg 28, Peoria 36, F

Mahomet-Seymour 56, Macomb 6, F

Sangamon Valley 34, Oakland Tri-County 27, F

Peoria Heights 20, Knoxville 60, F

Taylorville 46, Bethalto Civic Memorial 12, F

Troy Triad 21, Mt. Zion 7, F

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Monticello Rallies Past St. Joseph-Ogden

>>Monticello Rallies Past St. Joseph-Ogden

 

Braden Snyder scored two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter and a stagnant Monticello offense came alive late to rally past rival St. Joseph-Ogden 27-24 Friday night and eliminated the Spartans from playoff contention.

 

Snyder scored from 4-yards out and the Sages recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kick to get possession with two-and-a-half minutes left.

 

After a Nathan Harman first down run, Snyder faked a handoff to Harman, kept it and outran the Spartans defense to the end zone from 19 yards out for the game winning score.

 

Dwight Colvin tallied 170 yards on the ground with two touchdowns to pace the St. Joe-Ogden offensive attack. Colvin fumbled twice but the Sages offense was unable to capitalize on the extra possessions.

 

St. Joseph-Ogden finishes the season 4-5 and will miss the postseason for the first time in over 25 years.

 

Much like last week’s win at Prairie Central, St. Joseph-Ogden controlled the game and the clock with a strong run attack but the Sages made plays late and overcame another sluggish offensive effort.

 

The Sages finish the regular season 8-1 overall and will find out their first postseason opponent tomorrow night (Saturday night).

 

Hear the pairings for the IHSA postseason on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. Coverage of the pairings begins at 7 pm and the assignments will be released starting at 8 pm.

 

Hear from Sages head coach Cully Welter around 8:45 pm Saturday night.

 

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Clinton Maroons Defeat Meridian Hawks

Despite three turnovers, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Meridian Hawks 6-3 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by Bryson Carson with 23 carries for 117 yards. Ty Berter carried the ball 13 times for 37 yards and a touchdown. Berter was 2 of 8 passing for 10 yards and an interception. Brandon Atten was named the Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game. Atten was the leading tackler for the defense and recovered a fumble.

 

For Meridian, they were led by Gage Hollgarth who had 20 carries for 69 yards. Cameron Getz had 10 carries for 34 yards and was 8 of 17 throwing for 80 yards.

 

With the win, the Maroons finish the season 3-6 and 2-5 in the Central Illinois Conference. Meridian finishes 1-8 overall and 1-6 in conference play.

 

The Playoff Preview show air tomorrow night at 7pm on WEZC. We'll hear from area coaches headed to the playoffs.

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Monticello Concludes Regular Season Hosting Rival St. Joe-Ogden

Monticello will be hosting a very motivated rival tonight when the Sages host St. Joseph-Ogden for senior night at Monticello High School.
 
The Spartans not only come to Monticello for a clash with one of their fiercest rivals, but St. Joe is also on the cusp of missing the postseason for the first time in almost three decades. 
 
At 4-4, it's about getting into the postseason for the Spartans, while the Sages are playing to improve their seeding.
 
The 7-1 Sages are also looking to rebound after a lackluster 14-6 win over Prairie Central last Friday night in Fairbury.
 
Game time tonight from Monticello is 7 pm.
 
Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
Illini Prairie action tonight....
 
llini Prairie
 
Illinois Valley Central at Olympia
Prairie Central at Champaign St. Thomas More
Pontiac at Rantoul
Tolono Unity at Bloomington Central Catholic
 
Big Twelve
 
Bloomington at Danville
Champaign Centennial at Peoria Richwoods
Normal West at Peoria Notre Dame (Sat.)
Normal Community at Champaign Central
Peoria Manual at Urbana
 
Central State Eight
 
Chatham Glenwood at Normal U-High
Decatur Eisenhower at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
Jacksonville at Springfield Southeast
Springfield at Rochester
Springfield Lanphier at Decatur MacArthur
 
Heart of Illinois (Large)
 
El Paso-Gridley at Eureka
Dee-Mack at Tri-Valley
Fieldcrest at Ridgeview
 
Heart of Illinois (Small)
 
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Heyworth
LeRoy at Fisher
Tremont at Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland
 
Mid-Illini
 
Limestone at Pekin
Dunlap at Canton
Metamora at East Peoria
Washington at Morton
 
Sangamo
 
Maroa-Forsyth at Virden North Mac
New Berlin at Auburn
Pittsfield at Riverton
Pleasant Plains at Petersburg PORTA
Williamsville at Athens
 
Non-conference action tonight....
 
Arcola at Oblong
Argenta-Oreana at Toledo Cumberland
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Villa Grove-Heritage
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Martinsville
Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran at Blue Ridge
Freeburg at Lincoln
Galesburg at Peoria
Mahomet-Seymour at Macomb
Sangamon Valley at Oakland Tri-County
Peoria Heights at Knoxville
Taylorville at Bethalto Civic Memorial)
Troy Triad at Mt. Zion

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Hernandez Powers Dodgers To First World Series in 29 Years

Kike Hernandez homered three times and drove in a record seven runs, Clayton Kershaw breezed through six crisp innings and Los Angeles ended the Chicago Cubs' title defense with an 11-1 rout in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Thursday night.
 
Kershaw turned in an efficient three-hit performance with five strikeouts and improved to 6-7 in the playoffs - matching Burt Hooton's club record for postseason wins.
Hernandez connected on the first two pitches he saw, belting a solo drive in the second for his first career playoff homer and then a grand slam in the third against Hector Rondon. Hernandez added a two-run shot in the ninth against Mike Montgomery.
 
The 26-year-old Hernandez became the fourth player with a three-homer game in a league championship series, joining Bob Robertson (1971 NLCS), George Brett (1978 ALCS) and Adam Kennedy (2002 ALCS). Hernandez's seven RBIs tied a postseason record shared by four other players who all did it in a Division Series.
 
Troy O'Leary was the previous player to have seven RBIs in a playoff game, for Boston at Cleveland in the 1999 ALDS.
 
Kris Bryant homered for Chicago, but the NL Central champions finished with just four hits in another tough night at the plate. Each of their eight runs in the NLCS came via the long ball, and they batted just .156 for the series with 53 strikeouts.

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Illinois at Minnesota Saturday; EIU, ISU Hosts Ranked Opponents

>>Illinois Travels To Minnesota
 
The Fighting Illini (2-4, 0-3) hit the road for a Big Ten West matchup against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-3, 0-3) Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Illinois lost to Rutgers 35-24 last Saturday in Champaign. 
 
In his first year at Minnesota, PJ Fleck will see Illinois for a second straight year as his Western Michigan squad beat Illinois in Champaign last fall.
 
Michigan State beat the Golden Gophers last week 30-27.
 
Game time Saturday is 2:30 pm and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
 
>>Redbirds Look To Rebound Against No. 4 South Dakota
 
Off rare consecutive losses, the Illinois State football squad will look to rebound when fourth ranked South Dakota visits Hancock Stadium for Homecoming in Normal.
 
The Redbirds lost at Southern Illinois 42-7 after a loss at Northern Arizona the prior week. 
 
The Coyotes are one of two teams with a 6-0 record in MVFC play along with North Dakota State, something that has only happened three times in league history, including this year.
 
Coyotes senior quarterback Chris Straveler was named both the Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week and FCS National Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards for his performance last weekend against Indiana State. Streveler accounted for five touchdowns, completed 27 of 32 passes for 337 yards, while running eight times for 82 yards. 
 
Game time Saturday is 2 pm. 
 
>>EIU Hosts Jacksonville State
 
Hosting the third ranked team in the country Saturday afternoon, Eastern Illinois will put a four-game win streak on the line when the Panthers host Jacksonville State.
 
Off a 27-24 double overtime win last Saturday in Charleston, the Panthers and Gamecocks are both undefeated in Ohio Valley Play.
 
The two square off for a 2 pm kick.
 
Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Bears, Packers Play At Noon Sunday

>>Bears Host Panthers Sunday
 
On Sunday, Ex-Bears DE Julius Peppers will return to Soldier Field as the Carolina Panthers (4-2) visit the Chicago Bears (2-4). Peppers spent four seasons with the Bears from 2010 to 2013 after playing eight years with the Panthers.
Now, the 37-year-old is back home in Carolina as his career winds down. He has 150 career sacks and needs one more to move past former Minnesota Vikings great Chris Doleman for No. 4 on the all-time list.
 
Peppers' target this week will be Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who will make his third career start. Trubisky earned his first victory last week as the Bears outlasted the Baltimore Ravens for a 27-24 overtime win.
 
Trubisky has passed for 241 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his first two appearances.
 
The Bears continue to rely heavily on the ground game, where running back Jordan Howard has amassed 495 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his first six games. Chicago is No. 1 in the NFC and No. 3 in the NFL with an average of 136.0 rushing yards per game.
 
The Panthers' stingy defense ranks fourth in the NFL this season with only 280 yards allowed per game. Carolina has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season.
 
On the opposite side of the ball, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will look to beat the Bears with his arm as well as his feet. Newton has passed for 1,476 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions so far this season. He has rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns, which ranks second in the NFL among quarterbacks to Houston Texans rookie Deshaun Watson (202 rushing yards, 2 TDs).
 
The Panthers will play on 10 days' rest after losing 28-23 to the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday night. 
 
>>Packers Host Saints Sunday Without QB Aaron Rodgers
 
Even with Aaron Rodgers sidelined indefinitely with a broken collarbone, the quarterbacks will be in the spotlight when the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
 
Without Rodgers, third-year pro Brett Hundley will make his first NFL start. Hundley threw three interceptions in relief of Rodgers in Sunday's 23-10 loss at Minnesota. His career passer rating of 40.9 is the lowest among quarterbacks with at least 40 career passing attempts since the start of the 2015 season. On the other hand, his passer rating of 107.3 is the highest among quarterbacks with 100-plus passing attempts over the last three preseasons.
 
At age 38, Drew Brees has completed 68.9 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns, two interceptions and a 103.2 rating. In six career games against the Packers, Brees has topped 300 passing yards every time. His lowest output came in the most recent matchup, 2014 in New Orleans. Brees completed 27-of-32 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns to lead a 44-23 rout.
 
The Packers are limping into this game, with a whopping 14 players on the injury report, with starters Rodgers, Taylor and safety Morgan Burnett not practicing, and cornerbacks Davon House (quad), Damarious Randall (hamstring) and Lenzy Pipkins (concussion) limited. The Saints have only two, with Armstead (shoulder) and receiver Willie Snead (hamstring) limited.

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Blues Win, Blackhawks Lose Thursday

>>Blues Down Avalanche
Jaden Schwartz and Vince Dunn added goals 52 seconds apart in the second period and the Blues overcame three crazy plays down the stretch to beat the Avalanche 4-3 on Thursday night.
 
Stastny, the former Avalanche player who still makes his offseason home in Denver, added a goal and an assist to give him 601 career points.
 
The Blues are at Las Vegas on Saturday night.
 
>>Oilers Down Blackhawks
 
Mark Letestu scored on a power play with 15.8 seconds left in overtime to give Edmonton a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks that snapped a four-game losing streak.
 
Letestu beat Anton Forsberg on the short side with a one-time shot from the left circle after taking a pass from Oscar Klefbom. Edmonton's 4-on-3 advantage was set up after Patrick Kane was called for hooking at 3:45.
 
Talbot made 30 straight saves after giving up a fluke goal to Kane on Chicago's first shot.
 
Edmonton's Patrick Maroon scored late in the first period.
 
Edmonton's Connor McDavid had two assists, including setting up Maroon with a sensational spinning move and pinpoint backhand pass. 
 
Anton Forsberg, Chicago's backup, stopped 40 shots in his second start this season, but the Blackhawks lost their second straight and third in four games. No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford got the night off following a 5-2 loss at St. Louis on Wednesday night.
 
Chicago failed to convert five power plays, including a 56-second 5-on-3 advantage.
 
The Blackhawks are in Arizona on Saturday night.

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Raptors Beat Bulls in Season Opener

Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 15 rebounds, Miles scored 22 points in his Toronto debut and the Raptors beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls 117-101 on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
 
Norman Powell added 15 points, Delon Wright had 13, and Kyle Lowry 12.
 
Miles went 6 for 9 from 3-point range and had five rebounds. Half of the former Indiana Pacers player's points came in the second quarter during a 22-2 run by Toronto's second unit.
 
The Raptors were 13 of 29 from long range and had 26 assists on 39 baskets. Lowry had nine assists, and DeRozan and Wright each had five.
 
Chicago center Robin Lopez scored 18 points, rookie Lauri Markkanen had 17 points and eight rebounds in his NBA debut, and Justin Holiday scored 15.
 
Chicago opens its home schedule against San Antonio on Saturday night. The Bulls have won six of their past 10 home games against the Spurs.

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Baez, Arrieta Help Cubs Avoid Sweep, Elimination

Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.
 
Jake Arrieta pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning to help the Cubs close their deficit to 3-1. 
 
Baez hit solo drives in the second and fifth innings. 
 
Willson Contreras also homered for the Cubs. Bellinger and Justin Turner connected for the Dodgers, who had won a team-record six straight playoff games.
 
Davis entered with a 3-1 lead in the eighth. He gave up a leadoff homer to Turner, who went 2 for 2 and drew two walks.
 
Alex Wood gave up three runs and four hits in 42/3 innings for LA. 
 
Game 5 is Thursday, with Jose Quintana pitching for Chicago against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

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Bulls F Portis Suspended For Altercation; Bulls in Toronto For Season Opener

>>Bulls Suspend F Portis 8 Games For Altercation With Mirotic
 
The Chicago Bulls have suspended forward Bobby Portis for the first eight games for injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic during a fight at practice.
 
Mirotic suffered multiple broken bones in his face as well as a concussion on Tuesday. He will likely need surgery and is out indefinitely.
 
The team announced the suspension on Wednesday. Chicago opens the season at Toronto on Thursday.
 
A 2015 first-round pick, Portis has averaged 6.9 points and 5 rebounds. He will be allowed to practice with the team while he is suspended.
 
Mirotic averaged 10.8 points over his first three seasons with Chicago. A restricted free agent, he signed a two-year contract that could pay as much as $27 million in September. The club holds an option on the second season.
 
>>Pacers Hold Off Nets in Season Opener
 
Eight Pacers scored in double figures, three finished with double-doubles and Indiana produced its highest point total in nearly seven years in a 140-131 season-opening victory Wednesday night over the Brooklyn Nets.
 
Darren Collison wound up with 21 points and 11 assists in his return to Indiana. Newly elected team captain Myles Turner had 21 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and former Nets player Thaddeus Young added 17 points and 11 rebounds.
 
D'Angelo Russell had 30 points and five assists in his Brooklyn debut.
 
Trevor Booker added 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
 
The Pacers used a 10-0 third quarter run to break a 65-65 tie. Brooklyn never led again, though it charged back in the closing minutes by trimming a 10-point deficit to 130-126 before the Pacers finally closed it out.
 
Lance Stephenson scored 16 points off the bench and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 14 points against his former team.
 
The Pacers host Portland on Friday.
 
>>Bulls In Toronto To Open Season
 
The Toronto Raptors will open their season steeped in serenity Thursday night at Air Canada Centre against the Chicago Bulls, whose own camaraderie was shaken by in-fighting.
 
While the Raptors were talking about their comfort level with each other, the Bulls lost a player for at least a month because a teammate punched him during practice.
 
The Bulls are also dealing with injuries to Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Cameron Payne and Quincy Pondexter.
 
When Chicago obtained Kay Felder this week, after he was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers, he became the eighth point guard brought in since last season.
 
Both teams are adapting to a different style of play this season, with an emphasis on 3-point shooting.
 
In the season opener, the Bulls likely will start Jerian Grant, Justin Holiday, Paul Zipser, Markkanen and Lopez. 

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Schwartz Hat Trick Helps Blues Blast Blackhawks

Jaden Schwartz ended up with his third career hat trick to help the Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Wednesday night.
 
Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist, Kyle Brodziak also scored, and Jake Allen made 22 saves, including a dazzling stick save on Patrick Kane who was wide open on the side of the net midway through the third period.
 
Duncan Keith and Ryan Hartman had late goals for Blackhawks, and Corey Crawford made 28 saves.
 
St. Louis outshot Chicago 26-8 in the first two periods, including 17-4 in the second. The four shots in each of the first two periods were a season low for the Blackhawks in a period.
Blackhawks television analyst Eddie Olczyk, who is battling colon cancer, received a standing ovation from the crowd of 18,752 after being recognized late in the first period. Olczyk was back in the booth for the first time since his diagnosis in August.
 
The Blackhawks host Edmonton on Thursday night while the Blues are at Colorado on Thursday night.

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NFL Draft To Be In Dallas Next Year

The NFL draft is headed for Dallas.
 
Well, for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which the Cowboys call home. It's the first time the draft will happen in an NFL stadium.
 
The Cowboys will host the 2018 draft in April. Virtually every NFL city, plus the Pro Football Hall of Fame site in Canton, Ohio, has expressed interest in holding the draft now that the league moves it around.
 
After decades in New York, the draft was moved to Chicago in 2015 and was held there again in 2016. It drew huge crowds, whetting the NFL's appetite for taking bids to host it.
 
Last year, the draft was in Philadelphia at the iconic Art Museum steps. It drew 250,000 fans for the first draft held outdoors.

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Crucial Week 9 in HS Football

It's win or go home for a number of high school football programs this week.
 
The playoff pairings for the IHSA football postseason comes out Friday and if you go into Saturday without five wins, you'll be on the outside looking in.
 
A number of area squads are seeking that elusive fifth win this week. 
 
In the Central Illinois Conference, both Warrensburg-Latham and Central A&M have five wins, but the two matchup this Friday night in Moweaqua. The winner gets the asterisk that signifies their spot in the postseason. 
In the Illini Prairie Conference, St. Joseph-Ogden and Prairie Central enter action Friday at 4-4 overall. The Spartans are at Monticello Friday while the Hawks are at 1-7 Champaign St. Thomas More. 
 
In the Apollo Conference, Mt. Zion and Mahomet-Seymout each have five wins. The Bulldogs hit the road for a matchup with 1-7 Macomb while the Braves have a tough home game with Troy. 
 
In the Big 12, Peoria Richwoods and Bloomington High School each need wins this week to be eligible, as they enter action at 4-4. Richwoods matches up with 2-6 Champaign Centennial while Bloomington takes on 6-2 Danville. 
 
In the Heart of Illinois, El-Paso Gridley needs a Friday when win when they face 6-2 Eureka. Defending 2A State Champs Dee-Mack needs a win to solidify their postseason status. The The 5-3 Chiefs face rival Tri-Valley in Downs. 
 
In the Little Okaw Valley, Oakland Tri-County enters play 4-4. They host Sangamon Valley who is 1-7 overall.
 
Playoff pairings are released Saturday night starting at 8 pm. Hear them as their announced on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. Coverage on WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com starts at 7 pm.
 
You'll hear the pairings and from area coaches as well. 

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Dodgers Put Cubs in 3-0 Hole

Yu Darvish pitched sparkling ball into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.
 
Andre Ethier also went deep and Taylor added an RBI triple in the fifth as Los Angeles improved to 6-0 in this postseason, setting a franchise record for consecutive playoff wins. 
 
Yasiel Puig had two more hits in another entertaining performance that included an impressive bat flip - on a long foul ball in the first inning.
 
Looking for a four-game sweep and their 22nd pennant, the Dodgers will send Alex Wood to the mound Wednesday night at Wrigley Field with a chance to reach the World Series for the first time since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser and Co. to the club's last championship 29 years ago.
 
Jake Arrieta, eligible for free agency after the season, pitches for the Cubs in what could be his final start with the team.
 
Joe Maddon juggled his lineup, inserting Kyle Schwarber into the No. 2 slot and benching slumping second baseman Javier Baez, but the defending World Series champions were shut down by another Dodgers starter and more stellar relief from the NL West champions.
 
Carl Edwards Jr. walked Darvish on four pitches with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth.
 
A passed ball brought home another run in the eighth, and pinch hitter Kyle Farmer hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1.
 
Darvish departed after striking out Addison Russell in the seventh, pausing for congratulations from his whole infield before heading to the dugout. The Japanese right-hander allowed six hits, including Schwarber's first-inning homer, in his second career playoff win - both this year. 
 
He struck out seven and walked one.

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Packers Add QB Jerod Evans To Practice Squad

The Green Bay Packers have signed rookie quarterback Jerod Evans to the practice squad after Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken right collarbone against Minnesota.
The Packers announced Evans' signing Tuesday. The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Evans originally was signed as an undrafted rookie by the Philadelphia Eagles out of Virginia Tech on May 12 but was placed on injured reserve four days later and later released.
 
Evans started all 14 games for Virginia Tech in 2016. He threw for 3,546 yards and 29 touchdowns while rushing for 846 yards and 12 TDs.
 
Rodgers landed on his throwing shoulder after being taken down by linebacker Anthony Barr on the second drive for the Packers in their 23-10 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. Rodgers faces surgery and may be out for the season.
 
Backup Brett Hundley is now the starting quarterback. The Packers promoted third-stringer Joe Callahan from the practice squad to back up Hundley.

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IHSA Football Playoff Pairings To Be Announced Saturday

It's a crucial Friday night in high school football action as teams have one last chance to solidify their playoff seedings and others have one last shot at getting that bid for a postseason birth.
 
Five wins is the number to be eligible for a playoff spot in the IHSA football playoffs while winning six games gets you a spot. 
For teams with five wins, that might mean rooting for a rival to pick up a win in the final week of the season. That's because playoff points become a crucial number when selection Saturday rolls around.
 
Playoff points are a sum of the total wins of your opponents. The more wins your opponents have, the higher your playoff points and the better chance of a playoff spot you have. 
 
Additionally, bubble teams might be rooting against a rival in the final week. Teams hovering on the cutoff of a particular class among the eight football classes could find themselves moving down a class based on the 256 teams and that qualify and make the postseason. 
 
Saturday night, the pairings will be released starting at 8 pm.
 
Hear who's name gets called live on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com. 
 
We'll also interview area coaches about their team's, their season's and the upcoming playoff. 
 
Again it's Saturday night starting live at 7 pm. 

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Maddon Stands By Decision To Not Use Davis; Yankees Beat Astros

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is standing by his decision not to use All-Star closer Wade Davis in Chicago's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series and is questioning the criticism coming his way.
 
Maddon insisted Monday that Davis was only available for one inning in a save situation. He dismissed the second guessing, a day after John Lackey gave up a three-run homer to Justin Turner in the ninth to send Los Angeles to a 4-1 win and a 2-0 series lead. Game 3 is Tuesday.
 
Maddon says Davis was still limited after a seven-out save in Game 5 of the Division Series against Washington. He adds the media "should be doing a better job than relying on Twitter."
 
Houston's A.J. Hinch says managers should ignore the heat and not tweet.
 
Chicago's Joe Maddon was criticized on social media for not using closer Wade Davis as the Cubs fell behind the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 in the NL Championship Series.
 
"When it doesn't work out it's a public slaying on Twitter," Hinch said Monday. "I would encourage any young manager to get off Twitter. It's not healthy."
 
John Lackey, pitching on consecutive days for the first time in his professional career, gave up a game-ending, three-run homer to Justin Turner that gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a 4-1 win in Game 2.
 
Davis, a three-time All-Star, threw 44 pitches on Thursday night in getting the last seven outs of Game 5 of the NL Division Series at Washington, his highest pitch count in in two years.
 
"I think some of the facts or details about those players is never going to be out there," Hinch said.
 
Maddon dismissed criticism when speaking with media on Monday.
 
"Social media doesn't count at all. Twitter doesn't count at all," he said. "And really, as sports writers, you should do a better job than relying on Twitter to write a story, quite frankly."
 
>>Yankees Blast Astros
 
Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and made a pair of sparkling catches, leading CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees over the Houston Astros 8-1 Monday night and cutting their deficit to 2-1 in the AL Championship Series.
 
Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead, three-run homer into the short porch in right field in the second inning against Charlie Morton.
 
Sabathia allowed three hits over six scoreless innings for his first postseason win in five years. 
 
Houston scored on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth before postseason star Jose Altuve grounded into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.
 
Sonny Gray starts Game 4 for New York in the best-of-seven series on 11 days' rest Wednesday against Lance McCullers Jr.

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NHL Could Get Rid of All-Star Game

The NHL All-Star Game has been somewhat of a shapeshifting beast over the years. A lot about the annual midseason event has changed, from the game's format to the way teams are picked and how players are voted in. But soon the league's All-Star Game may cease to exist altogether.
 
According to a recent report from Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, the NHL and NHLPA are discussing the possibility of getting rid of the All-Star Game in favor of an international event overseas. Though details are scarce on what that new event would look like, the league seems focused on growing its brand internationally. 
 
That may sound a bit strange, especially considering the NHL is opting not to send its players to the next Winter Olympics, which is the biggest international stage for hockey. But the IOC won't allow the NHL to directly market its own brand at the Olympics or take a share of the revenue that comes with letting players participate. Ultimately, the NHL decided it wasn't worth shutting down their season for more than two weeks to let players compete in the Olympics, and instead they've decided to focus their international efforts elsewhere. 

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Bears, Packers Notes

>>Packers' Rodgers To Have Surgery on Collarbone; McCarthy Rips Hit
 
Mike McCarthy says star QB Aaron Rodgers will have surgery on his broken right collarbone. The rest of Rodgers' season is in jeopardy.
 
Rodgers landed on his throwing shoulder after being taken down by linebacker Anthony Barr during an incompletion on the second drive for the Packers in the 23-10 loss to the Vikings on Sunday.
 
Backup Brett Hundley is now the starting quarterback. A fifth-round draft pick of the Packers in 2015, Hundley went 18 of 33 for 157 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions in relief of Rodgers.
 
The Packers promoted third-stringer Joe Callahan from the practice squad to back up Hundley, placing cornerback Quinten Rollins on injured reserve with an ankle injury to open up a roster spot.
 
McCarthy said the team's personnel department is looking at some free agent quarterbacks as a way to help in practice.
 
But do not expect the Packers to bring in former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick .
 
"He's clearly expecting to get hit. To pin him to the ground like that, I felt it was an illegal act," McCarthy said.
 
"To sit here and lose any of your players on something like that, it doesn't feel very good," the coach added.
 
"Yeah, I didn't like the hit. It was unnecessary. Legal, or whatever you want to put it at, but it was totally unnecessary, in my opinion."
 
In Minnesota, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he didn't know why there was scrutiny on the hit. He said he had not spoken to Barr about the play.
 
>>Forced Turnovers For Bears Welcomed Trend
 
Before Sunday, interceptions had been harder to come by this season for the Chicago Bears than victories.
 
Now 2-4, the Bears hope they can climb among the NFC North leaders by starting a trend after producing two interceptions and three turnovers overall in Sunday's 27-24 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
 
The interceptions, in particular, had been a problem. They're hoping this issue is over going into Sunday's home game with Carolina.
 
The Bears started the win over Baltimore among three NFL teams without an interception, and ranked among the league's three worst teams in terms of turnover ratio at minus-9.
 
This came on the heels of making only eight interceptions each of the past two seasons — both team franchise lows for a single season.
 
Coach John Fox saw one good reason the Bears produced turnovers, and it's something he hopes occurs more frequently in the future.
 
"We've gone through all the inadequacies at this point from last season and earlier this season, but I think a lot of it is it helps to play with the lead," Fox said. "We've only done that twice this season, and we've won both games.

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Turner's HR Sends Dodgers To 2-0 Series Lead

>>Turner's Walk Off HR Sends Dodgers To 2-0 Series Lead
 
Justin Turner hit a three-run drive with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.
 
Turner delivered a tying single in the fifth before sending a long shot to center field off John Lackey in the ninth.
Yasiel Puig drew his third walk of the game leading off the ninth, and Charlie Culberson bunted him to second. After losing pitcher Brian Duensing struck out pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer, Chicago manager Joe Maddon went to the bullpen for the 38-year-old Lackey, who pitched on consecutive days for the first time in his 15-year career.
 
Lackey got the call over All-Star closer Wade Davis, and the veteran starter walked Chris Taylor on six tense pitches. Maddon said he wanted to save Davis for a potential save on the road, and Lackey would have pitched the 10th inning as well if the Cubs did not have a lead.
 
Addison Russell homered in the fifth for the Cubs.
 
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen got the win with a hitless ninth despite hitting Anthony Rizzo on the hand with a one-out pitch. 
 
Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Midseason acquisition Yu Darvish starts for the Dodgers against Kyle Hendricks.
 
>>Former White Sox Pitcher Webb Dies in ATV Accident at Age 28
 
Daniel Webb, a former relief pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, has died in an ATV accident. He was 28.
 
Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis says Webb died Saturday night. Davis says Webb's wife and two other people sustained "significant injuries" in the accident, about 70 miles west of Nashville.
 
Webb was 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 94 games for the White Sox from 2013-16. The right-hander pitched one inning in 2016, then had Tommy John surgery in June. He was released by the White Sox after the season and had not pitched professionally during his recovery.
 
"Daniel left many friends within the Chicago White Sox organization and we are all shocked and stunned by the news," the team said in a statement. "He was a terrific young man with a full life ahead of him."
 
Webb was drafted by Toronto in 2009 and traded to the White Sox after the 2011 season in a deal for pitcher Jason Frasor. Webb made his major league debut in September 2013 at Yankee Stadium - the first hitter he faced was Derek Jeter, and Webb walked him.
 
Webb made 57 appearances for the White Sox in 2014. He pitched 110 innings in his career, striking out 93.

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Rutgers Topples Illinois; Eastern, Western Win; ISU Routed

>>Rutgers Beats Illinois
 
Gus Edwards rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns as Rutgers ended a 16-game losing streak in the Big Ten with a 35-24 win over Illinois on Saturday.
 
The Scarlet Knights (2-4, 1-2) led wire to wire for their first conference victory since 2015 at Indiana.
 
Rutgers rushed for a season-high 274 yards. Edwards, Raheem Blackshear and Josh Hicks all scored touchdowns. Blackshear provided the most exciting run - a 19-yard gain up the middle on the Scarlet Knights' second possession that he finished by running over defensive back Jalen Dunlap at the goal line.
 
Jeff George Jr. was 20-of-38 passing for a career-high 308 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Illinois (2-4, 0-3). George also threw two interceptions and has now thrown 12 in seven-career games for the Illini, who have now lost six consecutive Big Ten games.
 
Giovanni Rescigno completed 5 of 10 passes for 89 yards for Rutgers.
 
Ricky Smalling scored the first touchdown of his career in the fourth and finished with a career-high five catches for 111 yards.
 
Illinois will face Minnesota next week on the road.
 
>>Eastern Illinois Holds Off Murray State
 
Isaiah Johnson rushed for 236 yards, Matt Severino kicked two field goals in overtime and Terrell Greer ended the game with a blocked field goal as Eastern Illinois defeated Murray State 27-24 in double overtime on Saturday.
 
Eastern Illinois (5-2, 3-1 Ohio Valley Conference) survived four turnovers, including three interceptions thrown by Bud Martin (18-30 for 192 yards) and rallied to a fourth straight win - each decided by a field goal or less.
 
Murray State (2-5, 1-3) scored two touchdowns in the final 10 minutes tying the game at 21, then survived a Severino field goal attempt in the final minute.
 
The Racers opened the extra period with a Gabriel Vicente field goal, but Severino booted a pair for Eastern Illinois. Greer, a 5-foot-10 freshman lineman, stepped through the line and blocked Vicente to end the game.
 
Shuler Bentley passed for 332 yards and picked a bad snap off the grass to hit D.J. Penick as the Racers tied it at 21. Jordon Gandy had 10 catches for 193 yards and a score.
 
>>Western Illinois Gets By Missouri State
 
Sean McGuire threw three touchdown passes and Western Illinois came back from an eight-point halftime deficit to beat Missouri State 49-30 on Saturday in a game that was weather-delayed for nearly two hours late in the fourth quarter.
 
McGuire had 249 yards passing. Steve McShane ran for 143 yards and a score, and Max Norris had 75 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
 
After trailing 21-13 at halftime, McGuire brought Western Illinois back beginning with a 43-yard scoring pass to Isaiah LeSure to tie it 21-all. Jaelon Acklin took it 61 yards for another touchdown following a Missouri State field goal to put the Leathernecks (5-1, 2-1 Missouri Valley Conference) on top 28-24 with 5:02 left in the third quarter.
 
In the fourth, McGuire threw a 26-yard scoring strike to Acklin and following the weather delay, McShane bolted 39 yards for another touchdown and a 42-30 lead with 4:06 left.
 
Peyton Huslig threw for 194 yards for the Bears (1-5, 0-3).
 
>>Southern Illinois Routs Illinois State
 
Sam Straub threw for four touchdowns and Southern Illinois surprised FCS nationally-ranked Illinois State 42-7 on Saturday in the 80th meeting between the programs.
The Salukis (3-3, 1-2 Missouri Valley) broke a three-game losing streak in the series to extend their winning streak over ranked opponents to 16 straight seasons.
 
Straub went 22 of 34 for 368 yards and tied a career-high for touchdown passes in a game. On the third play of the second half, Straub evaded the rush and his long throw over the defense to Raphael Leonard ended in a 73-yard touchdown to make it 28-0.
 
Connor Iwema made six catches for 118 yards for the Salukis. D.J. Davis rushed for 60 yards and hauled in two touchdown passes among his seven catches for 78 yards. Sam Bonansinga's sole catch was for an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
 
Jake Kolbe threw for 232 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions for the Redbirds (4-2, 2-1), who turned it over five times.

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Bears Win; Packers Lose Game, Rodgers

>>Bears Need Overtime But Beat Ravens
 
After blowing a 14-point lead, allowing two long kick returns and committing two turnovers, the Bears used a 40-yard field goal by Connor Barth in overtime to secure a 27-24 victory Sunday.
 
Jordan Howard ran for 167 yards, including a 53-yarder that set up the game-winning score for the Bears (2-4), whose two wins this season have come in overtime.
 
Howard's long run in OT put Chicago at the Baltimore 40. After rookie Mitchell Trubisky completed an 18-yard pass to Kendall Wright, Barth delivered the decisive kick.
 
Trubisky completed 8 of 16 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
 
Howard had 36 carries and the Bears gained 231 yards on 54 attempts.
 
Baltimore (3-3) trailed 17-3 in the third quarter and 24-16 late in regulation before capitalizing on special teams play to get back in the game.
 
Bobby Rainey took a kickoff 96 yards for a score to begin the comeback and Michael Campanaro brought back a punt 77 yards for a touchdown with 1:37 remaining. The 2-point conversion was successful , setting up overtime.
 
Chicago used a halfback pass from Tarik Cohen to Zach Miller for a first-half score, and Adrian Amos returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown for a 24-13 lead with 5:08 left.
 
Baltimore was in position for the go-ahead score when Amos got his first career interception on a pass that bounced off the chest of receiver Chris Moore, who was covered tightly by Kyle Fuller.
 
Chicago forced three turnovers and frustrated quarterback Joe Flacco throughout the afternoon.
 
Flacco went 24 for 41 for 180 yards with two interceptions.
 
Trubisky put Chicago ahead 17-3 in the third quarter with an on-the-run, 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dion Sims, who outfought Tony Jefferson for the ball in the end zone.
 
The Bears host Panthers, who will have a few extra days of rest after playing on Thursday night.
 
>>Packers Lose Rodgers, Game Against Minnesota
 
Harrison Smith led the Minnesota defense's thorough dismantling of the Packers, who lost Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone and left with a 23-10 defeat to the Vikings on Sunday that transformed the trajectory of the NFC North race.
 
Smith had 1 1/2 sacks on safety blitzes, a diving interception and two pass breakups, helping the Vikings (4-2) limit the injury-depleted Packers to a season-low 227 yards.
Anthony Barr, who later left with a concussion, delivered the game-changing hit on Green Bay's second drive when he took Rodgers hard to the turf as the two-time NFL MVP followed through on a pass. Rodgers fell on his throwing shoulder, and the Packers (4-2) announced he could miss the remainder of the season .
 
Brett Hundley threw his first career touchdown pass in relief, connecting with Davante Adams in the second quarter after a 63-yard return by Clay Matthews of Jerick McKinnon's fumble gave the Packers the ball at the 18.
 
Damarious Randall's interception of Case Keenum later in the first half put the Packers at the Minnesota 38 with a prime opportunity to tie the game at the break, but a juggling catch by Ty Montgomery at the goal line was ruled incomplete by replay review reversal that forced a short field goal instead and kept the Vikings in front 14-10.
 
The Packers had five first downs and 102 yards over the first three quarters.
 
Hundley was picked off three times and sacked four times. He finished 18 for 33 for 157 yards.
 
McKinnon made up for his turnover with 16 carries for 69 yards and a score and five catches for 30 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings, who have so far survived the absence of Bradford and running back Dalvin Cook, who's out for the season with a knee injury.
 
Keenum, making his fourth start in place of Sam Bradford, went 24 for 38 for 239 yards without top wide receiver Stefon Diggs. He threw 13 times to Adam Thielen, completing nine for 97 yards.
 
The Packers host New Orleans, before a well-timed bye week.

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Penn State Up To No. 2 in Latest Polls

What was advertised as an off weekend for marquee college football games ended up as one of the  most impactful weeks of the season in terms of the rankings and College Football Playoff picture. 
 
Clemson, Washington and Washington State all lost for the first time this season, and now face a climb back into the playoff picture with no margin for error along the way. San Diego State and Navy each tasted defeat for the first time as well, bringing the list of undefeated teams to eight: Alabama, Penn State, Georgia, Wisconsin, TCU, Miami, USF and UCF. 
 
Auburn's loss at LSU makes the SEC West picture look less difficult for Alabama, and in surviving a thriller in the rain against Georgia Tech, Miami enters Week 8 as the top team in the ACC standings. 
 
Alabama leads the top of the poll followed by Penn State at No. 2 and Georgia at No. 3. LSU was the biggest move up, gaining nine spots to land at No. 25 while Auburn fell 10 spots to No. 21. 
 
Four of the top 10 teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll lost this week, giving us one of the biggest changes week-to-week in the college football rankings since the start of the season. 
 
Defending conference champions Clemson and Washington are no longer in the top five after losing to conference opponents on the road, but the spots that have opened up for teams below them are far from permanent with pivotal games between top teams coming in the next few weeks. 
 
Penn State, now at No. 2, will will play against No. 19 Michigan, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 18 Michigan State in the next three weeks. No. 8 Miami has dates with No. 14 Virginia Tech and No. 13 Notre Dame in the next month. Sometimes the rankings get changed from unexpected upsets, but the battles between these top teams are going to have even more of an impact on the college football landscape. 
 
Alabama is now the unanimous No. 1 team in the land after Clemson's loss and Georgia has moved into the top three followed by TCU at No. 4. Clemson remained in the top 10, falling to No. 7, while Auburn was one of the biggest movers in this week's rankings with an 11-spot drop to No. 21. 

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Greer blocks FG as E. Illinois holds off Murray St. in 2OT

Isaiah Johnson rushed for 236 yards, Matt Severino kicked two field goals in overtime and Terrell Greer ended the game with a blocked field goal as Eastern Illinois defeated Murray State 27-24 in double overtime on Saturday.
 
Eastern Illinois (5-2, 3-1 Ohio Valley Conference) survived four turnovers, including three interceptions thrown by Bud Martin (18-30 for 192 yards) and rallied to a fourth straight win - each decided by a field goal or less.
 
Murray State (2-5, 1-3) scored two touchdowns in the final 10 minutes tying the game at 21, then survived a Severino field goal attempt in the final minute.
 
The Racers opened the extra period with a Gabriel Vicente field goal, but Severino booted a pair for Eastern Illinois. Greer, a 5-foot-10 freshman lineman, stepped through the line and blocked Vicente to end the game.
 
Shuler Bentley passed for 332 yards and picked a bad snap off the grass to hit D.J. Penick as the Racers tied it at 21. Jordon Gandy had 10 catches for 193 yards and a score.

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Straub's 4 TDs help Southern Illinois upset Illinois St 42-7

Sam Straub threw for four touchdowns and Southern Illinois surprised FCS nationally-ranked Illinois State 42-7 on Saturday in the 80th meeting between the programs.
 
The Salukis (3-3, 1-2 Missouri Valley) broke a three-game losing streak in the series to extend their winning streak over ranked opponents to 16 straight seasons.
 
Straub went 22 of 34 for 368 yards and tied a career-high for touchdown passes in a game. On the third play of the second half, Straub evaded the rush and his long throw over the defense to Raphael Leonard ended in a 73-yard touchdown to make it 28-0.
 
Connor Iwema made six catches for 118 yards for the Salukis. D.J. Davis rushed for 60 yards and hauled in two touchdown passes among his seven catches for 78 yards. Sam Bonansinga's sole catch was for an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
 
Jake Kolbe threw for 232 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions for the Redbirds (4-2, 2-1), who turned it over five times.
 

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Week 8 Football Scores

Central Illinois games:
 
Decatur St. Teresa 70, Sullivan-Okaw Valley 14
Central A & M 0, Shelbyville 57
Tuscola 48, Meridian 7
 
Illini Prairie Conference games:
 
Bloomington Central Catholic 49, Illinois Valley Central 20
Champaign St. Thomas More 7, Pontiac 44
Rantoul 28, Tolono Unity 56
Olympia 7, St. Joseph-Ogden 48
 
Apollo:
 
Lincoln 13, Mahomet-Seymour 22
Mattoon 13, Effingham 55
Taylorville 34, Mt. Zion 6
 
Big Twelve:
 
Champaign Central at Peoria (Sat.)
Danville 14, Normal Community 42
Peoria Notre Dame 42, Champaign Centennial 0
Peoria Richwoods 21, Normal West 35
Urbana 0, Bloomington 28
 
Central State Eight:
 
Decatur MacArthur 14, Chatham Glenwood 28
Jacksonville 6, Springfield Lanphier 26
Normal U-High 26, Springfield Southeast 8
Rochester 55, Decatur Eisenhower 12
Springfield 7, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 49
 
Heart of Illinois (Large):
 
Ridgeview 0, El Paso-Gridley 7
Tri-Valley 41, Fieldcrest 20
Eureka 23, Dee-Mack 7
 
Heart of Illinois (Small):
 
Fisher 55, Tremont 18
Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 8, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 61
Heyworth 8, LeRoy 43
 
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest):
 
Arcola 34, Sangamon Valley 0
Argenta-Oreana 36, Decatur LSA 22
Cerro Gordo-Bement 20, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 17
 
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast):
 
Martinsville 39, Oblong 6
Oakland Tri-County 1, Palestine 0
Villa Grove-Heritage 20, Toledo Cumberland 41
 
Mid-Illini:
 
Canton 42, Morton 22
Dunlap 49, Limestone 20
East Peoria 0, Washington 49
Pekin 34, Metamora 44
 
Sangamo:
 
Athens 55, New Berlin 14
Auburn 39, Maroa-Forsyth 75
Petersburg PORTA 6, Williamsville 55
Pittsfield 6, Pleasant Plains 60
Riverton 7, Virden North Mac 34
 
Non-Conference Action:
 
Macomb 14, Peoria Manual 24
Varna Midland River Valley 12, Blue Ridge 44

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Monticello Hangs For Win Over Prairie Central

The Monticello Sages did not play their best but held off Prairie Central Friday night for a 14-6 win in Illini Prairie Conference football action Friday night in Fairbury.

 

Monticello drove 99 yards for their first score with 26 seconds left in the second quarter to go up 7-0 on a Lucas Lieb 1-yard touchdown run. The Sages scored on a 4th and long screen pass from 36-yards out by Alek Bundy to make it 14-0.

 

The Hawk's score closed the gap to 14-6 in the fourth quarter and were first and goal trying to spike the ball to stop the clock with under a ten seconds but a fumble on the snap resulted in a turnover and Monticello ran out the clock for the win.

 

Prairie Central quarterback, Billy Printz tallied 260 total yards finishing 14-for-26 for 134 yards and rushed 22 times for 126 yards.

 

6-foot-6 wide receiver Eddie Shumaker caught seven balls for 83 yards.

 

Monticello was led by Braden Snyder’s 217 total yards. He was 15-for-24 for 183 yards with a touchdown and interception through the air. He rushed seven times for 34 yards.

 

Lucas Lieb finished with 37 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

 

Asher Bradd led all Sages receivers with 71 yards on six receptions.

 

Dylan Thomas finished with four receptions for 57 yards.

 

Monticello improves to 7-1 overall while Prairie Central drops to 4-4 overall.

 

The Sages host rival St. Joseph-Ogden next Friday night for senior night. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Clinton Maroons Fall to Warrensburg

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Warrensburg Latham Cardinals by a score of 55-7 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by senior Bryson Carson with 16 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown. The Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game was Kolby Winter. Winter had four carries for 24 yards and one catch for 35 yards. Ty Berter was 6 of 18 passing for 71 yards.

 

The Cardinals were led by Dionte Lewis who was 7 of 18 passing for 120 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball eight times for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Diondre Lewis had six catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Clinton falls to 2-6 overall and 1-5 in the Central Illinois Conference. With the win, Warrensburg becomes playoff eligible with 5-3 on the season and 3-3 in conference play.

 

Tune in next week as Clinton takes on Meridian to end the season. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

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Monticello vs Prairie Central

The final score is 14-6, Monticello on top.

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Maroons Head To Warrensburg-Latham Tonight

With the playoffs out of the picture for the Clinton Maroons, they can play spoiler tonight when they head to Warrensburg-Latham High School to take on the Cardinals.
 
The Maroons at 2-5 overall will take on the 4-3 Cardinals. The Cardinals need a victory to be eligible for the postseason but two wins to be guaranteed a spot in the postseason. 
 
The Maroons lost last Friday night 40-0 against Shelbyville. Warrensburg-Latham routed Meridian 55-7 last Friday and are at Central A&M next Friday.
 
Hear tonight's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
Central Illinois games tonight.... 
 
Decatur St. Teresa at Sullivan-Okaw Valley
Central A & M at Shelbyville
Tuscola at Meridian

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Monticello at Prairie Central

After a hard fought 18-10 win over Pontiac last Friday night for Homecoming at Monticello High School, the Sages hit the road to take on Prairie Central in Fairbury.
The Sages held off the weather and Indians for their sixth win and another playoff spot. 
 
Prairie Central routed Olympia 56-12 last Friday. The 4-3 Hawks need to win one of their final two games to be eligible for the playoffs. 
 
Monticello is 6-1 overall.
 
Hear tonight's action starting at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
 
Illini Prairie Conference games tonight:
 
Bloomington Central Catholic at Illinois Valley Central
Champaign St. Thomas More at Pontiac
Rantoul at Tolono Unity
Olympia at St. Joseph-Ogden
 
Apollo
 
Lincoln at Mahomet-Seymour
Mattoon at Effingham
Taylorville at Mt. Zion
 
Big Twelve
 
Champaign Central at Peoria (Sat.)
Danville at Normal Community
Peoria Notre Dame at Champaign Centennial
Peoria Richwoods at Normal West
Urbana at Bloomington
 
Central State Eight
 
Decatur MacArthur at Chatham Glenwood
Jacksonville at Springfield Lanphier
Normal U-High at Springfield Southeast
Rochester at Decatur Eisenhower
Springfield at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
 
Heart of Illinois (Large)
 
Ridgeview at El Paso-Gridley
Tri-Valley at Fieldcrest
Eureka at Dee-Mack
 
Heart of Illinois (Small)
 
Fisher at Tremont
Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
Heyworth at LeRoy
 
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest)
 
Arcola at Sangamon Valley
Argenta-Oreana at Decatur LSA
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
 
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast)
 
Martinsville at Oblong
Oakland Tri-County at Palestine
Villa Grove-Heritage at Toledo Cumberland
 
Mid-Illini
 
Canton at Morton
Dunlap at Limestone
East Peoria at Washington
Pekin at Metamora
 
Sangamo
 
Athens at New Berlin
Auburn at Maroa-Forsyth
Petersburg PORTA at Williamsville
Pittsfield at Pleasant Plains
Riverton at Virden North Mac
 
Non-Conference Action tonight....
 
Macomb at Peoria Manual
Varna Midland River Valley at Blue Ridge

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Illinois Hosts Rutgers Saturday; ISU, EIU In Action

Illinois (2-3, 0-2) returns home to host Rutgers (1-4, 0-2) Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Illinois' defense forced five turnovers, including a 78-yard interception return for touchdown by Darius Mosely, and Kendrick Foster scored two touchdowns as Illinois left Rutgers with a 24-7 win last season.
 
Illinois moved the ball better than it had all season last Saturday at Iowa, gaining a season-high 446 yards of total offense, including a season-high 200 rushing yards.
 
Game time is 11 am and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
 
>>Illinois State At Southern Illinois
 
After suffering its first loss of the season, No. 15/17 Illinois State looks to get back on track and improve to 3-0 in Valley Football play when it wraps up a two-game road swing in Carbondale, Illinois, against in-state foe Southern Illinois.
 
Senior defensive tackle Dalton Keene was all over the field last Saturday for the Redbirds at NAU.  The Jacksonville, Illinois, native recorded a season-high 10 tackles, recorded a sack and finished with a career-best three tackles for loss for the Redbirds against the Lumberjacks. 
 
Game time Saturday from Carbondale is 2 pm.
 
>>Eastern Illinois At Murray State
 
Off a thrilling upset of Tennessee Tech at home last Saturday, the Eastern Illinois Panthers hit the road to take on Murray State this Saturday.
 
The Racers enter action at just 1-4 on the season while EIU is 4-2 overall and 2-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play.
 
Game time Saturday is 3 pm. Hear all the action starting at 2:30 pm and can be heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Cubs Outlast Nationals To Advance to NLCS

A wild, bat-around fifth inning Thursday night for Chicago included Addison Russell's go-ahead, two-run double, a bases-loaded hit by pitch, and a disputed dropped third strike followed by a throwing error, helping the defending World Series champion Cubs come back - and then hold on - to edge the Nationals 9-8.
 
And for the third year in a row, Chicago reached the NL Championship Series.
Russell drove in four runs and Davis, Chicago's seventh pitcher, turned in his longest appearance since 2012.
 
Catcher Willson Contreras picked off Jose Lobaton at first base to quash a Washington threat in the eighth and Davis fanned a swinging Bryce Harper for the final out.
 
Chicago, which surpassed its total of eight runs from the first four games of the NL Division Series, advanced to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will start ace Clayton Kershaw at home in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night.
 
Homers by Daniel Murphy and Michael A. Taylor gave the hosts a 4-1 lead in the second against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks.
 
But Gonzalez gave back two of those runs, so it was 4-3 as two-time Cy Young Award winner Scherzer entered for the fifth.
 
By the time Scherzer's one inning was over, the Cubs had taken a 7-4 lead, and Russell had delivered the biggest hit. Chicago scored two earned runs and two unearned runs, on the strength of three hits, one hit by pitch, one intentional walk, a catcher's interference, and one very odd play.
 
What could have been a potentially inning-ending strikeout turned into a run, as Javier Baez swung and missed, but the ball went under catcher Matt Wieters' glove and through his legs. When Wieters collected the ball, he threw it into right field for an error, then appeared to argue that the play should have been ruled over because Baez's follow-through carried the bat into the catcher's mask.
 
The lead was 9-6 when Washington got one run in the seventh on Harper's sacrifice fly, and one in the eighth on Taylor's RBI single.
 
But the Nationals wasted some opportunities. In the eighth, with two on and no outs, pinch-hitter Adam Lind hit into a double play. Later in that inning, again with two men aboard, Lobaton was nailed by Contreras' snap throw for the third out - Lobaton was originally ruled safe, a call that was overturned on replay.
 
In the seventh, Ryan Zimmerman was up as the go-ahead run with two men on, but Davis struck him out. That was part of an 0 for 4, three-K night for the first baseman who had a resurgent season, leading the Nationals with 36 homers and 108 RBIs.

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Blackhawks, Blues Lose for First Time in 2017

>>Wild Down Blackhawks
 
Chris Stewart broke a tie midway through the third period with the first of his two goals and the Wild beat the Chicago Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Thursday night.
 
Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk made 36 saves to help the Wild (1-1-1) hand Chicago (3-1-1) its first regulation loss.
 
Stewart tapped Zucker's feed past Corey Crawford from the doorstep with 9:28 left in the third to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead on a disputed play.
 
Stewart and Zucker broke in 2-on-1 against Duncan Keith after fellow defenseman Brent Seabrook fell down. The goal withstood a video review after the Blackhawks challenged Zucker was offside.
 
Zucker added a power-play goal with 7:31 to go on the delay-of-game penalty that resulted from the failed Chicago challenge. He banged the puck in from behind the net off Crawford's skate.
 
Jonathan Toews' goal in the final minute completed the scoring.
 
Crawford stopped 29 shots. Chicago entered having outscored its opponents 21-7 in four games.
 
>>Panthers Down Blues
 
Robert Luongo reached 454 victories, making 37 saves to help the Florida Florida Panthers beat the St. Louis St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Thursday night.
 
Vincent Trocheck scored the go-ahead goal, Ian McCoshen had his first NHL goal, and Jared McCann, Aaron Ekblad and Nick Bjugstad also connected for Florida.
 
Paul Stastny and Vince Dunn - also with his first career goal - countered for St. Louis. Jake Allen stopped 33 shots in the Blues' first loss in five games this season.
 
Trocheck put the Panthers ahead 2-1 with a short-handed goal at 2:45 of the second period. Trocheck skated in on a breakaway and shot over Allen's glove. 
 
McCann made it 3-1 on a power play at 7:42 of the second, redirecting Radim Vrbata's shot.
 
Ekblad gave the Panthers a 4-1 lead at 3:16 of the third when he took a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau in front and fired it past Allen. Bjugstad scored with 5:58 left made it 5-1.
 
The Blues are at Tampa Bay on Saturday night.

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Bears, Packers Play At Noon Sunday

>>Packers At Vikings Sunday
 
Sunday's first meeting of the season between Minnesota (3-2) and Green Bay (4-1) at U.S. Bank Stadium looks to be a matchup between one of pro football's most prolific passers -- Packers starter Aaron Rodgers -- versus one of college football's legendary passers -- Vikings backup Case Keenum.
 
Keenum, who has played in four of Minnesota's first five games, came on in relief of starter Sam Bradford on Monday in Chicago and helped spark the Vikings to a 20-17 victory.
 
Keenum may need to do so without top receiver Stefon Diggs, who was limited in the game against Chicago and missed practice this week with a groin injury.
 
Green Bay has won three in a row, including a last-minute comeback victory in Dallas last weekend that added to Rodgers' resume as a cool-under-fire passer.
 
Packers receiver Jordy Nelson did not play late in the game against the Cowboys because of a back ailment but was a full participant in practice Wednesday. He and Rodgers will face a tough test in Minnesota's defense.
 
Minnesota has won two of the last three games in the rivalry, although the Packers won the most recent game 38-25 on Christmas Eve at Lambeau Field.
 
>>Bears in Baltimore Sunday
 
The matchup between the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens features a pair of quarterbacks on opposite sides of their career.
 
Chicago rookie Mitchell Trubisky is looking to take the next step in his development with his second consecutive start. Meanwhile, 10-year veteran Joe Flacco has regained his confidence after some shaky performances for Baltimore.
 
The quarterbacks will offer a contrast of styles when they meet Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
 
Trubisky, the second overall pick in the 2017 draft, was uneven in his first start, going 12 for 25 for 128 yards with a touchdown and costly interception in a 20-17 loss to Minnesota.
 
The Bears are ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense, but suffered a blow when linebacker Willie Young was placed on injured reserve with a triceps injury. However, fellow linebacker Danny Trevathan returned to practice this week after serving his one-game suspension.
 
Chicago has lost its past 10 games on the road.
 
Baltimore, has also been hampered by injuries, especially on the offensive line. The Ravens have a league-high 16 players on injured reserve.
 
The Ravens are ranked second in the league with nine interceptions behind Jacksonville (10).

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Cubs, Nationals Headed To Game 5 Tonight

>>Strasburg, Nationals Blank Cubs, Force Game 5 Tonight
 
Stephen Strasburg shook off an illness and pitched seven dominant innings, Michael A. Taylor hit a late grand slam and the Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-0 on Wednesday to send their NL Division Series to a decisive Game 5.
Strasburg struck out 12 , allowed three hits and walked two. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft has 22 Ks in 14 innings in the series, allowing only a pair of unearned runs in the sixth in the opener.
 
Chicago wasted a gutsy performance from Jake Arrieta and solid relief by Game 2 starter Jon Lester in its first home playoff loss since Game 4 of the World Series last year. NL MVP Kris Bryant struck out four times, and the defending champs went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
 
Arrieta limited Washington to an unearned run and two hits. Lester got the Cubs all the way to the eighth, picking off Ryan Zimmerman before departing after Daniel Murphy's two-out single.
 
But Chicago's bullpen faltered from there. Carl Edwards Jr. walked two in a row and threw ball one to Taylor before he was replaced by Wade Davis. Taylor then drove a 1-1 pitch into the basket overhanging the brick wall in right field for his first career homer in the playoffs.
 
Ryan Madson worked the eighth and Doolittle finished the three-hitter, giving the NL East champions a chance to avenge years of playoff heartache.
 
The Nationals jumped in front in the third, taking advantage of a Chicago error for the second straight game. Trea Turner doubled with one out for his first hit of the series and advanced on a wild pitch. Jayson Werth struck out looking before Arrieta walked Bryce Harper, putting runners on the corners.
 
Zimmerman followed with a slow roller to shortstop. Addison Russell charged the ball, but he couldn't bring it in.
 
Kyle Hendricks starts for the World Series champion Cubs after throwing seven sharp innings in a 3-0 victory over Strasburg in Game 1.
 
>>Gregorius' Two Homers Lead Yankees Past Indians
 
Didi Gregorius homered twice off Corey Kluber as New York beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 in Game 5 on Wednesday night to complete its comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the Division Series and dethrone the AL champions.
 
Gregorius hit a solo homer in the first off Kluber and added a two-run shot in the third off Cleveland's ace
 
The Indians closed to 3-2 in the fifth against starter CC Sabathia before David Robertson pitched 2 2/3 hitless innings for the win. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman worked two innings for the save.

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Packers WR Nelson Family Adopts Baby Girl

It's been a pretty great week for Jordy Nelson. Not only did the Green Bay Packers wide receiver leave Dallas with a thrilling win over the Cowboys, he also left with an additional member of his family. 
A few days before Sunday's game at AT&T Stadium, Nelson and his wife, Emily, made a trip to San Antonio to finalize the adoption of their third child, Adda Jo. 
 
The Nelsons had been fostering the baby girl for about seven months prior to making the addition official on Friday. (Texas state law requires a child to live with his or her adoptive parents for at least six months before the adoption is finalized.)
 
Adda Jo is the couple's second adopted child. They adopted a son, Brooks, in February 2015. 

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Cubs, Nationals Game 4 Washed Out; To Play This Afternoon

Game 4 of the NL Division Series between the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs has been postponed by rain.
The Cubs and Nationals took batting practice at Wrigley Field and the grounds crew got things ready before bringing out the tarp. The rain started to fall about a half-hour after the game was supposed to start. With more showers in the forecast, Major League Baseball then called it off.
 
Game 4 is now scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 4:08 p.m. EDT with Chicago leading 2-1 in the best-of-five series. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said the team will stay with Jake Arrieta for their starting pitcher, while Nationals manager Dusty Baker left open the possibility of using Game 1 starter Stephen Strasburg instead of Tanner Roark.
 
Chicago won 2-1 Monday at home. The winner of the NLDS takes on the Dodgers in the next round, scheduled to begin Saturday in Los Angeles.

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Bears Place LB Young on IR

The Chicago Bears have placed outside linebacker Willie Young on injured reserve because of a triceps injury.
Young was injured against Green Bay on Sept. 28. He has seven tackles and two sacks this season. Young has 26 sacks in four seasons with Chicago and 32 in eight years with the Bears and Detroit Lions.
 
The Bears' defense has also lost inside linebackers Jerrell Freeman and his replacement Nick Kwiatkoski to pectoral injuries as well as safety Quintin Demps (broken arm). Linebacker John Timu suffered a knee injury in Monday's loss to Minnesota.
 
The Bears (1-4) announced the move on Tuesday. Chicago visits Baltimore on Sunday.

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Blues, Blackhawks Win

>>Blues Down Rangers, Remain Unbeaten
 
Carl Gunnarsson and Brayden Schenn scored first-period goals for St. Louis, which improved to 4-0. Jaden Schwartz added an empty-netter with 1:47 left.
 
Trailing 2-1, the Rangers pressured an injury-depleted Blues squad in the third period, outshooting St. Louis 16-8.
 
New York outshot the Blues 32-23 overall.
 
Gunnarsson opened the scoring at 15 seconds with his second of the season, a wide-open wrist shot from the slot.
 
Mika Zibanejad tied the game 2:07 later with his fifth of the season on the power play.
 
The Blues visit the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
 
>>Blackhawks Top Canadiens
 
Alex Debrincat got his first as a Blackhawk and set up one for Artem Anisimov as Chicago spoiled the Montreal Canadiens' home opener with a 3-1 victory on Tuesday night.
 
And tallying his first against a Vezina Trophy winner like Carey Price made it that much better.
 
Brandon Saad also scored for Chicago (3-0-1), which was coming off an overtime loss Monday night in Toronto.
 
Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal (1-3-0) when he picked off a Ryan Hartman pass in the Blackhawks zone, wheeled and scored on a wrist shot inside the near post 1:15 into the game.
 
Patrick Sharp intercepted a Jordie Benn clearing attempt and fed DeBrincat for a one-timer goal at 17:53. Only 19 seconds later, Saad got this fifth goal of the season on a tap-in while finishing a three-man rush with Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik.
 
DeBrincat made the decisive pass in a tic-tac-toe play with Cody Franson that Anisimov finished with a tap-in on a power play 10:44 into the second frame.
 
The Blackhawks host Minnesota on Thursday.

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Cubs Rally Past Nationals for 2-1 Series Lead

Anthony Rizzo blooped a tiebreaking single into left field with two outs in the eighth and the Cubs overcame Max Scherzer's brilliant performance to beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Monday for a 2-1 lead in their NL Division Series.
 
The Nationals had a base open with Rizzo coming to the plate and pinch runner Leonys Martin on second, but manager Dusty Baker elected to pitch to the slugger with Willson Conteras on-deck. Oliver Perez came in and Rizzo looped his first pitch into shallow left-center, finding a patch of grass between three Washington fielders.
 
Rizzo stumbled after he took a big turn around first and was tagged out to end the inning, but he didn't seem to care too much, demanding veneration as the Cubs came out of the dugout for the ninth.
 
Scherzer was dominant in his return from a right hamstring injury, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh. But just like in Game 1, when Chicago was held hitless into the sixth by Stephen Strasburg, the World Series champion Cubs showed off their resilience on the way to a stirring victory.
 
Chicago committed four errors, including two by left fielder Kyle Schwarber on one ugly play, and Jason Heyward also made an uncharacteristic baserunning mistake. 
 
But the Cubs got a huge pinch-hit RBI single from Albert Almora Jr. and a solid pitching performance from Jose Quintana in the return of postseason baseball to Wrigley after last year's World Series ended in Cleveland.
 
After Rizzo's big hit, All-Star Wade Davis retired three in a row for his second save of the series.
 
Game 4 of the best-of-five series is Tuesday. Jake Arrieta returns from his own hamstring injury for the Cubs, while Tanner Roark gets the ball for the Nationals.
 
Roark is from Wilmington, Illinois, about 60 miles south of Chicago, and grew up rooting for the Cubs.
 
>>Angels Add RHP Pena From Cubs
 
The Los Angeles Angels have acquired right-handed reliever Felix Pena from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash or a player to be named later.
 
The Angels announced the deal Monday for Diaz, who was designated for assignment by Chicago last week.
 
Los Angeles also designated left-hander Jason Gurka for assignment.
 
Diaz had a 4.98 ERA in 36 appearances with the Cubs over the past two seasons. The Dominican prospect showed talent and a 98-mph fastball, but gave up eight homers this season.
 
Angels general manager Billy Eppler has demonstrated a knack for discovering capable pitchers on other teams' scrap heaps. He added relievers Blake Parker, Yusmeiro Petit, David Hernandez and Bud Norris and starter Parker Bridwell at minimal expense in the last year alone.

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Vikings Rally Past Bears

Case Keenum led three second-half scoring drives after Sam Bradford's troublesome left knee flared up again, and the Minnesota Vikings beat Trubisky and the Chicago Bears 20-17 on Monday night.
 
Kai Forbath kicked a 26-yard field goal in the closing seconds after Harrison Smith intercepted Trubisky , and the Vikings (3-2) came away with the win after dropping two of three.
 
Trubisky was 12 of 25 for 128 yards with a touchdown.
 
The interception came after the Bears (1-4) took over on their 10 with 2:32 left in the game. Smith picked off a pass intended for Zach Miller on the right sideline at the 22.
 
The Vikings got the ball at the 28, and Forbath booted the winner with 16 seconds left.
 
Keenum replaced Bradford with 25 seconds left in the first half and went 17 of 21 for 140 yards and a touchdown. Bradford finished just 5 of 11 passes for 36 yards and was sacked four times.
 
Jerick McKinnon had a 58-yard touchdown run. Everson Griffen contributed a strip-sack against Trubisky that led to a field goal, and the Vikings beat Chicago on the road for just the third time in 17 games.
 
The Bears visit Baltimore on Oct. 15.

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Blues Win in SO; Blackhawks Lose in OT

>>Blues Outlast Islanders in SO
 
Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko scored shootout goals to lift the St. Louis Blues over the New York Islanders 3-2 on Monday, the third straight win to start the season for the Blues.
 
Andrew Ladd and Anders Lee had scored for the Islanders in the third period to send the game into overtime, Lee's goal coming at the 19-minute mark.
 
Tarasenko scored twice in the second period for the Blues, who were seemingly in control until Ladd scored for the home team at 13:04 of the third period to ruin Jake Allen's shutout bid.
 
Allen, who made 40 saves, denied Jordan Eberle and Anthony Beauvillier in the shootout.
 
Tarasenko opened the scoring at 9:38 of the middle period after he spun past Leddy, then beat Thomas Greiss with a nifty backhand. Paul Statsny assisted.
 
Tarasenko increased the lead with a power-play goal at 15:34 of the second. The talented Russian forward whipped the puck past Greiss, finishing a passing play from Jaden Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo for his third goal of the season.
 
Allen, who had a career-best 33 wins last season, has won all three of his starts this season.
 
After Josh Ho-Sang was denied on a right pad save by Allen, Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson was assessed a slashing penalty, giving the Islanders a two-man advantage. But they failed to capitalize and were 0 for 6 overall on the power play.
 
The Blues remain in New York City to tak on the Rangers tonight. 
 
>>Maple Leafs Outlast Blackhawks in Overtime
 
Auston Matthews had his own goalie taking pity on their opponent after his latest timely goal.
 
Matthews beat Anton Forsberg 3:43 into overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 comeback win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
 
The 20-year-old Matthews had very little space to work with but ripped a wrist shot over Forsberg's glove for his second goal of the season.
 
Matthews's goal came on a 2-on-1 and capped three in a row to erase Chicago's 3-1 lead.
 
Matthews played much of the night matched up against Chicago's top line with Patrick Kane. Matthews finished with six shots on net and the winning goal while Kane, who entered with 22 points in 13 career games against Toronto, finished minus-three with one shot and no points.
 
Nikita Zaitsev, Connor Brown and James van Riemsdyk also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won their first three games.
 
Jan Rutta, Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik had goals for the Blackhawks.
 
Andersen made 18 saves for the win while Forsberg stopped 39 shots.
 
Outside of the opening three minutes, the first period belonged to the Blackhawks, and they went into the intermission up 2-0.
 
Rutta scored 3:46 into the game when he wheeled around the back of the net and tossed the puck out front, where it hit Toronto center Mitch Marner's stick and squeaked through Andersen and the post.
 
Eric Fehr had a great chance to tie it three minutes later, but was turned away by Forsberg, and Chicago went down the ice and doubled its advantage.
 
Toews made it 2-0 when he banged in a rebound over the left pad of Andersen with 12:53 to play in the first.
 
It could have been a three-goal edge for Chicago if Andersen didn't turn away Patrick Sharp on a breakaway late in the first.
 
It wasn't until the midway point of the second that Toronto picked up its pace and was awarded its first power-play opportunity after some sustained pressure by Matthews in the offensive zone.
 
The Leafs failed to capitalize on the man advantage, but Zaitsev put them on the board soon after, streaking in from the Blackhawks blue line and taking a pass from Brown before snapping the puck five-hole on Forsberg at 10:20.
 
Matthews nearly tied the game on a 2-on-1 rush five minutes later with a toe-drag into a wrist shot, but Forsberg stayed with him and got his right arm on the puck.
 
The final eight minutes of the second were filled with minor penalties and lots of 4-on-4 hockey, but no one was able to take advantage of the open ice.
 
Matthews had another good scoring chance before the period was through, but Forsberg was there again to stop him.
 
Toronto was behind 2-1 after 40 minutes despite outshooting Chicago 26-15.
 
Zach Hyman created a scoring chance for himself early in the third only to be turned aside by Forsberg.
 
Forsberg's play allowed the Blackhawks to restore their two-goal lead 7:52 into the third.
 
Panik took the puck off the end boards after it ricocheted in front from a point shot and slotted it into an empty net on the power play.
 
The Blackhawks continue their Canada road trip when they play at Montreal tonight.

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Packers Outlast Cowboys

Aaron Rodgers threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds remaining, lifting the Packers over Dallas 35-31 on Sunday in another thriller nine months after their divisional playoff win on the same field.
 
Rodgers capped a 75-yard drive in just 1:02, going toward the same end zone as in the playoff game. In that game, Rodgers' long completion to Jared Cook on third-and-20 in the final seconds set up Mason Crosby's winning field goal as time expired in a 34-31 win.
 
Adams had been in the concussion protocol but was active 10 days after leaving the field on a stretcher on a helmet-to-helmet hit that resulted in a suspension for Chicago linebacker Danny Trevathan. He had seven catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
 
Dak Prescott, who had touchdown passes on Dallas' first three drives, put the Cowboys in front on an 11-yard touchdown run with 1:13 remaining to cap a 17-play drive that lasted almost nine minutes.
 
But another defensive letdown, just like a year ago in the postseason, left Dallas (2-3) already with the same number of losses from the magical rookie season when Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott led the Cowboys to the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
 
The Packers (4-1) had gone ahead earlier on Damarius Randall's 21-yard interception return for a touchdown, the third of five lead changes in the fourth quarter. Green Bay rallied from 15 points down in the first half after letting a 21-3 lead get away in last season's playoff win.
 
Aaron Jones became the first Green Bay running back with 100 yards in his first start as a rookie since Samkon Gado in 2005. He had 19 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. He replaced Ty Montgomery, out after breaking some ribs in the win over the Bears.
 
Elliott ended a three-game drought without 100 yards, matching the longest from his rookie season, finishing with 116 yards on 29 carries.
Rodgers was 19 of 29 for 221 yards and three touchdowns, and set up the winning score with an 18-yard scramble. 
 
Prescott looked the part of Rodgers, scrambling to set up big completions and running 21 yards himself on one play to help the Cowboys build a 21-6 lead.
 
He was 25 of 36 for 251 yards and three first-half touchdowns, two to Cole Beasley and one to Dez Bryant.
 
The Packers hit the road for their first NFC North road game at Minnesota next Sunday.

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Cubs, Nationals Shift Series To Wrigely Even at 1

Max Scherzer hasn't pitched since Sept. 30 when he left his final regular-season start with what he referred to at the time as a "small tweak" in his right hamstring. 
 
The reigning National League Cy Young winner was scheduled to pitch Game 1 against the Cubs, but was pushed back to Game 3 to provide him extra time to build more strength and endurance in his hamstring.
Scherzer won his only start against the Cubs this season and is 3-1 in six career starts against Chicago.
 
The Cubs overcame being no-hit for 5 2/3 innings in Game 1 against Stephen Strasburg to pull out a 3-0 victory to take an early series lead. 
 
But after the Nationals scored five times in the eighth inning in Saturday's 6-3 victory to even the series.
 
Chicago will counter with Jose Quintana, who will make his postseason debut. Quintana, who was acquired from the crosstown White Sox in a midseason trade, will face the Nationals for the first time in his career.

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Bears Host Vikings

Mitch Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick, will make his debut in prime time as the Chicago Bears (1-3) square off against the Minnesota Vikings (2-2).
 
The 23-year-old Ohio native supplants Mike Glennon as the starter only five weeks into his career.
 
The Vikings offer a difficult challenge to any quarterback, let alone an untested rookie. Minnesota ranks No. 1 in the league in third-down defense (25.6 percent conversion rate) and tied for eighth in scoring defense (19 points per game).
 
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen paces the team with five sacks in the first four games. Safety Andrew Sendejo also has emerged as a leader with 32 tackles and an interception.
 
Minnesota will play its first game since losing rookie running back Dalvin Cook to a torn left ACL that will cost him the remainder of the season. Cook rushed for 354 yards in three-plus contests.
 
In Cook's place, running back Latavius Murray will inherit the bulk of the workload. Murray is coming off ankle surgery during the offseason that still has him feeling less than 100 percent.
 
The Vikings have been without quarterback Sam Bradford for the past three games because of a knee injury. If he remains out, look for Case Keenum to guide the offense once again.
 
Chicago's defense has offered reason for hope in an otherwise ugly start to the season. The Bears are No. 8 in the NFL in total defense with 306.3 yards allowed per game, however, will be short-handed as linebacker Danny Trevathan serves a one-game suspension for his hit on Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams in Week 4. 

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Washington State Jumps Into Top 10 in Latest Polls

The new USA Today Coaches Poll was released on Sunday, and following an eventful weekend in college football, there were shakeups in the top 10. 
 
Most notably, Oklahoma and Michigan fell out of the top 10 following their losses Saturday to Iowa State and Michigan State, respectively. The Sooners dropped nine spots to No. 12, while the Wolverines fell from No. 7 to No. 16. The Spartans entered the top 25 at No. 22. Navy and Stanford also entered the top 25 with Louisville, Florida and West Virginia dropping out. Alabama and Clemson remain the top two teams with first-place votes. 
 
The newest AP Top 25 was released Sunday afternoon. Similar to the coaches poll, there were sizable movements in the top 10 thanks to a pair of upsets. 
Michigan is no longer in the top 10 after falling to Michigan State 14-10. The Wolverines fell 10 spots, in fact, from No. 7 to No. 17. Oklahoma also dropped from No. 3 to No. 12 followings its loss to Iowa State. Moving into the Sooners' old spot is Penn State after cruising against Northwestern. The Nittany Lions remain the Big Ten's highest-ranked team in the AP poll. 
 
Washington State, fresh off a comfortable win against Oregon, entered the top 10 for the first time this season at No. 8. The Cougars are the second-highest ranked Pac-12 team behind Washington, who rounds out the top five. Alabama and Clemson continue to hold down the top two spots and garner all the first-place votes. 
 
Thought Alabama is one of three SEC teams to be ranked, all of which are in the top 10, the AAC showed up in a big way in the latest poll. South Florida, UCF and Navy are now all in the Top 25. Though the AP Top 25 is not used in the College Football Playoff Rankings, it reflects the contenders for the Group of Five New Year's Six bowl slot. 

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Truex Jr. Wins Another Playoff Race

Martin Truex Jr. raced to his career-best sixth victory Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and this win is worth an automatic slot in the next round of NASCAR's playoffs. He's clearly the driver to beat in this championship race, and the reality of how close it really is seemed somewhat surreal.
 
Truex gave Toyota yet another victory in NASCAR's playoffs — the manufacturer is 4 for 4 so far — on a humid day at Charlotte. Truex has two wins in the playoffs and this one was the first time in this format that Toyota has won a race in this round of postseason.
 
Kyle Busch, winner of the last two playoff races, wrecked early in the race yet completed it in a damaged race car. Complaining most of the 500 miles of being overheated, he needed immediate medical attention when he climbed from his car.
 
Chase Elliott finished second for the second consecutive week and sixth time in his career. Harvick was third and Hamlin finished fourth. 
 
Jamie McMurray was fifth, Jimmie Johnson seventh and Ryan Blaney eighth.
 
Kyle Larson was 10th, Matt Kenseth 11th, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 13th, Brad Keselowski 15th and Busch 29th.
 
Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway, where Stenhouse won in the spring. Stenhouse has won the last two restrictor-plate races this season.

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Harper, Zimmerman HRs lift Nats past Cubs 6-3 to even NLDS

Bryce Harper hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth inning and Ryan Zimmerman tacked on a three-run shot moments later to lift the Washington Nationals to a 6-3 comeback victory over the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs on Saturday, evening their NL Division Series at a game apiece.
 
The Nationals were in serious danger of falling behind 2-0 in the series, entering the eighth trailing 3-1 after dropping Game 1 by a 3-0 score. But after accumulating four hits through the first 16 innings of the postseason, Washington broke out with five runs and four hits, led by 2015 NL MVP Harper and longtime face of the franchise Zimmerman.
 
The NLDS moves to Wrigley Field for Game 3 on Monday. The Cubs will have Jose Quintana on the mound and the Nationals counter with two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who was pushed back in the rotation because of an injured right hamstring.

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Hendricks outduels Strasburg as Cubs top Nats 3-0 in Game 1

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Stephen Strasburg, and the Chicago Cubs opened defense of their first World Series title in 108 years by beating the Washington Nationals 3-0 on Friday in Game 1 of their NL Division Series.
 
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo produced RBI singles in the sixth inning for the first two hits off an otherwise-dominant Strasburg. Hendricks was even better, giving up only two singles in seven strong innings.
 
Rizzo added an RBI double off reliever Ryan Madson in the eighth. Carl Edwards Jr. threw a perfect inning and Wade Davis finished the two-hitter for a save.
 
Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Saturday, with Jon Lester set to start for Chicago against fellow left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

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Monticello Holds Off Pontiac

The Monticello Sages scored late and held off Pontiac in an 18-10 victory Friday night in Illini Prairie Conference football action from Monticello on Homecoming night.

 

Nathan Harman ran for a 68-yard touchdown in the first quarter then caught a two-yard pass in the fourth quarter, Devin Graham caught a 72 yard touchdown in the second quarter and Monticello’s defense kept Pontiac’s power run game quiet after they scored to lead 7-0 early in the first.

 

Harman caught a short two-yard touchdown to extend the Monticello lead to 18-7 and after a 35-yard field goal by Cam Dawson, Monticello stood up to one last challenge and took down the Indians.

 

Brayden Snyder went 14-for-25 for 195 yards, throwing for two touchdowns and also threw two interceptions. He also carried the ball for 58 yards on 15 carries.

 

Harman accounted for 104 yards on the ground and Alek Bundy picked off Ethan Lee twice.

 

Johnny Dawson caught five passes for 64 yards and Graham finished with 78 yards through the air.

 

Austin Norman carried 23 times for 107 yards, with zero net yards in the second half on seven carries.

 

Pontiac drops to 4-3 overall while Monticello improves to 6-1.

 

The Sages travel to Prairie Central for a 7 pm kickoff next Friday.

 

Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Week 7 Football Scores

Central Illinois Conference:
 
Meridian, 7 Warrensburg-Latham 55, F
Sullivan-Okaw Valley 12, Central A & M 46, F
Tuscola 24, Decatur St. Teresa 21, F
 
Illini Prairie Conference:
 
Bloomington Central Catholic 69, Rantoul 20, F
Illinois Valley Central 20, St. Joseph-Ogden 38, F
Prairie Central 56, Olympia 12, F
Tolono Unity 50, Champaign St. Thomas More 10, F
 
Apollo:
 
Effingham 28, Charleston 0, F
Mt. Zion 0, Mahomet-Seymour 6, F
Taylorville 16, Mattoon 6, F
 
Big Twelve:
 
Bloomington 20, Peoria Richwoods 27, F
Champaign Centennial 0, Normal Community 47, F
Peoria 26, Danville 49, F
Peoria Manual 8, Normal West 56, F
Peoria Notre Dame 54, Champaign Central 14, F
 
Central State Eight:
 
Chatham Glenwood 22, Jacksonville 10, F
Decatur Eisenhower at Springfield
Normal U-High 34, Springfield Lanphier 20, F
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 28, Rochester 35, F
Springfield Southeast 9, Decatur MacArthur 45, F
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest):
 
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 14, Arcola 47, F
Decatur LSA 31, Cerro Gordo-Bement 6, F
Sangamon Valley 0, Argenta-Oreana 50, F
 
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast):
 
Oblong 0, Villa Grove-Heritage 42, F
Palestine 6, Martinsville 32, F
Toledo Cumberland 63, Oakland Tri-County 12, F
 
Sangamo:
 
Auburn 18, Petersburg PORTA 12, F
Maroa-Forsyth 43, Riverton 13, F
New Berlin 22, Pleasant Plains 37, F
Virden North Mac 15, Athens 35, F
Williamsville 48, Pittsfield 6, F
 
Non-Conference:
 
El Paso-Gridley 34, Tremont 12, F
Eureka 52, Flanagan-Cornell-Cornell-Woodland 8, F
Fisher 20, Tri-Valley 34, F
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 47, Ridgeview 0, F
Lawrenceville 14 Blue Ridge 8, F
LeRoy 16, Dee-Mack 54, F
Fieldcrest 47, Heyworth 0, F
Urbana 12, Lincoln 14, F

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Maroons Fall to Rams

As heard on WHOW, the Shelbyville Rams defeated the Clinton Maroons by a score of 40-0.
 
The Maroons were led by quarterback Ty Berter who was 4 for 11 with 36 yards. Additionally, running back Colby Winter had 7 carries for 28 yards.
 
The Country Financial Player of the Game, Luke Shobe had 3 carries with 37 yards.
 
The Rams were led by Turner Pullen who had 20 completions, 34 attempts, 286 yards passing, 68 yards rushing, and five touchdowns.
 
Maroons fall to 2 and 5 while the Rams improve 4 and 1 in conference play.
 
Tune in next week as Clinton takes on Warrensburg-Latham at 7 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.

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Clinton vs Shelbyville

The final score is 40-0 Rams on top.

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Clinton Hosts Shelbyville

Off a big 35-9 victory over Sullivan in week 6 of the high school football season, the Clinton Maroons need to win out to make the playoffs this year.
 
A tough road to the postseason starts tonight when the Shelbyville Rams visit Sprague Field.
 
The Rams enter action 5-1 overall coming off a 44-7 win over Meridian last Friday.
 
The Marrons are 2-4 overall.
 
Tonight's action kick's at 7 pm. Hear it all on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
Central Illinois Conference action tonight.....
 
Meridian at Warrensburg-Latham
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Central A & M
Tuscola at Decatur St. Teresa

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Monticello Hosts Pontiac for Homecoming

Off a tough 30-13 loss to Tolono Unity last Friday night, the Monticello Sages look to right the ship tonight when they host Pontiac for Homecoming at Monticello High School.
 
After the loss last week, head coach for the Sages, Cully Welter, took a positive approach with his team.
 
 
Pontiac beat Olympia 32-7 last week and the Indians enter play 4-2 overall.
 
Hear tonight's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
Illini Prairie Conference action tonight.....
 
Bloomington Central Catholic at Rantoul
Illinois Valley Central at St. Joseph-Ogden
Prairie Central at Olympia
Tolono Unity at Champaign St. Thomas More
 
Apollo
 
Effingham at Charleston
Mt. Zion at Mahomet-Seymour
Taylorville at Mattoon
 
Big Twelve
 
Bloomington at Peoria Richwoods
Champaign Centennial at Normal Community
Peoria at Danville
Peoria Manual at Normal West
Peoria Notre Dame at Champaign Central
 
Central State Eight
 
Chatham Glenwood at Jacksonville
Decatur Eisenhower at Springfield (Sat.)
Normal U-High at Springfield Lanphier
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Rochester
Springfield Southeast at Decatur MacArthur
 
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest)
 
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Arcola
Decatur LSA at Cerro Gordo-Bement
Sangamon Valley at Argenta-Oreana
 
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast)
 
Oblong at Villa Grove-Heritage
Palestine at Martinsville
Toledo Cumberland at Oakland Tri-County
 
Sangamo
 
Auburn at Petersburg PORTA
Maroa-Forsyth at Riverton
New Berlin at Pleasant Plains
Virden North Mac at Athens
Williamsville at Pittsfield
 
Non-Conference action tonight....
 
El Paso-Gridley at Tremont
Eureka vs. Flanagan-Cornell-Cornell-Woodland
Fisher at Tri-Valley
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Ridgeview
Lawrenceville at Blue Ridge (Sat.)
LeRoy at Dee-Mack
Fieldcrest at Heyworth
Urbana at Lincoln

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Illinois At Iowa This Weekend

>>Illinois Travels To Iowa
 
The Fighting Illini (2-2, 0-1) travel to Iowa this Saturday to face the Hawkeyes (3-2, 0-2) at Kinnick Stadium (11 am CT on BTN). 
 
Off a 28-6 Friday night loss to Nebraska off the bye week, Illinois is making a change at quarterback as Jeff George Jr. will get the nod Saturday morning.
 
Iowa shut out Illinois, 28-0, at Memorial Stadium last season in the Illini's home finale. 
 
>>Illinois State At Northern Arizona
 
The Illinois State Redbirds look to keep rolling when they travel to Flagstaff, Arizona to take on Northern Arizona Saturday night in a non-conference showdown.
 
The Redbirds held off Indiana State last Saturday in Normal, 24-13.
 
At 4-0 overall, Illinois State continues a stretch of four of five games on the road this week, finishing out the stretch next week at Carbondale, at Southern Illinois.
 
Game time Saturday night is 6 pm.
 
>>Eastern Illinois Hosting Tennessee Tech
 
It's Hall of Fame Weekend in Charleston as the football squads hosts Tennessee Tech Saturday night.
 
The Panthers, off a 19-16 double overtime win at Tennessee State last week, will host the 24th ranked team in the country.
 
At 3-2 overall, the Panthers will look to keep pace in the Ohio Valley Conference.
 
Game time Saturday is 6 pm. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW starting 5:30 pm.

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Packers in Dallas Sunday

The Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys engaged in a playoff shootout in January that will remain in the memory of both teams' fans for quite some time.
 
So naturally, the NFL powers-that-be set up a rematch as the Packers return to Arlington, Texas, to face the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.
 
Dallas backed Green Bay into a 3rd-and-20 play from the Packers' 33 with 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 31. But instead of kneeling and heading to overtime, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers spun to his left, avoided the Cowboys' pass rush and threw a 35-yard dart to tight end Jared Cook, who managed to catch the ball at the sideline and keep his feet in bounds. On the next play, Packers kicker Mason Crosby nailed a 51-yard field goal as time expired to win the game.
 
Green Bay enters Sunday's contest with a 3-1 record as the Packers appear to be finding their rhythm early in the season.
 
Dallas (2-2) looked like it was on its way to the same record until an 11-point lead late in the third quarter melted away to a 35-30 defeat against the Rams. The Cowboys' loss to Los Angeles distills some of the hype going into the rematch with the Packers.

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Blackhawks Blast Penguins

Brandon Saad scored three times in his return to Chicago and Ryan Hartman had a goal and four assists, helping the Blackhawks pound the Pittsburgh Penguins 10-1 on Thursday night.
 
Nick Schmaltz added two goals and an assist as Chicago kicked off its season in style with a runaway victory against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Patrick Kane also had a goal and three assists in the Blackhawks' highest scoring game since a 10-1 win against Winnipeg on Oct. 12, 1988.
 
Pittsburgh was coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to St. Louis in its season opener on Wednesday, and it looked every bit like a team on the second half of back-to-back nights. Antti Niemi was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots in his Penguins debut, forcing Matt Murray to come in after he took the loss against the Blues.
 
Richard Panik, Patrick Sharp and Brent Seabrook also scored for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 28 saves.
 
Hartman set a career high for points and assists in a game in Chicago's highest-scoring opener, topping an 8-6 victory at Nashville on Oct. 5, 2006. Sharp also scored in his return to Chicago after signing a team-friendly, one-year deal with the Blackhawks in the offseason.
 
The Blackhawks host Columbus on Saturday night.

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Astros, Indians Win Game 1

>>Astros Blast Red Sox
 
Jose Altuve, the major league batting champion, put on an unprecedented show of power Thursday as Houston roughed up Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox 8-2 in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.
 
Altuve hit solo homers in the first and fifth innings off Sale. He connected again in the seventh off reliever Austin Maddox to give Houston a quick boost in the best-of-five series.
 
It was just the 10th time a player hit three homers in a postseason game, and first since Pablo Sandoval for the Giants in the 2012 World Series opener against Detroit. Babe Ruth did it twice.
 
Justin Verlander pitched six effective innings and improved to 6-0 since Houston got him in late trade with Detroit.
 
Sale, the major league strikeout leader, was tagged for seven runs in five-plus innings of his postseason debut.
 
Game 2 is Friday, with Dallas Keuchel starting for the Astros against Drew Pomeranz.
 
>>Indians Blank Yankees
 
Trevor Bauer chopped Aaron Judge and New York's other big bats down to size, and Jay Bruce drove in three runs as Cleveland began chasing its first World Series title in 69 years with a 4-0 win over the Yankees on the Thursday night in the opener of the AL Division Series.
 
Bauer struck out Judge three times , twice getting the MVP candidate looking. He allowed just two hits in 6 2-3 innings.
 
Allen came in with two on and two outs in the eighth to face Judge, who struck out for the fourth time and the rookie angrily snatched at his bat frustration. Allen then worked the ninth for a save.
 
Bruce connected for a two-run homer in the fourth off Sonny Gray and added a sacrifice fly in the fifth as the Indians began a journey to try and end the majors' longest Series title drought.
 
New York's now got to face Kluber, an 18-game winner during the regular season. He'll start Game 2 on Friday against CC Sabathia.

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Trevathan Suspension Reduced To One Game

The NFL has reduced Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan's suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams from two games to one.
The league announced the change on Tuesday.
 
Adams was taken off the field on a stretcher in the third quarter Thursday night after getting hit in the head during a tackle by Trevathan. The game was delayed for about 5 minutes while medical personnel tended to Adams. He tweeted Friday that he was at home and "feeling great."
 
Trevathan was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty following Adams' 8-yard catch but was not ejected. He is eligible to return following Chicago's game against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

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Yankees Beat Twins in AL Wild Card Game; Cubs' Rizzo, Bryant Among Top Jersey Sellers

>>Yankees Power Past Twins
 
Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius and a brilliant bullpen rescued New York and lifted the Yankees to their first postseason victory in five years.
 
Gregorius' three-run homer tied the score in the first inning after Minnesota knocked out Luis Severino, a pumped-up Judge showed his most emotion this season when he hit a two-run shot in his playoff debut and the Yankees beat the Twins 8-4 Tuesday night. New York plays the Indians in a best-of-five Division Series starting Thursday.
 
Brett Gardner also homered for the Yankees, who chased Ervin Santana after two innings and once again eliminated Minnesota from the playoffs.
 
Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman combined for 8 2/3 innings of one-run, five-hit relief, striking out 13 to tie the postseason record for a bullpen.
 
Brian Dozier led off the game with a home run and Eddie Rosario hit a two-run drive as the Twins burst to a quick lead.
 
But Santana went to full counts on eight of 11 batters, and he was removed after six outs and 64 pitches with the Twins trailing 4-3.
 
Masahiro Tanaka (13-12) is likely to start Thursday for the Yankees against the Indians and Trevor Bauer (17-9).
 
>>Rizzo, Bryant Among Top Jersey Sales in MLB
 
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge had the top-selling jersey in baseball this season, followed by a pair of Chicago Cubs stars.
 
Judge, an outfielder who could win AL Rookie of the Year and MVP, beat out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, according to Major League Baseball on Tuesday. Judge is the second rookie to have the most popular jersey - Bryant was the first in 2015 and also led the league in 2016.
 
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper rounded out the top five. Two-time AL MVP Mike Trout (Angels) was eighth.
 
The reigning World Series champion Cubs led the majors with four players among the top 20 in sales, with Javier Baez (10th) and Kyle Schwarber (14th) joining their teammates.

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Blues Open New Season Hosting 2x Stanley Cup Champs

The St. Louis Blues, who were eliminated by eventual Cup runner-up Nashville in the second round last spring, are keying on speed and skill, although they are hindered at the start of the season by injuries. 
 
While Pittsburgh is expected to be without tenacious winger Patric Hornqvist because of offseason hand surgery, St. Louis is expected to be without Alexander Steen (hand), Jay Bouwmeester (ankle), Robby Fabbri (knee), Patrik Berglund (shoulder) and Zach Sanford (shoulder) as they head to Pittsburgh to open their 2017-18 campaign against the two-time Stanley Cup Champions. 
 
No team has won more than two straight Cups since the New York Islanders reeled off four in a row in the early 1980s.
 
After returning its team almost entirely intact a year ago, the Penguins had a little more turnover this offseason.
 
The biggest change was the departure of long-time franchise goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, taken by Las Vegas in the expansion draft. The net now belongs to 23-year-old Matt Murray, who earned two Cup rings while technically a rookie.
 
Evgeni Malkin, the team's other star center besides Crosby, predicted the Penguins will rely even more on speed and skill in trying to win the Cup again -- something that would surely give Pittsburgh dynasty status.
 
The game pits Penguins rugged fourth-line winger Ryan Reaves and St. Louis third-line center Oskar Sundqvist, who were traded for each other, along with draft picks, shortly after Pittsburgh won the Cup.

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Blackhawks Assign Hinostroza To Minors

The Chicago Blackhawks have assigned forward Vinnie Hinostroza to Rockford of the American Hockey League.
 
Hinostroza, who was selected by Chicago in the sixth round of the 2012 draft, had six goals and eight assists in 49 games with the Blackhawks last season. He made his NHL debut in 2015.
 
Chicago also placed defenseman Michal Rozsival on long-term injured reserve on Monday.
 
The Blackhawks open the season on Thursday night against Pittsburgh.

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Trubisky-Time In Chicago

>>Trubisky-Time in Chicago
 
The Chicago Bears are going to give prized rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky a try.
The No. 2 overall draft pick from North Carolina will start against the Minnesota Vikings next Monday night after Mike Glennon struggled in the first four games. The team announced the move Monday.
 
It's hardly a surprise that the Bears (1-3) will go with Trubisky considering how badly Glennon has struggled. He has five interceptions and three lost fumbles. He got picked off twice, lost a fumble on a sack and had another snap ricochet off his knee for a lost fumble in Thursday's 35-14 loss at Green Bay.
 
>>Kansas City Rallies Past Washington on MNF
 
Harrison Butker responded to his first-half miss Monday night by drilling three field goals in the second half, the last a go-ahead 43-yarder with 8 seconds remaining that helped Kansas City beat the Washington Redskins 29-20 and remain the only unbeaten team in the NFL.
 
The Redskins stunned the Chiefs early when Cousins found Terrelle Pryor over star cornerback Marcus Peters for a 44-yard touchdown pass, then drove to the goal line before settling for a field goal.
 
But the plucky Chiefs slowly fought their way back into the game.
 
Smith started to find his athletic tight end down the seam, then hit Kelce with a 17-yard TD strike late in the first half. The two connected again on third down shortly after the break, and Smith scored a few plays later when he fooled the defense with a quarterback-keeper.
 
The Redskins needed fewer than 2 minutes to answer: Cousins' 69-yard pass to Vernon Davis set up a short throw to Ryan Grant, who also beat Peters, for a touchdown and a 17-14 lead.

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Cubs, Cardinals, White Sox End Regular Season With Losses

>>Cubs Fall To Reds
 
Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant each had a light day of work as the Chicago Cubs prepared for the playoffs by playing much of their roster during a 3-1 loss to Deck McGuire and the Cincinnati Reds in the regular-season finale on Sunday.
 
Most of Chicago's starting lineup was gone by the fifth inning. Rizzo flied out leading off the first, and then was replaced in the field by Taylor Davis. Bryant and shortstop Addison Russell were pulled after the NL Central champion Cubs batted in the fourth.
 
Chicago (92-70) is trying to become the first team to repeat as World Series champions since the New York Yankees won three in a row from 1998-2000. It will face Washington in the NL Division Series beginning on Friday.
 
>>Indians Down White Sox To Finish Season
 
Jay Bruce had a two-run single, Josh Tomlin pitched into the sixth inning and the Cleveland Indians got their AL-best 102nd victory, beating the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on Sunday in their regular-season finale.
Cleveland will next play an AL Division Series against the winner of the wild-card game between the Yankees and Twins. The 102 victories were the second most in franchise history behind the 1954 team's 111.
 
Jose Ramirez went 2 for 2, including his AL-high 56th double, and Carlos Santana had a sacrifice fly for the Indians, who are seeking a second straight World Series appearance. Bruce's two RBIs in the first inning gave him 100 for the second time in his career.
 
Tomlin (10-9) allowed a run and four hits. Cody Allen got his 30th save.
 
Chris Volstad (1-2) allowed three runs in six innings.
 
>>Brewers Crush Cardinals in Season Finale
 
Aaron Wilkerson took a perfect game into the sixth inning, Brett Phillips hit a three-run homer and the Brewers beat St. Louis 6-1 on Sunday, closing out their near-miss of a season with the best record of any team that did not make the playoffs.
Jesus Aguliar added a two-run homer in the eighth for the Brewers, who finished 86-76, 13 games ahead of last year's pace. They were in first place or tied for the top spot in the NL Central for 65 days, but ultimately they were eliminated from wild-card contention with a loss on Saturday.
 
St. Louis finished 83-79, three games worse than last year. The Cardinals failed to make the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time since 2007-2008.
 
Randal Grichuk homered in the seventh for the Cardinals, who lost four of their last five.
 
Jack Flaherty (0-2) gave up five hits and four runs over five innings.
 
St. Louis' next game will be March 29 on the road against the Mets.
 
>>White Sox Land Top 5 Draft Pick; Tigers No.1 Overall
 
On Sunday, baseball's regular season came to a close. Although the day's results didn't impact the playoffs, they did alter the 2018 draft order.
 
Because the San Francisco Giants won (on a Pablo Sandoval walk-off home run) and the Detroit Tigers lost, the two teams tied for the worst record in baseball. The Tigers owned the tiebreaker, however, by virtue of having a worse record in 2016.
 
As such, the Tigers will have the first overall pick in the 2018 draft. Here's the full order -- keep in mind, it's in reverse of the standings, with the previous season's won-lost record serving as the tiebreaker.
 
The Phillies, White Sox and Reds round out the top five of the first round.
 
The New York Mets were anticipated to contend for a playoff spot but the team was pounded with injuries and finished a disappointing 70-92 and have the six the sixth pick.
 
The Padres, Braves, A's and Pirates round out the top ten. 
 
11 through 15 are Baltimore, Toronto, Miami, Seattle and Texas. 

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Minimal Movement in CFB Polls

Alabama keeps it spot at the top of the rankings after blasting Ole Miss 66-3 on Saturday night. 
 
The No. 1 team in the country is 2-0 in SEC play with wins by 59 and 63 points in as strong of a two-week statement as we've seen all year. They received 58 first-place votes, even though Clemson is starting to build its argument as the No. 1 team in the country. 
 
Clemson (with only six first-place votes) sits at No. 2 after going on the road and outlasting "Enter Sandman" and a good Virginia Tech team, followed by Oklahoma at No. 3, Penn State at No. 4 and Washington edged out Georgia for No. 5 after the loss to USC. 
 
The Trojans made the biggest move down of any team in this week's poll, down 10 spots to No. 15.  
 
There aren't a lot of major shakeups in the AP Top 25 poll this week, which you would expect to be the case following a weekend lacking in major upsets.
 
Alabama remains at No. 1, and the top four remains intact. Just below Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Penn State, however, is Georgia, which climbs from No. 7 to No. 5 after decimating Tennessee on Saturday.
 
Outside the top 10, we see Washington State climb up from No. 16 to No. 11 after beating USC on Friday night, and speaking of USC; the Trojans fall from No. 5 to No. 14.

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Gilkey lifts E. Illinois to 19-16 2OT win over Tennessee St.

Scott Gilkey Jr. ran for two touchdowns including the game winner in double overtime and Eastern Illinois defeated Tennessee State 19-16 on Saturday night.
 
Lane Clark's 51-yard field goal for Tennessee State knotted the game at 10 with 3:18 left in regulation to force the extra session. Both teams traded field goals in the first overtime.
 
Clark connected on a 40-yard field to start the second overtime before Gilkey's 1-yard touchdown run gave Eastern Illinois (2-2, 1-0 Ohio Valley) the win. Gilkey ran for 104 yards on 25 carries and threw for 46 yards and an interception.
 
Gilkey's first score came with 12:25 left in the first quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 Panthers lead. Eastern Illinois held the ball for 46 minutes.
 
Treon Harris led Tennessee State (3-1, 0-1) on 12-of-17 passing for 119 yards and 11 carries for 67 yards.

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Kolbe with 2 TDs, Illinois St. beats Indiana St. 24-13

Jake Kolbe threw for two touchdowns as Illinois State remained unbeaten with a 24-13 victory over winless Indiana State on Saturday night.

Kolbe was 18 of 30 passing for a career-high 345 yards for the Redbirds (4-0, 2-0 MVC). Christian Gibbs caught both of Kolbe's touchdown passes and had 189 yards receiving.

The Redbirds scored 24 unanswered points in the first half, beginning with Sean Slattery's 44-yard field goal and a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Adam Conley after Indiana State's Cade Sparks was sacked in his own end zone. Scoring passes from Kolbe to Gibbs of 54 and 77 yards followed in the second quarter, pushing Illinois State's lead to 24-0 at the break.

The Sycamores (0-4, 0-1) scored twice in the third quarter starting with a Kolbe pass interception return of 47 yards by Mekhi Ware.

Sparks threw for 108 yards and a score for Indiana State.

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Week 6 Football Scores

Central Illinois:

 

Decatur St. Teresa 55, Central A&M 20, F

Shelbyville 44, Meridian 7, F

Warrensburg-Latham 18, Tuscola 34, F

 

Illini Prairie:

 

Champaign St. Thomas More 7, Bloomington Central Catholic 55, F

Rantoul 28, Illinois Valley Central 33, F

St. Joseph-Ogden 22, Prairie Central 30, F

Olympia 32, Pontiac 7, F

 

Apollo:

 

Charleston 14, Lincoln 40, F

Mahomet-Seymour 6, Effingham 41, F

Mt. Zion 26, Mattoon 17, F

 

Big Twelve:

 

Champaign Central 35, Urbana 34, F

Danville 51, Champaign Centennial 7, F

Normal West 40, Bloomington 20, F

Peoria 60, Peoria Manual 12, F

Peoria Richwoods 34, Peoria Notre Dame 61, F

 

Central State Eight:

 

Chatham Glenwood 35, Decatur Eisenhower 7, F

Decatur MacArthur 14, Rochester 56, F

Jacksonville 20, Normal U-High 38, F

Springfield Lanphier 0, Springfield 52, F

Springfield Southeast 7, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 56, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Large):

 

Ridgeview 16, Eureka 35, F

Tri-Valley 49, El Paso-Gridley 13, F

Dee-Mack 28, Fieldcrest 29, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Small):

 

Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 8, LeRoy 50, F

Heyworth 29, Fisher 47, F

Tremont 0, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 49, F

 

Little Okaw Valley (Northwest):

 

Arcola 20, Decatur LSA 14, F

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 19, Sangamon Valley 0, F

Cerro Gordo-Bement 14, Argenta-Oreana 54, F

 

Little Okaw Valley (Southeast):

 

Martinsville 20, Oakland Tri-County Coop 27, F

Oblong 6, Toledo Cumberland 41, F

Villa Grove-Heritage 40, Palestine 0, F

 

Mid-Illini:

 

LImestone 0, Metamora 49, F

Canton 44, East Peoria 14, F

Dunlap 28, Washington 14, F

Pekin 44, Morton 66, F

 

Sangamo:

 

Athens 15, Maroa-Forsyth 56, F

Pittsfield 0, Petersburg PORTA 28, F

Pleasant Plains 28, Virden North Mac 21, F

Riverton 6, Auburn 48, F

Williamsville 14, New Berlin 7, F

 

Non-Conference:

 

Alton Marquette 7, Taylorville 28, F

Bradley-Bourbonnais 7, Normal Community 47, F

Blue Ridge 20, Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran 0, F

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Unity Topples Monticello

>>Unity Topples Monticello

 

Steven Migut racked up 265 yards of total offense and accounted for three touchdowns as the Unity Rockets rolled Monticello 30-13 Friday night in Illini Prairie football action from Tolono.

 

Unity held the Sages scoreless in the second half as Monticello quarterback Braden Snyder threw two interceptions on 18-for-32 efficiency and 221 yards. It was his first game this season without a touchdown pass.

 

Asher Bradd hauled in nine receptions for 123 yards while Devin Graham had four catches for 84 yards.

 

Monticello defensive end Riley Austin picked off a Migut screen pass, setting up a short touchdown run by Braden Snyder, giving the Sages an early 7-6 advantage.

 

Snyder also scored on short touchdown run before the half to make the score 14-13 but it was all Unity the rest of the way.

 

Unity tailback Keaton Eckstein carried the football 31 times for 79 yards with a touchdown.

 

The Rockets improve to 6-0 overall and move into sole possession of first place in the Illini Prairie Conference.

 

Monticello drops to 5-1 overall.

 

The Sages host Pontiac for Homecoming next Friday night. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Monticello at Tolono

The final score is 30-13 Tolono on top.

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Clinton Maroons Defeat Sullivan

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Sullivan Redskins by a score of 40-7 on Friday night for their first conference win of the season. The Maroons were led by the Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game Bryson Carson with 16 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Ty Berter ran five times for 39 yards and two touchdowns. Berter was 3 of 15 throwing for 38 yards and an interception. Kolby Winter had six carries for six yards and two touchdowns. The Maroons defense was led by Brandon Atten with two sacks.

 

Leading the Redskins was Luker Herlin who was 12 of 26 passing for 136 yards and eight carries for 29 yards. Luke Bowman had 15 carries for 41 yards and a touchdown.

 

Clinton improves to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the Central Illinois Conference. Sullivan falls to 0-6 in the season and 0-4 in conference action.

 

Tune in next week as Clinton takes on Shelbyville. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

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