Local Sports

Monticello Falls Short At Mt. Carmel

Blayne Sisson scored on a ten-yard touchdown on the first drive of the game and that was the only score Mt. Carmel needed as they held off Monticello 8-6 in a first-round high school playoff matchup Class 3A high action.

 

The Golden Aces never found the end zone again and the defense did just enough to keep the Sages at bay most of the afternoon.

 

Monticello's only touchdown was a five-yard shuffle pass from Drew Sheppard to Spencer Mitze in the fourth quarter. The Sages could not convert the two-point conversion and Mt. Carmel ran out the clock from there. 

 

The game-ending play was an 11-yard screen pass from Sisson to Gage Kennard on a 4th and one with under two minutes left.

 

Sisson battled through an ankle injury in the second half to finish with 135 yards rushing and the touchdown. Andrew Gillihan had 61 yards receiving on five receptions for the golden aces. 

 

Tylor Bundy led the Sages with 81 yards on 14 carries for the Sages. 

Monticello finishes the season 5-5 overall. 

 

Mt. Carmel moves to 9-1 overall and will battle Tolono Unity in Tolono next week in a rematch of last year's 3A semifinal matchup. 

Upset-Minded Sages Visit Mt. Carmel For Opening Round of High School Football Playoffs

It would be quite an upset if the 12th-seeded Monticello Sages could knock off perennial power Mt. Carmel Saturday afternoon.

 

To do so, Coach Cully Welter says his team is going to have to contain a high-powered offense that features a second-year starting junior quarterback and a power run game.

 

 

The Sages enter action Saturday afternoon on a 2-game slide. Coach Welter says as the season has gone on, he's seen a lot of progress from his team  and particularly in practice and understanding roles of each individual.

 

 

Kick on Saturday from Mt. Carmel is 2:30 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

First round high school football playoff matchups

 

Class 1A

 

Madison (5-3) at Ridgeview (9-0)

Brown County (5-4) at Tuscola (7-2)

Villa Grove (6-3) at Jacksonville Routt (7-2)

Central A & M (6-3) at Sesser-Valier (7-2)

Rushville-Industry (6-3) at Toledo-Cumberland (7-2)

 

Class 2A

 

Chicago North Lawndale Charter (5-4) at Maroa-Forsyth (9-0)

El Paso-Gridley (7-2) at Farmington (7-2)

Bloomington Central Catholic (6-3) at Aledo (7-2)

Clifton Central (6-3) at Tri-Valley (7-2)

Chester (5-4) at Decatur St. Teresa (9-0)

Athens (7-2) at Carmi-White County (7-2)

Auburn (6-3) at Pana (8-1)

Fairfield (6-3) at North Mac (8-1)

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond (7-2) at Vandalia (7-2)

Belleville Althoff Catholic (5-4) at Shelbyville (8-1)

 

Class 3A

 

Paxton-Buckley-Loda (5-4) at Prairie Central (9-0)

Harrisburg (5-4) at Tolono Unity (8-1)

Monticello (5-4) at Mt. Carmel (8-1)

Olympia (5-4) at Benton (8-1)

Robinson (6-3) at St. Joseph-Ogden (6-3)

Carlinville (5-4) at Williamsville (8-1)

Beardstown (5-4) at Eureka (7-2)

 

Class 4A

 

Effingham (5-4) at Rochester (8-1)

Mt. Zion (6-3) at Breese Central (7-2)

Spring Valley Hall (5-4) at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (9-0)

 

Class 5A

 

Ottawa (5-4) at Mahomet-Seymour (9-0)

Jacksonville (6-3) at Metamora (6-3)

Dunlap (5-4) at Highland (8-1)

Decatur MacArthur (5-4) at Peoria (8-1)

 

Class 6A

 

Quincy (7-2) at Chatham-Glenwood (7-2)

Washington (6-3) at Midlothian-Bremen (8-1)

Champaign Centennial (7-2) at Crete-Monee (7-2)

Danville (6-3) at Normal West (8-1)

 

Class 7A

 

Normal Community (6-3) at #14 Rockton-Hononegah (7-2)

No. 17 Illinois Looks to Avoid Letdown at Nebraska

The No. 17 Illinois Fighting Illini can remain alone in first place in the Big Ten West with a win or fall into a three-way tie with Nebraska and Purdue with a loss when they visit the struggling Cornhuskers Saturday afternoon. 

 

Illinois has won five straight games and six of their first seven for the first time since the 2001 Sugar Bowl team. Nebraska is looking to go 3-2 under interim head coach Mickey Joseph and head into November in contention for the division title.

 

The Illini lead the nation in pass efficiency defense, having intercepted 12 passes and allowed only two touchdowns through the air. Nebraska QB Casey Thompson’s interception rate of 3.83% (8 on 209 attempts) is worse among Big Ten quarterbacks who have started every game, and the 19 sacks he’s taken is third most in the league.

 

Illinois RB Chase Brown leads the nation with 1,059 yards, is second in rushes of at least 10 yards (35), third in all-purpose yards (1,166) and fourth in yards after contact (621). His 29.6 scrimmage touches per game lead the nation.

 

Nebraska WR Trey Palmer is fourth in the nation with 111.6 receiving yards per game after setting a school record with 237 against Purdue on Oct. 15. His speed will challenge Illinois’ DBs.

 

Bret Bielema’s 11-8 start as Illinois’ coach is the best since John Mackovic was 12-6-1 over the 1988-89 seasons.

 

Game time is 2:30 pm local time.

NASCAR's Final Leg of Round of 4 at Martinsville Sunday

Kyle Larson led 199 of 267 laps at Homestead-Miami and won for the third time this season but only one driver has punched his ticket to the Final Four race next Sunday at Phoenix as the NASCAR Cup Series wraps up its round of eight this Sunday at Martinsville.

 

Joey Logano remains the only driver to have clinched a spot in the four-driver championship finale, leaving seven others to battle for the final three spots on NASCAR’s oldest and shortest track. 

 

Among the remaining playoff contenders, Denny Hamlin has won five times on the 0.526-mile paper clip-shaped track, but not since March of 2015. Logano, Chase Elliott and William Byron have each won once, with Byron’s coming earlier this year. 

 

Logano leads Ross Chastain by five points, Elliott by 13 and Byron by 19. Eighth-place Chase Briscoe is 63 points off the lead. Ryan Blaney remains the only winless driver in contention for the championship.

 

Race time is 1 pm Sunday afternoon. 

 

Noah Gragson gave JR Motorsports two drivers in the Xfinity Series championship finale with his series-best eighth win of the season Saturday at Homestead-Miami as the XFinity Series finishes its last let of the playoffs before its final four race next Saturday at Phoenix. 

 

Gragson led 127 of the 200 laps, then held off Ty Gibbs and AJ Allmendinger on a late restart for his 13th career victory. He joined fellow JRM driver Josh Berry, who won at Las Vegas, as drivers locked into the championship finale, with teammates Justin Allgaier and Sam Mayer also still in contention. 

 

Gragson’s points lead climbed to 31 over Ty Gibbs and 56 over Allmendinger, the regular season champ. Brandon Jones is last among the eight drivers still vying for a title shot, 94 points off the lead.

Edmonton Rallies Past Blackhawks

Leon Draisaitl scored the tiebreaking goal with 37.6 seconds left and had two assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers past the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5 on Thursday night for their third straight win.

 

Connor McDavid scored three goals and added an assist in his 12th career hat trick and second this season.

 

Draisaitl lifted a shot from the right side of the net with goalie Alex Stalock down to settle a wild, penalty-filled contest and snap Chicago's four-game winning streak.

 

It was the perfect way for Draisaitl to celebrate his 27th birthday.

 

Patrick Kane scored on a rebound with 3:11 remaining to tie it at 5 after McDavid put Edmonton ahead 5-4 at 10:16 of the third period to complete his hat trick. McDavid beat defenseman Jake McCabe in the slot and danced in to score Edmonton's third power-play goal of the night.

 

Max Domi had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks. Andreas Athanasiou, Reese Johnson and Jonathan Toews also scored for Chicago (4-3-0). Kane added two assists as Chicago lost at home for the first time this season after three straight wins.

 

First-year Chicago coach Luke Richardson was impressed with his rebuilding team's ability to skate with and bounce back against the skilled Oilers. But at times, he thought his players gave Edmonton's stars too much time, space and ''respect.''

 

The Blackhawks are at Buffalo on Saturday.

Preds Blast Blues

Roman Josi had a goal and two assists, and the Nashville Predators defeated the St. Louis Blues 6-2 on Thursday night to stop their five-game losing streak.

 

Michael McCarron, Zach Sanford, Tanner Jeannot, Ryan Johansen and Mikael Granlund also scored for the Predators, and Juuse Saros made 33 saves.

 

Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene each had three assists, and Cole Smith added two.

 

Robert Thomas and Brayden Schenn scored and Thomas Greiss made 35 saves for St. Louis, which has lost three straight.

 

McCarron and Sanford scored 37 seconds apart late in the second period to send the Predators to the second intermission with a 3-2 lead. Both scored their first goals of the season.

 

Thomas scored the game's first goal at 1:07 of the opening period on the first Blues shot of the game.

 

After Nashville tied the score, St. Louis regained the lead at 6:24 of the second on Schenn's power-play goal, a one-timer from the right circle.

 

The Blues host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Packers Visit Bills Sunday Night

The Packers are off to their worst start to a season in four years under coach Matt LaFleur, and Aaron Rodgers - the two-time reigning NFL MVP - is experiencing difficulty overseeing an injury depleted offense that's also missing his favorite target after Davante Adams was traded to Las Vegas this offseason.

 

Rodgers defiantly insists the Packers' playoff hopes, at 3-4, remain realistic despite a third consecutive loss and facing the formidable challenge of traveling to play the AFC-leading Bills (5-1) on Sunday night.

 

While Rodgers ranks 10th in the league with 1,597 yards passing and tied for sixth with 11 TDs, the offense's production has dipped over its three-game skid. After averaging 377.5 yards offense in winning three of four, the Packers are down to 270 yards offense over their past three.

 

What's more of a concern is how the three losses came in outings in which Green Bay led twice and was tied once at halftime. That includes a 23-21 loss at Washington on Sunday, in which the Packers led 14-10 after two quarters.

 

Not only did Green Bay manage a season-worst 232 yards of offense against the Commanders, it went 0 for 6 on third down, the first time the Packers didn't have a single successful third-down conversion since 1999.

 

The Packers face a buzzsaw of a Bills opponent that's leading the league in total yards and yards passing gained, and fewest yards and points allowed and interceptions (10).

 

The Bills are rested following their bye, and coming off their most complete victory of the season. Josh Allen threw the go-ahead TD pass with 64 seconds left, and the defense sealed the 24-20 win at Kansas City 13 seconds later with Taron Johnson's interception of Patrick Mahomes.

 

Game time is 7:20 pm Sunday night.

Bears Visit Cowboys

Justin Fields might be in his best groove yet in his second season as Chicago's quarterback.

 

Dak Prescott is trying to find his next one with the Dallas Cowboys in his second game back after missing five with a fractured right thumb.

 

The Bears face another tough road game against the Cowboys on a short week after winning in New England for the first time in franchise history.

 

Fields has a shot at his first back-to-back road victories Sunday after arguably his most complete performance during Monday night's 33-14 win over the Patriots.

 

Fields had 82 of Chicago's 243 yards rushing with a touchdown and was 13 of 21 for 179 yards passing with a TD and an interception as the Bears (3-4) moved the pocket and used designed QB runs.

 

Although the former Ohio State star struggled the previous game in a loss to Washington, he had career highs in completion rate (71.4%) and passer rating (118.8) in a Week 5 loss to Minnesota.

 

Prescott was understandably ragged early in a 24-6 victory over Detroit in his first game since breaking the thumb on his throwing hand in a season-opening loss to Tampa Bay.

 

But the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year was 7-of-8 passing with a touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Cowboys (5-2) pulled away, once again leaning on one of the league's best defenses.

 

Prescott now faces the NFL's No. 2 pass defense, although the Bears gave up an important part of that group this week by sending defensive end Robert Quinn to Philadelphia, Dallas' undefeated NFC East rival.

 

The Bears are averaging a league-best 181 yards rushing per game. It's the first time since 1990 they've held the top spot through Week 7, and their 242 attempts are also more than any other team this season.

 

Chicago had its third 200-yard rushing game of the season against New England, with matching 62-yard showings from Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery to go with Fields' team-leading total.

 

Herbert is ninth in the NFL with 464 yards rushing and leads all NFL running backs with a 6.2-yard average (Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson is the overall leader).

 

Game time is noon Sunday.

Eastern Illinois Hosts Tennessee Tech Saturday

Eastern Illinois and Tennessee Tech both look to snap losing skids as the two teams wrap up the month of October with an OVC contest this Saturday.  

 

EIU returned to conference play this past Saturday with a road loss at Tennessee State as EIU has lost two in a row dropping to 2-5, 1-1 in the OVC.  

 

Tennessee Tech (1-6) enters at 0-3 in the OVC and lost its fifth straight game last weekend with an overtime setback at Kennesaw State.  

 

A win by EIU would give the Panthers the second OVC victory of the year, the most by the Panthers in an OVC season since the 2018 campaign.

 

 Eastern Illinois' defense has been able to get to the quarterback over the last three games as the Panthers finished with four sacks at Tennessee State.  EIU has recorded 13 of its 15 sacks this season in the last three games. 

 

Game time is 2 pm Saturday. Hear all the action starting at 1:30 pm on WHOW and all its digital platforms.

Edmonton Downs St. Louis

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his 200th career goal to break a tie in the third period, Stuart Skinner stopped 35 shots, and the Edmonton Oilers beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Wednesday night.

 

Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored to help the Oilers win their first road game after starting the season with a six-game homestand.

 

Ryan O'Reilly scored for St. Louis and Jordan Binnington finished with 25 saves.

 

St. Louis outshot the Oilers 20-6 in the second period.

 

The Blues are at Nashville on Thursday night.

Bulls Stay Hot, Roll Pacers

Zach LaVine scored 28 points, including a key 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter that sparked the Bulls to a 124-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

 

The Bulls led by as many as 24 points in the second half before Pacers guard Buddy Hield hit three 3-pointers that cut the deficit to 95-91 late in the third quarter.

 

But Indiana forward Terry Taylor was assessed with a clear path foul, allowing LaVine to sink two free throws and the Bulls to retain possession. Andre Drummond converted a dunk, and Javonte Green earned a steal near midcourt and finished with a dunk to enable the Bulls to regain a double-digit lead.

 

DeMar DeRozan, attempting to become the 50th player in NBA history to reach the 20,000 mark, moved to within seven of the milestone with a 17-point performance. DeRozan entered the game with a 26.8 scoring average, missed his first field goal attempt nearly eight minutes into the first quarter and didn't score until converting two free throws in the second.

 

The Bulls scored a season-high 38 points in the first quarter. Green's dunk with six minutes left in the quarter gave the Bulls a 23-13 lead that they gradually expanded and sustained until late in the third quarter.

 

Reserve guard Goran Dragic, who chipped in with 13 points and five assists, provided a spark with a lob pass that Drummond finished with a dunk less than two minutes into the second quarter.

 

DeRozan will get his next chance to reach a milestone Friday at San Antonio, where he played for three seasons before joining the Bulls in 2021.

Consistency is Key as Tri-Valley Enters 2A Playoffs

The Tri-Valley Vikings making the playoffs is about as much as lock as the leaves changing colors in the fall.

 

So when it comes to October, that's when Coach Josh Roop wants his team peaking. He believes if you're always improving throughout the year, you'll be playing good football going into the playoffs.

 

 

Part of the success of Tri-Valley football over the years is the extra reps the practices of the postseason offers for younger players. Coach Roop points out though, it also gives them a taste of the playoff atmosphere.

 

 

Coach Roop believes his teams needs to control the line of scrimmage and take care of the football on offense.

 

The 7-2 Vikings will host 6-3 Clifrton Central at 2 pm on Saturday afternoon.

High Powered Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs Enter Playoffs With Bullseye on Backs

The Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs may have surprised some people in reaching the Class 5A postseason quarterfinals last season, but they are not flying under the radar this year.

 

Coach Jon Adkins knows it and so does his team. That's why as they enter as the top seed in the south bracket, he says they are looking at it as a whole new season.

 

 

Coach Adkins believes it is the balance his offense has that makes them very tough to defeat. But additionally, he isn't leaving out his defense, which did not allow more than two touchdowns in a game until week nine. 

 

 

The top-seeded and undefeated Bulldogs will host 5-4 Ottawa at 7 pm on Friday night.

Bears Trade DE Quinn to Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn from the Chicago Bears for a 2023 fourth-round pick on Wednesday.

 

The teams said the trade was pending a physical.

 

Quinn goes from a rebuilding franchise to a Super Bowl contender. The Eagles (6-0) are the lone undefeated team. Philadelphia, coming off a bye, hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday.

 

The 32-year-old Quinn is off to a slow start with just one sack and three quarterback hits after opting not participate in offseason workouts. But he broke Hall of Famer Richard Dent’s franchise record with 18 1/2 sacks last year in a resurgent season.

 

With Quinn, an Eagles defensive line that already has Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Jordan Davis becomes that much more daunting. He replaces defensive end Derek Barnett, who tore an ACL in the opener at Detroit.

 

The Eagles are holding opponents to 297.8 yards per game, which is fourth in the NFL. They’re fifth against the pass at 188 yards and rank second in interceptions with nine. When it comes to sacks, they’re tied for 10th with 17. And that’s an area where Quinn could help.

 

He has 102 sacks over 12 seasons with the Rams, Miami, Dallas and Chicago. Quinn was an All-Pro with St. Louis in 2013 when he had a career-high 19 sacks and made his second straight Pro Bowl the following year. He went from 11 1/2 sacks with Dallas in 2019 to just two for Chicago in 2020.

 

The Bears (3-4) visit the Dallas Cowboys (5-2) on Sunday. Chicago is coming off a surprising win at New England on Monday night.

 

Though they’ve struggled against the run, the Bears have been one of the best at defending the pass. But now, they’re without one of their most important players.

HS VBall: Blue Ridge Gets By Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy

The Blue Ridge Lady Knights outlasted Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy 25-23, 21-25 and 25-13 Wednesday night in high school girl's volleyball Regional semifinal action from Heyworth to advance to a Regional final tonight.

 

Gracie Shaffer paced Blue Ridge with 24 assist, 19 digs, and 6 blocks.  Alexis Wike tallied 12 kills, 15 digs, 16 service points and two aces.

 

The Lady Knights move to 25-11 overall and will take on Champaign St. Thomas More for the Regional Championship at 6 pm Thursday in Heyworth.

 

Class 1A volleyball regional scores Wednesday

 

At Heyworth

 

Champaign St. Thomas More 25  25

Champaign Judah Christian 20  14

 

At Cerro Gordo

 

Decatur LSA 25  25

Cerro Gordo 7  22

 

Meridian 25  27  25

Tuscola 27  25  20

 

At Fisher

 

LeRoy 25  25

Armstrong 13  22

 

At Illini Bluffs

 

Hartsburg-Emden 25  25

Delavan 10  11

 

At Mt. Pulaski

 

Springfield Lutheran 25  25

New Berlin 6  11

 

Mt. Pulaski 25  25

Pawnee 14  11

 

At Roanoke-Benson

 

Princeville 26  25

Lexington 24  23

Young Central A&M Football Team Ready for Another Postseason Run

A young Central A&M football team is hoping its youth has come along enough to make a deep run in the high school football playoffs.

 

Coach Brent Weakly says with a lot of young players on offense, they have focused on getting kids with playmaking ability the football. Defensively, he's very proud of the way such a young group has played. 

 

 

Postseason football teams have the added benefit of an extra week or more of practices and Coach Weakly believes that always helps not only the young varsity players but those younger JV players that get the callup for a postseason atmosphere.

 

 

The Raiders drew a 10-seed in the postseason. They will hit the road Saturday to take on Sesser-Vallier at 2 pm.

Experience Shelbyville Football Team Hoping For Big Things in Postseason

The Shelbyville football program has become a regular in the high school football playoffs in recent years and an experienced group this fall is hoping to make a deep run.

 

Coach Bill Duckett says he's got a good mix of juniors and seniors and credits those kids for a lot of improvement over the last year.

 

 

Coach Duckett says they treat the postseason like the regular season in terms of preparation. He believes you want to keep the routine consistent and getting those extra practices is a net positive for everybody.

 

 

The Rams achieved a 3-seed in the 2A playoffs and they will host Belleville Althoff Catholic on Saturday at 3 pm.

Blue Ridge Rolls DeLand-Weldon

The Blue Ridge Lady Knights defeated DeLand-Weldon in two sets - 25-18 and 25-9 - in high school girls' volleyball Regional semifinal action Tuesday night from Heyworth to advance to a Thursday Regional championship.

 

Gracie Shaffer paced the Lady Knights with 10 assists, 14 digs, four kills and a block. Phoebe Reynolds added 16 digs, four kills and a pair of aces. 

 

In moving to 24-11 overall, Blue Ridge will battle Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy Thursday. Bloomington defeated Ridgeview Tuesday in two sets, 25-20, 25-19.

 

Class 1A high school girl's volleyball regional scores from Tuesday

 

At Cerro Gordo

 

Meridian 25  25

Argenta-Oreana 20  16

 

Central A & M 21  25  19

Tuscola 25  21  25

 

At Fisher

 

LeRoy 25  25

Danville Schlarman 10    8

 

Armstrong 27  25

Urbana Uni 25  19

 

At Glasford 

 

Illini Bluffs 25  25

Lewistown 17  17

 

Elmwood 25  25

Illini Central 12  17

 

At Kewanee-

 

Varna-Midland 10  16

Peoria Heights 25  25

 

At Mt. Pulaski

 

Mt. Pulaski 25  25

Edinburg   8  12

 

Springfield Calvary 24  22

Pawnee 26  25

 

At Roanoke.-Benson

 

Brimfield 25  25

Normal Calvary Christian Academy 16  17

 

Flanagan-Cornell 25  25

Lowpoint-Washburn 10  17

 

Class 2A Regional high school volleyball scores

 

At Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

 

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 25  25

Decatur St. Teresa 23  16

 

Westville 25  12  19

Monticello 15  25  25

 

At Athens

 

Pleasant Plains 25  25

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 16  16

 

Petersburg-PORTA 25  16  25

Athens 15  25  20

 

At Bismarck-Henning

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 25  25

Hoopeston 18  23

 

At Minonk 

 

Tri-Valley 25  25

Prairie Central 19  18

 

Fieldcrest 32  25

El Paso-Gridley 30  19

 

At Shelbyville

 

Shelbyville 27  25

Vandalia 25  19

 

At Tremont

 

Illinois Valley Central 25  25

Bloomington Central Catholic 13  13

Jets Blank Blues

Mark Scheifele scored in the second period and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Winnipeg Jets beat the St. Louis Blues 4-0 on Monday night.

 

Sam Gagner, Morgan Barron and Cole Perfetti scored in the third period and Josh Morrissey had two assists for the Jets, who were without coach Rick Bowness due to an illness.

 

Thomas Greiss had 41 saves for the Blues.

 

Greiss had to be quick to stop a wrister from Perfetti, then stopped Connor on a breakaway to keep it a one-goal game. Scheifele also hit a goal post as Winnipeg outshot the Blues 9-5 in the middle period.

 

Greiss kept his team in contention early in the third period. He stopped forward Axel Jonsson Fjalby from point-blank range. He then stopped Perfetti on the doorstep and Kyle Connor, who fired a wrist shot from alone in front.

 

The Blues host Edmonton on Wednesday night.

Bulls Down Celtics

DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points, Nikola Vucevic added 18 points and 23 rebounds, and Chicago wiped out a big early deficit to beat Boston 120-102 on Monday night.

 

The Bulls went from trailing by 19 in the first quarter with Jayson Tatum providing an early spark for Boston to leading by 16 near the end of the half. They then went on another big run after the lead dwindled to three early in the third and handed the Celtics their first loss after a 3-0 start.

 

Ayo Dosunmu scored 22. Zach LaVine, playing his second game after missing the first two, added 19 points, helping the Bulls stop a two-game skid and pick up their first win since the opener at Miami.

 

Tatum, averaging an NBA-leading 34.7 points coming in, scored 26. The three-time All-Star had 15 in the first quarter. Jaylen Brown added 21 points on his 26th birthday. But interim coach Joe Mazzulla and Grant Williams got ejected.

 

The Bulls host Indiana on Wednesday.

Bears Throttle Pats

Justin Fields threw for 179 yards and a touchdown and ran for 82 yards and another score on Monday night, converting five third downs with his legs and five more with his arm to lead Chicago to a 33-14 victory over the New England Patriots.

 

Fields ran for a 3-yard score in the first quarter to give the Bears (3-4) a 10-0 lead. After Bailey Zappe came off the bench to replace Mac Jones and led New England to back-to-back touchdowns and a 14-10 lead, Fields hit Khalil Herbert for a 25-yard touchdown pass to start a string of 23 unanswered points.

 

In a matchup of quarterbacks from the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship game, Fields outperformed Jones, who led Alabama to victory over Fields' Ohio State. And Fields also outplayed Zappe, who came on after Jones was managed just two three-and-outs and an interception in his return after missing three games with a high ankle sprain.

 

With the damp Gillette Stadium crowd chanting ''Zappe! Zappe!'' the fourth-round draft pick from Western Kentucky led the Patriots to back-to-back touchdowns and a 14-10 lead. But the Bears scored the next 23 points.

 

Zappe was 5 of 6 for 109 yards and a touchdown in the first half. But in the second, he was 9 of 16 for 76 yards and two interceptions. Jones completed 3 of 6 passes for 13 yards, with one interception. Rhamondre Stevenson caught eight passes for 59 yards and ran 11 times for 39 for the Patriots (3-4).

 

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the plan all along was to play both quarterbacks, and that Jones was not benched for his performance. He declined to say who would start next week against the Jets.

 

David Montgomery ran for 62 yards and Herbert did the same for Chicago, which had lost three straight games and four out of five. The Bears had also lost five straight to the Patriots and eight out of nine since beating New England in the 1986 Super Bowl 46-10.

 

Bears kicker Cairo Santos was 4 for 4, including a 50-yarder late in the third quarter that made it 26-14. After Zappe went three-and-out, Dante Pettis returned a punt 27 yards to the Patriots' 39-yard line; Herbert and Montgomery took it the last 26 yards to give Chicago a 33-14 lead.

 

Bears rookies Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker had their first career interceptions.

 

The Bears are at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Mt. Zion Takes New Look Offense Into 4A Postseason

Thanks to an influx of unique young talent, the Mt. Zion Braves used a new style of offense to go 6-3 in the regular season and qualify for the postseason again in 2022.

 

Coach Patrick Etherton indicates his team had an infusion of young talent that allowed them to blend an organic and planned transition in offensive philosophy this fall away from his traditional power run.

 

 

With a young group this year, Coach Etherton says the extra practices the postseason allows is going to be very beneficial for his team.

 

 

The Braves drew a 12-seed in the 4A playoffs and will travel to take on 7-2 Breese Central Saturday at 1 pm.

Bloomington Central Catholic Back in Postseason

The Bloomington Central Catholic Saints football program is back in the postseason in 2022 and its head coach is thrilled to be there with a senior group that started with him four years ago.

 

The accomplishment means all that much more for Coach Kevin Braucht because BCC is his alma mater. The fourth-year coach says it's great to have this team in the postseason because the seniors started with him four years ago.

 

 

Coach Braucht says getting BCC back to the playoffs means a lot to him because not only was the team 0-9 the year before he took over but it re-establishes the expectations from his time at the school when making the postseason wasn't just the expectation, it was making deep runs into November.

 

 

Bloomington ended up in 2A this year and will travel to Aledo for its first-round matchup Saturday afternoon at 2 pm. 

Big 12 Champion Normal West Riding High Heading Into Postseason

The Normal West Wildcats used a stout defense all year to run the table and clinch the Big 12 regular season title.

 

Coach Nate Fincham is hoping that defense can help lead his 8-1 Wildcats deep into the Class 6A postseason. 

 

 

For Coach Fincham, his team will get at least one extra week of practice thanks to having a first round playoff matchup and he stresses to his players that this is a unique opportunity and you have to appreciate it.

 

 

Normal West will host Big 12 conference member Danville at 1 pm on Saturday afternoon. The two teams did not meet in the regular season this year.

 

Danville finished the regular season 6-3.

Maturing Washington Panthers Hoping for Magical Run in Postseason

A very young Washington Panthers football program got off to a rough start this fall and Coach Daryl Crouch says his team could've packed it in and looked to next year but instead, they fought and finished the year strong at 6-3.

 

Coach Crouch says the first three weeks of its season offered three great challenges for its program and despite a 1-2 start, his team finished winning five of its final six games.

 

 

Coach Crouch has a very young offensive line as well as underclassmen scattered at various other key positions across the field.

 

 

Coach Crouch has been very pleased with the way his defense has played to finish out the regular season and hopes to see them continue that heading into the first round of the 6A playoffs.

 

Washington will play one of the few Friday night games in the first round when they travel to Midlothian-Bremen for a 7 pm kickoff.

 

Other first round matchups...

 

Class 1A

 

Madison (5-3) at Ridgeview (9-0)

Brown County (5-4) at Tuscola (7-2)

Villa Grove (6-3) at Jacksonville Routt (7-2)

Central A & M (6-3) at Sesser-Valier (7-2)

Rushville-Industry (6-3) at Toledo-Cumberland (7-2)

 

 

Class 2A

 

Chicago North Lawndale Charter (5-4) at Maroa-Forsyth (9-0)

El Paso-Gridley (7-2) at Farmington (7-2)

Bloomington Central Catholic (6-3) at Aledo (7-2)

Clifton Central (6-3) at Tri-Valley (7-2)

Chester (5-4) at Decatur St. Teresa (9-0)

Athens (7-2) at Carmi-White County (7-2)

Auburn (6-3) at Pana (8-1)

Fairfield (6-3) at North Mac (8-1)

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond (7-2) at Vandalia (7-2)

Belleville Althoff Catholic (5-4) at Shelbyville (8-1)

 

Class 3A

 

Paxton-Buckley-Loda (5-4) at Prairie Central (9-0)

Harrisburg (5-4) at Tolono Unity (8-1)

Monticello (5-4) at Mt. Carmel (8-1)

Olympia (5-4) at Benton (8-1)

Robinson (6-3) at St. Joseph-Ogden (6-3)

Carlinville (5-4) at Williamsville (8-1)

Beardstown (5-4) at Eureka (7-2)

 

Class 4A

 

Effingham (5-4) at Rochester (8-1)

Mt. Zion (6-3) at Breese Central (7-2)

Spring Valley Hall (5-4) at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (9-0)

 

Class 5A

 

Ottawa (5-4) at Mahomet-Seymour (9-0)

Jacksonville (6-3) at Metamora (6-3)

Dunlap (5-4) at Highland (8-1)

Decatur MacArthur (5-4) at Peoria (8-1)

 

Class 6A

 

Quincy (7-2) at Chatham-Glenwood (7-2)

Champaign Centennial (7-2) at Crete-Monee (7-2)

 

Class 7A

 

Normal Community (6-3) at #14 Rockton-Hononegah (7-2)

Blackhawks Rally Past Kraken

Jason Dickinson and Tyler Johnson scored 13 seconds apart late in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Seattle Kraken 5-4 on Sunday for their third straight win.

 

Max Domi and Jujhar Khaira also scored for Chicago (3-2-0), which trailed 2-0 midway through the first period and 4-3 going into the third. The Blackhawks also erased a two-goal deficit in their previous two wins.

 

Johnson tied it at 4 with his second goal of the game with 7:03 left. He beat Martin Jones from the slot after taking a feed from Jonathan Toews behind the net.

 

Dickinson then scored from the right circle with 6:50 remaining after Seattle defenseman Adam Larsson couldn't control the puck cleanly.

 

The Blackhawks have been better than expected as Richardson has them playing a style with aggressive forechecking and penalty killing.

 

Jared McCann had a goal and an assist for the Kraken for the second straight game. Vince Dunn, Andre Burakovsky and Matty Beniers also scored.

 

Johnson then tied it at 2 with his first of the season with 42 seconds to go in the first, firing in a rebound of Seth Jones' shot from the top of the slot.

 

Jones and Patrick Kane each had two assists for Chicago.

 

Both teams were without their No. 1 goalies. Alex Stalock made 30 saves for the Blackhawks, and Jones blocked 22 shots for the Kraken (2-3-2).

 

The Blackhawks placed goaltender Petr Mrazek on injured reserve with a groin strain after he got hurt during the home opener on Friday. Coach Luke Richardson said Mrazek was scheduled to be re-evaluated later Sunday, and the injury might keep him out ''for at least a week.''

 

The Blackhawks host Florida on Tuesday.

Packers Continue Struggles, Fall to Commanders

Aaron Rodgers and the offense sputtered, penalties piled up at the most inopportune moments and the Packers lost their third game in a row, 23-21 to the Washington Commanders on Sunday for their longest skid since 2018.

 

Nursing a sore thumb and out of sync with receivers, Rodgers was 23 of 35 for 194 yards and the Packers went 0 of 6 on third down. Green Bay (3-4) had just 232 total yards of offense to Washington's 364 and lost Allen Lazard to a shoulder injury, making him the team's third wide receiver to go down during the first losing streak under coach Matt LaFleur.

 

Amari Rodgers continued his struggles returning punts by muffing one that set Washington up in the red zone, and cornerback Eric Stokes was flagged for a costly illegal contact penalty that wiped out a fumble return touchdown and later for unsportsmanlike.

 

The negatives outweighed the few positives: a 63-yard pick-6 of Taylor Heinicke by De'Vondre Campbell and two touchdown passes from Rodgers to Aaron Jones - the second of which completed a 75-yard drive aided by Washington penalties that pulled the Packers within two with 3:26 left in the fourth quarter and gave them one final chance to end the skid before falling short.

 

Playing behind a remade offensive line without All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, Rodgers struggled to find a rhythm, missing wide-open receivers at times and others putting the ball in their hands for ill-timed drops. The Packers rushed for just 38 yards.

 

The Packers had no third-down conversions for the first time since 1999.

 

Taylor Heinicke, making his first start of the season in place of injured Carson Wentz, threw for two touchdowns and was 20 of 33 for 200 yards after starting 1 of 7 for 14 yards with the interception. One of those TD throws was a perfect pass to Terry McLaurin.

 

Packers LB Rashad Gary was evaluated for a concussion in the second half.

 

The Packers visit the Buffalo Bills next Sunday night.

Larson Dominates to Win at Miami

Kyle Larson held off Ross Chastain to cap a dominant showing at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, after leading 199 of the 267 laps over the 1-1/2 mile course.

 

It was Larson’s third win of the season, coming two weeks after the reigning Cup champion was eliminated from this year’s playoffs — and a week after he was intentionally spun by Bubba Wallace in an act of retaliation at Las Vegas.

 

Even though Larson can’t win the title, his Hendrick Motorsports team still can — now having clinched a spot in the field that will decide the owners’ championship in Phoenix.

 

It wasn’t exactly close at the end; Larson beat Chastain to the line by 1.261 seconds. Chastain could have clinched a berth in the winner-take-all Phoenix race for the title if he had won at Homestead.

 

The four-car field for the drivers’ title race will be finalized next week in Martinsville, with seven drivers heading there to compete for three remaining spots. Only Joey Logano, through his win at Las Vegas last week, has his berth clinched.

 

Denny Hamlin is on the wrong side of the cutline going into Martinsville. Chastain is second, Chase Elliott is third and William Byron — the polesitter for Sunday — is fourth.

 

Hamlin is five points back of Byron, followed by Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell and Chase Briscoe in eighth.

 

Among the playoff drivers, after runner-up Chastain, Hamlin was seventh, Bell 11th, Byron 12th, Elliott 14th, Blaney 17th, Logano 18th and Briscoe 36th in the 36-car field.

 

Martin Truex Jr., who led the field for 28 laps, was headed to the pits late in the race when a caution flag came out — and found trouble as he got there. Larson tapped the back of Truex’s car and Truex wound up spinning 180 degrees and ending up in his stall, but with the front of his car facing the wrong direction. It also seemed possible, given where Truex was, that he might have missed his stall entirely as the setting sun starting casting serious shadow over much of Homestead.

 

Truex came back to finish sixth and raced Hamlin — his teammate — hard for late position, costing Hamlin valuable playoff points.

 

Briscoe — a past winner at Homestead in the trucks and Xfinity series — came into Sunday looking for a big showing that would help his playoff hopes, or even a victory that would clinch his spot in the finale.

 

He didn’t make it out of Stage 2. Briscoe completed only 160 laps, going into the wall and damaging his car beyond repair.

 

NASCAR’s next-to-last race of the season is at Martinsville, with the final playoff spots up for grabs before the finale at Phoenix. Byron held off Logano in overtime to win at Martinsville back in early April.

High School Football Playoff Pairings

Class 1A

 

Madison (5-3) at Ridgeview (9-0)
Brown County (5-4) at Tuscola (7-2)
Villa Grove (6-3) at Jacksonville Routt (7-2)
Central A & M (6-3) at Sesser-Valier (7-2)
Rushville-Industry (6-3) at Toledo-Cumberland (7-2)

 

Class 2A

 

Chicago North Lawndale Charter (5-4) at Maroa-Forsyth (9-0)
El Paso-Gridley (7-2) at Farmington (7-2)
Bloomington Central Catholic (6-3) at Aledo (7-2)
Clifton Central (6-3) at Tri-Valley (7-2)
Chester (5-4) at Decatur St. Teresa (9-0)
Athens (7-2) at Carmi-White County (7-2)
Auburn (6-3) at Pana (8-1)
Fairfield (6-3) at North Mac (8-1)
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond (7-2) at Vandalia (7-2)
Belleville Althoff Catholic (5-4) at Shelbyville (8-1)

 

Class 3A

 

Paxton-Buckley-Loda (5-4) at Prairie Central (9-0)
Harrisburg (5-4) at Tolono Unity (8-1)
Monticello (5-4) at Mt. Carmel (8-1)
Olympia (5-4) at Benton (8-1)
Robinson (6-3) at St. Joseph-Ogden (6-3)
Carlinville (5-4) at Williamsville (8-1)
Beardstown (5-4) at Eureka (7-2)

 

Class 4A

 

Effingham (5-4) at Rochester (8-1)
Mt. Zion (6-3) at Breese Central (7-2)
Spring Valley Hall (5-4) at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (9-0)

 

Class 5A

 

Ottawa (5-4) at Mahomet-Seymour (9-0)
Jacksonville (6-3) at Metamora (6-3)
Dunlap (5-4) at Highland (8-1)
Decatur MacArthur (5-4) at Peoria (8-1)

 

Class 6A

 

Quincy (7-2) at Chatham-Glenwood (7-2)
Washington (6-3) at Midlothian-Bremen (8-1)
Champaign Centennial (7-2) at Crete-Monee (7-2)
Danville (6-3) at Normal West (8-1)

 

Class 7A

 

Normal Community (6-3) at #14 Rockton-Hononegah (7-2)

Week 9 HS Football Scores

Central Illinois

Decatur St. Teresa at Warrensburg-Latham 53-6
Central A & M at Shelbyville 13-41
Tuscola at Meridian 55-17

 

Illini Prairie

Bloomington Central Catholic at Prairie Central 13-56
Paxton-Buckley-Loda at St. Joseph-Ogden 20-34
Rantoul at Illinois Valley Central 6-52

 

Big Twelve

Normal West at Champaign Centennial 7-0
Peoria Manual at Normal Community 8-49
Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria 7-48
Urbana at Danville  0-1

 

Central State Eight

Decatur Eisenhower at Chatham-Glenwood 8-56
Normal U-High at Jacksonville  49-70
Rochester at Decatur MacArthur 49-0
Springfield Southeast at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 12-56

 

Heart of Illinois (Large)

Tri-Valley at El Paso-Gridley 22-30
Dee-Mack at Eureka 0-21
Tremont at Fieldcrest 20-6
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Heyworth 33-7

 

Lincoln Prairie

Arcola at Villa Grove 6-20
Argenta-Oreana at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 21-56
Oakland-Tri-County at Sangamon Valley 6-26
Toledo-Cumberland at Cerro Gordo-Bement 34-15

 

Mid-Illini

Canton at Limestone 49-7
Metamora at Dunlap 38-6
Morton at Washington 0-7
Pekin at East Peoria 50-6

 

Sangamo

Auburn at Williamsville 12-62
Maroa-Forsyth at Athens 38-36
Petersburg PORTA at Olympia 6-47
Pleasant Plains at New Berlin  28-21
Riverton at Pittsfield 12-34

 

Non-conference action

Bethalto Civic Memorial at Taylorville 14-34
Mahomet-Seymour at Bloomington  47-20
Mt. Zion at Breese Mater Dei 38-35
Pontiac at Robinson 16-40

Tolono Unity Blanks Monticello

The Tolono Unity Rockets used ball control and stout defense in a shutout win over Monticello, 28-0 Friday night in Illini Prairie Conference football action from Tolono.

 

Each team used a long drive to start the game. The Rockets turned it over on downs and off-setting penalties negated a good field goal from Monticello and the replayed fourth down resulted in a missed field goal early in the second quarter. 

 

After the Sages missed the field goal, it was all Rockets.

 

Matt Brown used a 60-yard run on the very next play to set up his first of four touchdown runs. 

 

Brown finished with 27 carries for 207 yards with his four scores. Jay Saunders hauled in five catches for 66 yards. 

 

Despite throwin a pair of interceptions and getting sacked six times, Drew Sheppard finished 23-for-38 for 204 yards for Monticello. 

 

Spencer Mitze paced the Sages receivers with eight catches for 57 yards. His efforts earned him the ServPro of Piat/DeWitt Counties player of the game.

 

Luke Teschke had five catches for 43 yards while Trey Welter hauled in four catches for 51 yards.

 

Monticello finishes the season 5-4 overall and will await its seeding Saturday night in the 3A postseason. Unity finishes the regular season 8-1. 

 

Hear coverage of the playoff pairings as they are released as well as a night full of interviews with central Illinois football coaches from 7 pm to 9 pm on WHOW/WEZC, at the many WHOW digital platforms as well as on the WHOW/WEZC Facebook and YouTube pages. 

 

Then tune in next weekend for Sages playoff football on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Maroons Spoil Sullivan Senior Night

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Sullivan-Okaw Valley Redskins by a score of 28-20 on Friday night. Quarterback Colton Walker was 4 of 11 passing for 71 yards. He also had 9 carries for 19 yards and a touchdown. Tristin Potts had 34 carries for 124 yards and 3 catches for 42 yards. Dawson Graves got the nod for ServPro Player of the Game having 7 catches for 72 yards and 1 catch for 42 yards. He also set up a touchdown with a 70 yards kickoff return.

 

The Redskins were led by Kyle Corkill with 9 carries for 83 yards. Aiden Ballinger had 8 catches for 51 yards.

 

With the win, the Maroons wrap up their season 4-5 and 3-4 in the Central Illinois Conference. Sullivan falls to 4-5 overall and 2-5 in the season.

Maroons Hoping to Play Spoiler at Sullivan-Okaw Valley

The Clinton Maroons will be looking to play spoiler tonight when they travel to Sullivan and battle with the 4-4 Redskins who are hoping to qualify themselves for the postseason.

 

And perhaps adding a little fuel to the fire are high school football pundits projecting Sullivan-Okaw Valley into their playoff brackets. Coach Ron Bass says it's not often you get some bulletin board material and you shouldn't need it but they are making their kids aware of it.

 

 

Sullivan-Okaw Valley is reeling a bit on offense with their starting quarterback going down with a broken leg. While Coach Bass can certainly relate to that struggle, he anticipates the Redskins ironing out some issues after last week's loss to Central A&M.

 

 

Game time tonight from Sullivan is 7 pm. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at the many WHOW digitial platforms. 

 

Central Illinois

 

Decatur St. Teresa at Warrensburg-Latham

Central A & M at Shelbyville

Tuscola at Meridian

Monticello Looking to Create Positive Momentum Going into Postseason

The Monticello Sages are looking to shake off a disappointing performance against Prairie Central last week on senior night and create some positive momentum going to the postseason tonight when they visit Tolono Unity to wrap up the regular season. 

 

At 5-3 on the season, Monticello has qualified for the postseason but a sixth one would clinch that spot. Coach Cully Welter feels if his team plays like they did in week 7 against Paxton-Buckley-Loda, they can feel good about going into the first round of the playoffs regardless of the outcome tonight.

 

 

This week, Coach Welter has been preaching rebounding from last week's loss and taking pride in their play. He also wants the kids to think about creating some positive momentum going into the playoffs and not just be content with making the playoffs.

 

 

Unity is 7-1 on the season. 

 

Game time is 7 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online on dewittdailynews.com. 

 

Illini Prairie

 

Bloomington Central Catholic at Prairie Central

Paxton-Buckley-Loda at St. Joseph-Ogden

Rantoul at Illinois Valley Central

 

Week 9 matchups

 

8-man footballChampaign 

 

St. Thomas More at Milledgeville (Sat.)

Blue Ridge at Galva (Sat.)

Milford at Decatur LSA

Peoria Heights at Pawnee (Sat.)

 

Big Twelve

 

Normal West at Champaign Centennial

Peoria Manual at Normal Community

Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria 

Urbana at Danville 

 

Central State Eight

 

Decatur Eisenhower at Chatham-Glenwood

Normal U-High at Jacksonville 

Rochester at Decatur MacArthur

Springfield Lanphier vs. Springfield at Springfield Southeast (Sat.)

Springfield Southeast at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin

 

Heart of Illinois (Large)

 

Tri-Valley at El Paso-Gridley

Dee-Mack at Eureka

Tremont at Fieldcrest

Colfax-Ridgeview-Lexington at LeRoy

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Heyworth

 

Lincoln Prairie

 

Arcola at Villa Grove

Argenta-Oreana at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

Oakland-Tri-County at Sangamon Valley

Toledo-Cumberland at Cerro Gordo-Bement

 

Mid-Illini

 

Canton at Limestone

Metamora at Dunlap

Morton at Washington

Pekin at East Peoria

 

Sangamo

 

Auburn at Williamsville

Maroa-Forsyth at Athens

Petersburg PORTA at Olympia

Pleasant Plains at New Berlin 

Riverton at Pittsfield

 

Non-conference action

 

Bethalto Civic Memorial at Taylorville

Mahomet-Seymour at Bloomington 

Mt. Zion at Breese Mater Dei

Pontiac at Robinson

HS VBall: Blue Ridge Rolls Villa Grove

The Blue Ridge Lady Knights wrapped up the high school volleyball regular season with a two set victor, 25-18, 25-22 Thursday night over Villa Grove in Lincoln Prairie Conference action in Villa Grove.

 

Gracie Shaffer paced Blue Ridge with 20 assists and a block followed by Alexis Wike with 12 digs, eight kills and a pair of aces. Phoebe Reynolds contributed 13 kills.

 

The Lady Knights finish the regular season 23-11 overall and 6-4 in the Lincoln Prairie. 

 

Blue Ridge will battle DeLand-Weldon at the Heyworth Regional Tuesday evening at 6 pm. 

Momentum on Side of Illini During Bye Week

Could the Illinois Fighting Illini be a top-10 team? 

 

Bob Asmussen at IlliniHQ.com thinks so. Granted things would have break heavily in their favor but if the team can keep winning, at the least the veteran college football writer foresees Illinois making strides in the rankings.

 

 

Runningback Chase Brown has is starting to gain some national attention as the nation's leading rusher at the near halfway point of the season. If he keeps it up, Asmussen says there's no reason he shouldn't be in New York as a part of the Heisman Trophy festivities.

 

 

Illinois takes the week off before return from the bye to visit Nebraska next Saturday. The Cornhuskers program is in turmoil again after firing coach Scott Frost after a disappointing tenure with his alma mater. They will have the advantage of also coming out of a bye next Saturday.

Illinois State Riding Momentum Into Saturday's Contest at Indiana State

The start of a challenging two-game road swing begins this weekend for Illinois State, which travels to Terre Haute, Indiana, for a critical contest against Indiana State. 

 

The Redbirds (4-2, 2-1 MVFC) will look to hold onto recent momentum that has seen them win four out of five games, while the Sycamores (1-5, 0-3 MVFC) look to try to pick up their first conference victory.

 

The Redbird secondary has become one of the best in the MVFC and country. The Redbirds rank No. 8 in the country in passing yards allowed with 171.7, which also ranks second in the MVFC behind North Dakota State. That group has also aided in ISU ranking No. 18 in the country in first down defense, allowing just 101 so far on the season. 

 

The Illinois State defense currently ranks No. 14 in the country in total defense (and third in the MVFC) and much of that is do to the amount of success the Redbirds have had getting to the quarterback. ISU ranks No. 11 in the country in team sacks per game at 3.33 per contest, and have a total of 20 on the year.

 

Game time from Terre Haute, Indiana is noon on Saturday.

Eastern Illinois Visits Tennessee State Saturday

Eastern Illinois heads to Tennessee State this weekend as one of four teams that are currently undefeated in OVC play as EIU is 1-0 after a win at Murray State back on Sept. 24. 

 

The Panthers will face another undefeated conference team as Tennessee State has won two straight and stands at 2-4 overall, 1-0 in the OVC.  The other two undefeated OVC teams are UT Martin (3-0) and Southeast Missouri (2-0).

 

Alexandar Oyawale was named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week after being part of a solid Panthers defensive effort that had five sacks and four turnovers gained.  Oyawale had one of the five sacks in the contest against Lindenwood and forced one of the turnovers with a forced fumble. 

 

Quarterback Jonah O'Brien engineered three of the Panthers' four touchdowns on Saturday against Lindenwood scoring on a pair of short rushing touchdowns and throwing for a third to DeAirious Smith.  O'Brien was 14-of-21 passing in the game for 152 yards

 

Game time from Nashville Saturday is 2 pm. Hear all the action starting with pre-game at 1:30 pm on WHOW and all its digitial platforms.

Packers Visit Commanders

The Green Bay Packers have lost two in a row during the same regular season for the first time since Matt LaFleur took over as coach in 2019. Green Bay has the chance to end the skid at the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

 

Even after ending their losing streak at four, the Commanders at 2-4 and last place in the stout NFC East would need to go on a run to catch up with their division rivals. While Aaron Rodgers nurses a thumb injury on his throwing hand that is not expected to sideline the four-time MVP, Washington is turning to Taylor Heinicke at quarterback after starter Carson Wentz had surgery to repair a broken right ring finger.

 

Heinicke, who started almost every game last season following his surprise breakout performance in the playoffs the previous January, gets another chance against the team he grew up cheering for as a big fan of Brett Favre. He had an interception and a fumble in Washington's 24-10 loss at Lambeau Field last year.

 

The Packers won't have their receiving unit at close to full strength.

 

Randall Cobb injured an ankle in the Packers' 27-10 loss to the New York Jets and is expected to miss multiple games. Rookie second-round pick Christian Watson missed the Jets game with a hamstring injury and didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday.

 

Sammy Watkins returned to practice this week after missing four games with a hamstring injury, but that doesn't necessarily mean he will be playing Sunday.

 

During LaFleur's tenure, the Packers are 37-1 when they force at least one turnover. But the defense hasn't produced any takeaways during this skid, and they've forced just four turnovers all season.

 

Green Bay has a minus-4 turnover margin. The Packers had an NFL-leading plus-32 margin from 2019-21.

NASCAR Cup Playoffs Shift to Homestead Miami

Joey Logano became the first driver to secure a spot in the championship finale, passing Ross Chastain with three laps left to win at Las Vegas for the third time and now the playoffs shift to Homestead Miami Speedway this weekend.

 

Logano, the 2018 series champion, moved into the points lead by 21 over runner-up Chastain, 22 over previous leader Chase Elliott, and 33 over Denny Hamlin. Chastain led 68 of the 267 laps at Las Vegas. The victory was the 30th of Logano’s career. 

 

Elliott’s series-best five wins match the combined total of Logano (3) and Chastain (2). Christopher Bell, fourth in points after winning at Charlotte, dropped to eighth in the playoff standings, 56 points behind with two races remaining before the final four is set.

 

Bubba Wallace was suspended for this weekend's race for appearing to swipe at Kyle Larson's Chevy Camaro after he was squeezed into the wall last Sunday in Las Vegas. 

 

John Hunter Nemechek will drive the No. 45 Toyota Camry for 23XI Racing. 

 

William Byron won after starting 31st last spring in Miami.

 

Practice and qualifying is at 9 am local time Saturday morning and the green flag drops at 1:30 pm Sunday afternoon. 

 

Josh Berry took the lead from AJ Allmendinger with 34 laps to go at Las Vegas and won for the second time in the series’ last three visits there, securing his spot in the championship finale as the XFinity playoffs head to Homestead Miami Speedway.

 

Berry’s victory was the fifth of his career and led a 1-2-3 finish for JR Motorsports as Noah Gragson was second and Justin Allgaier third. 

 

Berry went into the race having failed to lead a lap in the previous six races. 

 

Gragson remained the points leader, by 19 over Ty Gibbs and 29 over Allgaier. Allmendinger finished 22nd, just his fourth finish outside the top 10 in 30 races, and dropped to sixth in points, 45 off the lead. Sam Mayer, the fourth JRM driver still in the playoffs, is last in the standings, 65 off the pace.

 

Myatt Snyder won after starting 10th at Miami last spring.

 

Practice and qualifying is tonight at 5 pm and race time is 3:30 pm Saturday afternoon. 

 

Matt DiBenedetto, not a playoff contender in the Camping World Truck Series, earned his first career victory in the series with his win at Talladega, which finished under caution with him in front.

 

The trucks return Saturday afternoon for the first race since the first Saturday of October at Talladega.

 

Chandler Smith heads into the last race to make the finale with a 12-point lead over Zane Smith and a 27-point cushion ahead of defending series champion Ben Rhodes. Christian Eckes and Stewart Friesen are both 30 points back and John Hunter Nemechek is 32 behind. 

 

Zane Smith’s 12 top-five finishes are three more than any other driver and his 17 top-10 finishes also are three more than any other driver.

 

Practice and qualifying is this afternoon at 3 pm and the green flag at Miami drops at noon on Saturday afternoon. 

Final High School Football Poll of Season

The final week of the high school football regular season is here and once again there only minor changes in the weekly polls.

 

In Class 1A, Lena-Winslow and Ridgeview remain 1-2, respectively. Hope Academy and Camp Point Central swap spots for 3-4, respectively. After its week eight loss to Decatur St. Teresa, Shelbyville drops to no. 7, bumping Athens Fulton to 5-6, respectively. Ottawa Marquette and Greenfield Northwest swap places for 8-9 this week and Kewanee-Annawan-Weathersfield enters the top ten this week.

 

Decatur St. Teresa remains the unanimous no. 1 team in Class 2A. Maroa-Forsyth remains steady at no. 2. Wilmington is up to no. 3 this week dropping Bismarck-Henning a spot to no. 4. Rockridge and Tri-Valley move up a spot to 6-7, respectively. 

 

Johnston City moves up to no 7, followed by Pana who is new to the poll this week. North Mac drops from fourth to ninth this week and Nashville remains at no. 10 to round the 2A top ten.

 

The top nine in Class 3A remained unchanged this week. IC Catholic is no. 1 followed by Reed-Custer, Princeton, Byron, and Prairie Central to round out the top five. 

 

Mt. Carmel, Williamsville, Seneca and Tolono Unity remain unchanged 6-9 and Benton enters this week's poll at no. 10 replacing Eureka. 

 

Class 4A, the top 5 remain unchanged with Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin in the top spot. Richmond Burton checks in at no. 2 with a first-place vote to its ledger followed by St. Francis with the final first-place vote. Rochester and Joliet Catholic round out the top five. 

 

Stillman Valley and Carterville are unchanged at 6-7 respectively. Wheaton Academy and Macomb trade spots at 8-9, respectively and Genoa-Kingston enters this week's poll to round out the top 10.

 

In Class 5A, the top three remain unchanged with Kankakee, Sycamore and Mahomet-Seymour at 1-3. Morris and Highland round out the top five. Peoria High drops from no. 4 last week to no. 7 this week and LaGrange Park Nazareth enters the top 10 poll. 

 

Normal West moves up a spot in the final Class 6A poll of the season - moving up from no. 8 to no. 7. East St. Louis is this week's no. 1 team as the top 5 of the 6A poll remains unchanged. 

 

Class 7A, Chicago Mt. Carmel is the no. 1 team again this week. Pekin remains steady at no. 6 this week. 

 

Finally, in Class 8A, the top five is unchanged highlighted by Loyola Academy at no. 1. 

Monticello Cross Country Ready for Postseason

With cross country postseason this weekend, the Monticello Sages cross-country programs are ready to roll.

 

The Illini Prairie Conference meet was a few weeks ago now but Coach Dave Remmert says it has been all about preparing the kids for the faster runs of the postseason. 

 

 

The Lady Sages team is highlighted by Mabry Bruhn, whom Remmert calls the most talented runner he's ever coached. Bruhn was expected to have a great season coming in and she says her season has been excellent so far.

 

 

Bruhn and the Lady Sages head to Regional on Saturday in Shelbyville where they will be competing with 15 other teams including Argenta-Oreana, Clinton, Tolono Unity and Tuscola.

Blues Get By Kraken In Overtime

Justin Faulk scored his second goal of the game at 2:50 of overtime and the St. Louis Blues beat the Seattle Kraken 4-3 on Wednesday night.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko took advantage of a defensive miscue behind the net and found Faulk in front of the net for his third assist of the game. Faulk put the shot past Martin Johnson from the crease.

 

Jordan Kyrou also scored and Jordan Binnington made 32 saves to help St. Louis improve to 2-0.

 

Will Borgen, Ryan Donato and Alex Larsson scored for Seattle in its third straight loss at home to start the season. Seattle wiped away a two-goal deficit in the second and played its best defensive period of the season to send it overtime.

 

Faulk gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead with 7:48 left in the first period, scoring 17 seconds after Schenn. But the team gave up a two-goal lead for the second time in two games.

 

Donato stuffed the puck home midway through the second and Larsson buried a slap shot from the blue line to tie it with 1:29 left in the period. Binnington appeared to have the puck lined up on Larsson's shot, but Torey Krug inadvertently redirected the puck into the net with his stick.

 

The Blues are at Edmonton on Saturday.

Bulls Topple Heat in Season Opener

DeMar DeRozan scored 28 of his 37 points in the second half, Ayo Dosunmu added 17 and the short-handed Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat 116-108 in the season-opener for both teams Wednesday night.

 

Nikola Vucevic had 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, and Goran Dragic added 12 off the Chicago bench.

 

Jimmy Butler scored 24 points and Tyler Herro added 23 for Miami, which got 22 from Max Strus and 12 from Bam Adebayo.

 

The Bulls played without All-Star guard Zach LaVine because of left knee injury management. That knee had him in and out of the lineup last season and required surgery in May. LaVine played in three of Chicago's preseason games and experienced discomfort in recent days - which Donovan said is to be expected, given that LaVine was limited for much of the summer.

 

The Bulls did just fine without LaVine - who signed a $215 million deal over the summer.

 

Chicago started the second half on a 34-19 run, breaking open what was a 59-59 halftime tie and turning it into a 93-78 lead. The margin was down to 10 going into the fourth, and the Heat kept chipping away.

 

Strus' 3-pointer with 6:19 left drew Miami to 102-98, but the Heat got no closer. Vucevic made a 3-pointer with 4:59 left to put Chicago up by nine, and the lead wasn't challenged again.

 

Dragic was 4 for 4 from 3-point range in the first half. The last time he was at least 4-for-4 from beyond the arc in a first half was Jan. 9, 2021, in Washington, when he played for Miami. Chicago turned 19 Miami turnovers into 17 points. DeRozan also had nine assists and six rebounds.

 

The Bulls visit Washington on Friday night to end a two-game season-opening trip.

Despite Lopsided Loss, Monticello Football Coach Not Dwelling on Negatives

After Monticello forced fifth-ranked Prairie Central and its high powered, power run attack into a three-and-out to start Friday night's Illini Prairie Conference game, it was all Hawks after that in a 48-13 loss at Monticello.

 

Coach Cully Welter felt despite the lopsided score and a running clock for more of the final quarter, his team did some positive things, especially in the first half.

 

 

Despite trailing 32-6 at halftime, Coach Welter felt there were times he noticed the team feeling sorry for themselves but preached being resilient and continuing to fight despite the score.

 

 

The Sages wrap up with another tough game Friday night at Tolono Unity. At 5-3, the Sages will be looking to clinch their place in the postseason and at the same time improve their seeding. 

 

Game time is 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

HS VBall: Blue Ridge Gets By Cerro Gordo

Blue Ridge  (22-11, 5-4) got by Cerro Gordo in three sets - 25-18, 19-25, 25-16 - in Lincoln Prairie Conference high school girl's volleyball action Tuesday night in Cerro Gordo.

 

The Lady Knights were led by Phoebe Reynolds with 12 kills, 24 digs and a block. Gracie Shaffer contributed 23 assists, 15 digs and 14 service pts while Alexis Wike recorded 11 kills.

 

Blue Ridge moves to 22-11 overall and 5-4 in the Lincoln Prairie. The Lady Knights wrap up the regular season Thursday night at Villa Grove. 

Bears Waive Backup WR

The Chicago Bears waived receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette on Tuesday.

 

Smith-Marsette got his first significant playing time in the offense in Chicago’s 29-22 loss at Minnesota two weeks ago and committed two costly mistakes.

 

He had the ball taken away from behind by Cameron Dantzler at the Vikings 39 following a reception on the Bears’ final drive to decide the game. He also got flagged for an illegal block from behind on a 52-yard scramble by quarterback Justin Fields, negating a touchdown. The Bears signed Smith-Marsette just before the start of the season after Minnesota cut him.

 

Chicago signed receiver Isaiah Coulter from the practice squad to the active roster on Tuesday.

 

The Bears (2-4) have dropped three straight following a 12-7 loss to Washington on Thursday night. They visit New England on Monday night.

NASCAR Suspends Wallace for Homestead-Miami

Bubba Wallace received a one race suspension from NASCAR after an investigation determined he deliberately spun reigning Cup champion, Kyle Larson, at Las Vegas in a “dangerous act” of retaliation before confronting him afterward.

 

Wallace had a shoving match with Larson after Sunday’s incident at Las Vegas and also pushed away a NASCAR official. The suspension handed down Tuesday falls under NASCAR’s behavioral policy, and technically could cover most of Wallace’s actions at Las Vegas.

 

But Steve O’Donnell, the executive in charge of competition and racing operations, said the penalties were for Wallace’s dangerous and deliberate retaliation against Larson, not the fracas a few moments later.

 

Still, Wallace’s suspension for this Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is a rare step: Wallace is the first Cup Series driver to be suspended for an on-track incident since Matt Kenseth was parked for two races in 2015 for an incident at Martinsville.

 

23XI Racing, which is owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan, is not appealing the penalty, and John Hunter Nemechek will replace Wallace this weekend.

 

Larson, who had been eliminated from the playoffs a week earlier, and Wallace, who did not qualify to race for the Cup title, clashed on Lap 94 at Las Vegas. Larson attempted a three-wide pass and Kevin Harvick in the middle dropped out of the bunch. Larson slid up the track toward Wallace, who did not lift off the gas to give Larson any room. Larson then shoved Wallace’s Toyota into the wall.

 

Wallace had led 29 laps in a car he believed capable of winning and he reacted by following Larson’s car down to the apron, where he seemed to deliberately hook him in the rear corner as retaliation. That sent Larson spinning into the path of Christopher Bell, a title contender who is part of the Toyota camp with Wallace.

 

The crash ended Bell’s race and dropped him to last in the eight-driver playoff standings.

 

Wallace, meanwhile, climbed from his car and marched on the track toward Larson. Wallace was shouting before he even got to Larson and immediately began to shove the smaller driver.

 

Larson tried to turn away from him and several times lifted his arms to block Wallace’s shoves, but Wallace got in multiple shots before a NASCAR safety worker separated the two.

 

Wallace on Monday night apologized “for my actions” in a social media post he titled “Reflection.” He apologized specifically to NASCAR and its fans, but also Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota for “putting them in a situation in the Playoffs that they do not deserve.”

 

His post did not address wrecking Larson — Wallace had claimed his steering broke when he hit the wall — or apologize specifically to the champion.

 

NASCAR also announced that the crew chief for Kyle Busch, Ben Beshore, along with two pit crew members have been suspended for the next four races after a wheel came off during the Las Vegas race.

Three Clinton Cross Country Runners Earn All-Conference

Three Clinton Maroons cross country runners earned all-conference at the Central Illinois Conference meet last week at Tuscola.

The top finishers were MaKayla Koeppel and Amerie Hemphill who finished third and fourth, respectively in the girl's race.

 

Drew Moser finished seventh in the boy's race.

 

The girl's team took second place as a team at the conference meet. 

 

The Maroons head to the postseason where the top seven runners will race in Regionals. 

Maroons Looking to Continue To Build Momentum After Strong Week 8 Showing

The Clinton Maroons are on the first winning streak in the Ron Bass era at Clinton High School and with two conference victories in back-to-back weeks, the Maroons will look to keep rolling this Friday night at Sullivan.

 

Before that game though, Coach Bass says his team struggled at times on a wet night against Meridian, most disappointed in the inability to get the ball in the end zone at several junctures.

 

 

Coach Bass continues to be pleased with his front line and tailback Trisan Potts for running hard with the defense knowing what's coming, especially on a wet night like Friday.

 

 

Coach Bass preached to his team prior to the game Friday finishing the season strong. He says they'll have a chance to play spoiler Friday night when the Maroons visit Sullivan-Okaw Valley, who is 4-4 on the season and will be looking for that fifth win to be eligible for the postseason.

Monticello Golfers Pleased With Another Successful Season

Despite losing some very good golfers from last year's senior class, the Monticello Sages boy's golf team had another successful campaign. 

 

Maddux Quick was a sophomore golfer on the team this season and says despite losing All Sate golfer Tanner Buehnerkemper last year, the team worked hard in the offseason and came in ready to improve from last year's eighth place finish at state.

 

 

Quick says the young golfers on the team stepped to provide a lot of depth for the team this year and credits senior Will Ross for leading the team this season.

 

 

Quick adds one of the other strengths of the team this year was their ability to pick up a teammate that may have not had their best day. He felt they were pretty balanced all year.

HS VBall: Blue Ridge Downs Rival DeLand-Weldon

The Blue Ridge Lady Knights defeated their DeWitt County rivals DeLand-Weldon 25-22, 25-13 in non-conference high school girl's volleyball action from Farmer City Monday night. 

 

Gracie Shaffer paced the Lady Knights with 12 assists and 11 digs. Phoebe Reynolds contributed 12 kills.

 

Blue Ridge moves to 21-11 overall. They will take on Cerro Gordo-Bement tonight in Cerro Gordo in Lincoln Prairie Conference action.

Illinois Moves Up in Latest Polls

After a big win Saturday over Minnesota for Homecoming at Memorial Stadium, Illinois is up to no. 18 in this week's AP college football poll and moves into the Coaches poll for the first time this season at no. 20.

 

Illinois is 6-1, tied for its best start since 1953. The Illini reached bowl eligibility on Oct. 15, becoming the 10th team in the nation to get to six wins.

 

The Illini are on a five-game winning streak, including three Big Ten West wins in back-to-back-to-back weeks. It is the first time Illinois has won five in a row since 2011 and the first time Illinois is 3-1 in the Big Ten since 2007.

 

The Illini will head into a bye this weekend and return on Oct. 29 at Nebraska. 

Tennessee rose three spots to No. 3 in this week's AP Top 25 after the Volunteers upset Alabama 52-49 on Saturday for their first victory over the Crimson Tide since 2006. The rise continues a storybook start to the season for the Vols after second-year coach Josh Heupel's team began the year unranked. With wins over Pittsburgh, Florida, LSU and Alabama, four of Tennessee's six wins have come against teams who were ranked at the time of the matchup. 

 

That resume is among the most impressive bodies of work by any team in college football, but No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Ohio State are still ahead of Tennessee in a tight race for the top spot after impressive starts of their own. The Bulldogs received 31 first-place votes while Ohio State and Tennessee received 17 and 15, respectively. 

 

Alabama fell to No. 6 after its first loss of the season, marking the Crimson Tide's lowest ranking since finishing the 2019 season ranked No. 8. Ole Miss rose two spots to No. 7 following its 48-34 win over Auburn to give the SEC four of the poll's top seven teams.

 

Tulane made a surprise appearance in the poll this week at No. 25 after improving to 6-1 with a 45-31 win at South Florida. It marks the first time since 1998 that the Green Wave have been ranked. Their resume is highlighted by a Sept. 17 win at No. 17 Kansas State.

 

After falling from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 43-42 loss at Utah on Saturday, USC dropped six spots to No. 12 in the Coaches Poll on Sunday. The fall comes as a sour pill for the Trojans, who were well-positioned to cement their place as College Football Playoff contenders following losses by other top-10 teams Penn State, Oklahoma State and Alabama during a wild Week 7. 

 

Instead, the Trojans now face an uphill climb as they enter a bye week sitting at third in the Pac-12 standings. USC led Utah 21-7 in the first half and surged ahead 42-35 with 6:15 remaining but could not get into position for a potential game-winning field goal in the final minute after the Utes scored a go-ahead touchdown and 2-point conversion with 48 seconds left.

 

With the win, Utah rose four spots to No. 15, giving the Pac-12 four teams in the top 15 ahead of Week 8's huge showdown between No. 9 Oregon and No. 10 UCLA, which is the league's last unbeaten team at 6-0. Joining the Ducks and Bruins among those rising into the top 10 was TCU -- one of the poll's big winners. The Horned Frogs leaped seven spots to No. 8 following their 43-40 win over Oklahoma State.

 

Georgia reclaimed the top spot in the Coaches Poll following a 55-0 win over Vanderbilt and Alabama's loss at Tennessee. The Crimson Tide fell to No. 6 while the Volunteers climbed to No. 4.

Week 8 HS Football Scores

Central Illinois

Shelbyville at Decatur St. Teresa 14-41
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Central A & M 6-43
Warrensburg-Latham at Tuscola 0-52

 

Illini Prairie

Illinois Valley Central at Pontiac 14-0
St. Joseph-Ogden at Rantoul 57-14
Tolono Unity at Paxton-Buckley-Loda 26-12

 

8-Man Football

Decatur LSA at Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran 66-19
 

Big Twelve

Champaign Central at Bloomington  7-31
Danville at Peoria Richwoods 58-7
Normal Community vs. Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Richwoods 19-13
Peoria at Normal West 6-30

 

Central State Eight

Chatham-Glenwood vs. Springfield at Springfield Southeast 48-14
Decatur Eisenhower at Springfield Southeast 26-22
Decatur MacArthur at Normal U-High 14-9
Jacksonville at Rochester 14-42
Springfield Lanphier at Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin 6-66

 

Heart of Illinois 

El Paso-Gridley at Tremont 34-8
Eureka at Tri-Valley 0-6
Fieldcrest at D-Mack 14-64
Heyworth vs. Ridgeview-Lexington Coop 6-41
 

Lincoln Prairie

Arthur Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Sangamon Valley 50-7
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Arcola 6-45
 

Mid-Illini

Limestone at Pekin 6-49
Dunlap at Morton 35-34
East Peoria at Metamora 0-1
Washington at Canton 41-0

 

Sangamo

Athens at Riverton 49-0
New Berlin at Maroa-Forsyth 13-51
Olympia at Auburn 26-48
Williamsville at Pleasant Plains 42-6

Prairie Central Dominates Monticello

In a game heard on WEZC, Prairie Central used early big plays to propel them to a dominant win over Monticello, 48-13 win in Illini Prairie Conference high school football action.

 

On Monticello's first possession, Drew Sheppard was hit on a third down pass and it was intercepted and returned for a touchdown as the Hawks went up 8-0. The turnover was deflating as Monticello held Prairie Central to a three-and-out on the first drive of the game.

 

Senior quarterback Drew Haberkorn ran for touchdowns of 83 and 47 yards in the fourth quarter staking Prairie Central to 24-0 lead after the first quarter and the Hawks would not look back after that.

 

Haberkorn ran seven times for 153 yards. He completed just three passes on five attempts, including a 45-yard touchdown to Avery Elder and an interception.

 

Drew Fehr had 15 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns for Prairie Central

Sheppard finished 7-for-13 for 92 yards for the Sages. He also ran nine times for 57 yards and a touchdown. Tylor Bundy added a one-yard touchdown run for Monticello.

 

Sheppard was named the ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt County Player of the Game. 

 

The Hawks stay undefeated at 8-0 while the Sages drop to 5-3. 

 

Monticello will travel to Tolono Unity to wrap up the regular season next Friday night. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynew.com. 

Clinton Wins on Senior Night

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons produced a 14-6 senior night win over the Meridian Hawks Friday night. Quarterback Colton Walker went 3 of 5 for 22 yards. He had 5 carries for 11 yards and a touchdown. Tristin Potts had 26 carries for 137 yards and a touchdown. Dawson Graves had 10 carries for 64 yards. The ServPro Maroons Player of the Game was Houston Stapleton for his work as a senior and as an offensive and defensive lineman.

 

Meridian quarterback Roy Ralston was 6 of 15 passing for 48 yards and an interception. He also had 11 carries for 39 yards.

 

With back-to-back wins, Clinton improves to 3-5 on the season and 2-4 in the Central Illinois Conference. Meridian falls to 1-7 overall and 1-5 in the conference. 

 

Tune in next Friday, October 21, as the Maroons travel to Sullivan. You can hear the game live on the BIG 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

Clinton Looking To Stay on Winning Ways Tonight Hosting Meridian

The Clinton Maroons will be looking for its first winning streak under second-year head coach Ron Bass tonight when they host the Meridian Hawks in Central Illinois Conference high school football action.

 

The Maroons picked up the first CIC victory in the Coach Bass era last Friday in a chippy victory over Warrensburg-Latham. Coach Bass was pleased with his team's composure during the game and then the way they were able to move the ball most of the night.

 

 

Coming off a playoff birth last season, the Hawks are led by a first year coach with roots to Maroa-Forsyth. Coach Bass says they offer a lot of athleticism and another good challenge for the Maroons.

 

 

Game time tonight is 7 pm. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and at the many WHOW digital platforms. 

 

Central Illinois

 

Shelbyville at Decatur St. Teresa

Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Central A & M

Warrensburg-Latham at Tuscola

After Big Win, Monticello Wanting More

After last Friday night's big victory over Paxton-Buckley-Loda, the Monticello Sages football team is looking for more this week when fifth-ranked Prairie Central comes to town for senior night. 

 

Coach Cully Welter was pleased with the way his team came ready to play in the 41-26 victory. He says some games are about effort and wanting it more, and that was the case Friday night.

 

 

Prairie Central is traditionally a run-heavy offense and while that is the case this year, Coach Welter indicates they are adding a few more wrinkles to the equation this fall.

 

 

Coach Welter anticipates the Hawks to be basic in their defensive sets but be aggressive at the same time.

 

Game time Friday night is 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

Illini Prairie Conference football games Friday night

 

Illini Prairie

 

Illinois Valley Central at Pontiac

St. Joseph-Ogden at Rantoul

Tolono Unity at Paxton-Buckley-Loda

 

Week 8 high school football action

 

8-Man Football

 

Decatur LSA at Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran

Martinsville at Champaign St. Thomas More (Sat.)

 

Big Twelve

 

Champaign Central at Bloomington 

Danville at Peoria Richwoods

Normal Community vs. Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Richwoods

Peoria at Normal West

 

Central State Eight

 

Chatham-Glenwood vs. Springfield at Springfield Southeast

Decatur Eisenhower at Springfield Southeast

Decatur MacArthur at Normal U-High

Jacksonville at Rochester

Springfield Lanphier at Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin

 

Heart of Illinois 

 

El Paso-Gridley at Tremont

Eureka at Tri-Valley

Fieldcrest at D-Mack

Heyworth vs. Ridgeview-Lexington Coop

LeRoy at Morrison (Sat.)

 

Lincoln Prairie

 

ArthurLovington-Atwood-Hammond at Sangamon Valley

Cerro Gordo-Bement at Arcola

Toledo-Cumberland at Argenta-Oreana (Sat.)

Villa Grove at Tri-County (Sat.)

 

Mid-Illini

 

Limestone at Pekin

Dunlap at Morton

East Peoria at Metamora

Washington at Canton

 

Sangamo

 

Athens at Riverton

New Berlin at Maroa-Forsyth

Pittsfield at Petersburg-PORTA (Sat.)

Olympia at Auburn

Williamsville at Pleasant Plains

 

Non-Conference action this week

 

Alton Marquette at Bloomington Central Catholic (Sat.)

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

Marengo at Peoria Manual (Sat.)

HS VBall: Toledo-Cumberland Downs Blue Ridge

Toledo-Cumberland used a big first set to get by Blue Ridge 25-6, 25-23 Thursday night in Lincoln Prairie Conference high school girl's volleyball action from Farmer City.

 

Alexis Wike led the Lady Knights with 11 digs. Phoebe Reynolds contributed four kills while Gracie Shaffer had six assists, an ace and a block.

 

The loss drops Blue Ridge to 20-11 overall and 4-4 in the Lincoln Prairie. The Lady Knights return home Monday hosting DeWitt County rival DeLand-Weldon. 

Shorthanded Illinois Hosts Minnesota Saturday

The Illinois Fighting Illini will be leaning on the nation's leading rusher a little bit more this Saturday when Minnnesota visits Memorial Stadium in Champaign for Homecoming.

 

Chase Brown leads the nation in rushing and with quarterback Tommy DeVito out with injury this week, Illini HQ beat writer Bob Asmussen says the Illini will be leaning on the junior a little more than normal.

 

 

Illinois enters the AP top 25 rankings for the first time in over a decade this week. Asmussen has a top 25 vote and ranked Illinois no. 23 and says while you might think because he's close the program and knows everyone well, he gives them a more critical review than you might think.

 

 

The Golden Gophers are expected to have star running back Mo Ibrahim return from an ankle injury of his own in a battle that could factor heavily into the Big Ten West race. Minnesota allows just 222 yards per game and are the No. 1 ranked total defense. Additionally, they lead the country in time of possession (37:58 per game) while Illinois checks in at No. 8 (34:06).

 

Brown leads the country with 879 rushing yards and runs of more than 10 yards (28) entering the week. Illini DT Keith Randolph has a sack in his last four games.

Illinois State Hosts South Dakota

Coming off a big road win last weekend at UNI, Illinois State returns home to host South Dakota for Homecoming at Hancock Stadium. 

 

The Redbird offense was clicking on all cylinders in its win at Northern Iowa, and much of that had to do with a strong game up front for the offensive line led by senior Drew Bones. For his efforts, Bones was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week by the league office. Bones and the rest of the Redbird protection unit did not allow a sack to the Panthers and helped the Redbirds outgain UNI by a total of 409-366 overall. Bones graded out at 89 percent in the contest and was credited with four knockdowns, no missed assignments and did not allow any pressures on quarterback Zack Annexstad. 

 

The Illinois State defense currently ranks No. 17 in the country in total defense (and third in the MVFC) and much of that is do to the amount of success the Redbirds have had getting to the quarterback. ISU ranks No. 6 in the country in team sacks per game with nearly four per contest, and have a total of 19 on the year.

 

Keeping drives alive was crucial to the Redbirds' success in the victory at UNI, as the converted at an eye-popping level against the Panthers. ISU finished the game 13-for-20 on third down and 2-for-2 on fourth down conversions against UNI, which ultimately led to the two-point win for the 'Birds. With that success on third down, the Redbirds now rank No. 16 in the country in third-down conversion percentage at .487, which ranks third among teams in the MVFC.

 

Game time is 2 pm Saturday from Hancock Stadium.

EIU Battles Lindenwood Saturday

Eastern Illinois won its second consecutive game on Saturday as the Panthers won back-to-back games for the first time since the 2017 season when EIU had four straight wins. 

 

The win moved EIU to 2-3 on the season as they play three of four games in the month of October at home at O'Brien Field.  EIU faces OVC newcomer Lindenwood this weekend but the game will be counted as a non-conference game for both schools due to a late schedule adjustment.  

 

After rushing for 339 yards in their last game at Murray State, the Panthers churned out even more yards in Saturday's win over Northwestern State finishing with 340 yards and four rushing touchdowns. 

 

Game time is 2 pm Saturday. Hear all action starting at 1:30 pm with the pregame on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Minor Adjustments to Latest High School Football Rankings

The top teams in the state of Illinois high school football polls are playing well and not much-persuading

 

voters to adjust the rankings again this week. The Class 1A top five is unchanged with Lena-Winslow, Ridgeview, Camp Point Central, Hope Academy, and Shelbyville remaining strong at one through five. 

 

St. Bede dropped from no. 6 to no. 10 after a week 7 defeat, allowing everyone else to move up. Athens, Fulton, Greenfield-Northwestern and Ottawa Marquette are this week's 6-9.

 

In Class 1A, Only one change was made to the poll and that was Nashville entering at no. 10. 1-9 are the same as week 7. Decatur St. Teresa, Maroa-Forsyth, Bismarck-Henning, North Mac, and Wilmington are 1-5, respectively. Rockridge, Tri-Valley, Carmi White County, and Johnston City are 6-9, respectively.

 

The top 5 in Class 3A had a minor shakeup. IC Catholic and Reed-Custer are 1-2, respectively, unchanged from week7. Princeton, Byron, and Prairie Central jump a spot to round out the top. Mt. Carmel is up to no. 6 from seventh last week.

 

Williamsville moves from no. 3 to no. 7 after its week 7 loss to Maroa-Forsyth. Seneca and Tolono Unity move up a spot to 8-9, respectively, while Eureka dropped to no. 10 from no. 8 last week. 

 

In Class 4A, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin separated itself from Richmond Burton to take over the top spot from last week's tie for no. 1. St. Francis stays at no. 3 while Rochester and Joliet Catholic swap spots for no. 4-5, respectively. 6-8 remains the same this week with Stillman Valley, Carterville, and Macomb. Wheaton Academy moves up a spot to no. 9 and Breese Central enters this week's rankings at no. 10.

 

Class 5A, the top 5 remain unchanged with Kankakee in the top spot followed by Sycamore, Mahomet-Seymour, Peoria, and Chicago Morgan Park.

 

In class 6A, the top 5 remain unchanged. East St. Louis is this week's unanimous no. 1 followed by Chicago Simeon, Lemont, Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge, and Crete-Monee. Normal West moved up to no. 8 from no. 10 last week. Champaign Centennial enters this week's rankings at no. 10.

 

In Class 7A, Chicago Mt. Carmel is the unanimous no. 1. Pekin stayed put at no. 6.

And in Class 8A, Loyola Academy is no. 1.

Monticello Volleyball Hoping to Get on a Roll Heading Into the Postseason

The Monticello volleyball program is hoping to get itself on a roll in the next few weeks with the postseason just around the corner.

 

The Lady Sages entering action this week were 7-15 but volleyball coach Kim Allison likes the team she has this year and feels they have a good balance of experience and youth and has seen so much growth with the team. 

 

 

According to Coach Allison, the talent of her team is even across the board and so she feels if one player is not having her best game, there's another player ready to pick them up.

 

 

Coach Allison indicates, last week the Lady Sages found out they are seeded tenth in the Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond Regional. They will take on Sullivan a week from Monday, Sept. 24 in Regional quarterfinal action.

 

Last season, the Lady Sages were able to rally their way to a Regional Championship and Coach Allison and her players are hoping for an encore of that again this fall.

Defending Champs Roll Blackhawks in Season Opener

Artturi Lehkonen and Valeri Nichushkin each scored two power-play goals, Mikko Rantanen had four assists and the fast-skating Colorado Avalanche began their Stanley Cup title defense with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

 

Shortly after raising their newest banner to the rafters, the Avalanche went to work. Andrew Cogliano scored Colorado's first goal of the season, the only goal in the game that wasn't on the power play. Nathan MacKinnon, fresh off a new lucrative contract, contributed two assists, while new goaltender Alexandar Georgiev stopped 15 shots.

 

Jonathan Toews and Max Domi had goals as Luke Richardson made his coaching debut for the Blackhawks. Petr Mrazek finished with 30 saves against an Avalanche team that won the title last season by dethroning Tampa Bay in six games.

 

The Avalanche took a little bit of time to find their rhythm, but once they did they were flying around the ice. They scored four power-play goals, including two by Lehkonen in the second period, for a 4-1 lead.

 

The Blackhawks are in Vegas on tonight.

Monticello's Friday Win Qualifies Them for Postseason

After Monticello took an upset loss to St. Joseph-Ogden in week one of the high school football season, no games could be taken for granted the rest of the way - especially the final three games of the season which featured three Illini Prairie Conference opponents that were either in or in-and-out of the top 10 football polls all season. 

 

Monticello football Coach Cully Welter was pleased with the way his team prepared for its Friday night game against Paxton-Buckley-Loda and ultimately came out and executed en route to a 41-26 victory. 

 

 

Other than a few things here and there throughout the game, Coach Welter thought his offense played well and was efficient. 

 

 

Coach Welter feels like Friday night's win helps put Monticello squarely in the playoffs conversation with five wins and hopes they can steal a game this Friday against fifth-ranked Prairie Central or at Tolono Unity next Friday night to finish out the season.

 

 

Monticello hosts Prairie Central Friday night at 7 pm for senior night.

HS VBall: Blue Ridge Gets By Broadlands-Heritage

The Blue Ridge Lady Knights avenged a loss last week in the Lincoln Prairie Conference tournament downing Broadlands-Heritage 22-25-, 27-17, and 25-15 in Lincoln Prairie Conference high school girl's volleyball action Tuesday night.

 

Gracie Shaffer paced Blue Ridge with 16 assists and 3 blocks. Phoebe Reynolds with 9 kills, Alexis Wike recorded eight kills and two aces while Cassie Zimmerman had 16 digs and 12 service points.

 

With the victory, the Lady Knights improve to 20-10 overall and 4-3 in the Lincoln Prairie Conference. They will host Toledo-Cumberland in a Lincoln Prairie tilt Thursday night.

HS VBall: Maroa-Forsyth Rolls PORTA/AC-Central

The Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans used a balanced attack to get by PORTA/AC-Central in 25-16, 11-25, and 25-17 in Sangamo Conference High School girl's volleyball action Tuesday night in Maroa. 

 

Addi Voorhees had eight kills. Aveleena Steward and Peyton Torbert added five kills apiece while Savanna Moody had four. 

 

Reya Corley had 13 assists while Abi Tortocha had ten. 

 

Megan Holub had nine digs, Voorhees recorded seven, and Moody had five.

Tortecha had a team-best two aces. 

 

The Lady Trojans move to 19-10 overall and 5-2 in the Sangamo. They'll host Olympia next.

Clinton Football Coach Continues to Preach Improvement, Highlights Offensive Line Play

The Clinton High School football team was able to control the line of scrimmage Friday night in a 28-14 victory over Warrensburg-Latham in Central Illinois Conference football action.

 

The victory was the first conference win for second-year Coach Ron Bass who says the line play on both sides of the ball helped guide a Maroons team with a lot of young players on both sides of the ball.

 

 

Sophomore Colton Walker made his first start at quarterback Friday night as his older brother, Mason, the starting quarterback this year, is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Coach Bass was overall pleased with his performance and is optimistic about the future of the quarterback position for his team.

 

 

The Maroons will host Meridian next Friday night for senior night at Clinton High School. 

Monticello Soccer Begins Regionals Today

The Monticello Sages boy's soccer program opens postseason play this afternoon in Urbana taking on Georgetown-Ridge Farm.

 

Coach Dan Burkybile says his 17-4 Sages are playing very well and he's been pleased with their ability to control the soccer ball in their own zone.

 

 

Coach Burkybile likes the balance in skills his players and they have a lot of players that complement each other very well.

 

 

Game time this evening in Urbana for Monticello is 4 pm. The winner meets the winner of the second game of the evening between Urbana Uni and Fithian-Oakwood Friday at 5 pm in Urbana.

 

Coach Burkybile hopes you'll give them a follow on Twitter at the handle @SagesMensSocer.

HS VBall: Maroa-Forsyth Rallies Past Decatur St. Teresa

Addi Voorhees had eight kills and nine digs while Megan Holub had 11 digs helping Maroa-Forsyth rally in three sets past Decatur St. Teresa, 11-25, 25-16, and 25-22 in non-conference high school girl's volleyball in Decatur. 

 

Following Voorhees' eight kills were Peyton Torbert and Avaleena Stewart with five apiece. Reagan Vanhook and Mia Hubbard had five blocks apiece and Reya Corley added 12 assists. 

 

Brynn Jostes had two aces for the Lady Trojans.

 

Maroa-Forsyth is now 18-10 overall and host PORTA-AC Central in Sangamo Conference action.

Outgoing Clinton Athletic Boosters President Calling for Volunteers To Step Up

The outgoing president of the Clinton Athletic Booster Club says as he steps aside from his role on the board, they need volunteers to continue the efforts of the Boosters.

 

Brian Ennis and his wife Tammie, are stepping aside from their roles on the Athletic Booster Club board. Brian says it is well past time as they have had kids out of school for some time and will look for someone with fresh ideas and a new perspective to be a part of the board.

 

 

Ennis says there is a lot on his plate and while he desires for the Athletic Boosters to continue to thrive, they need people to step up and fill some roles on the board or it could very well fold.

 

 

Ennis continues to believe in the mission and the opportunities they provide for both the junior high and high school programs. 

 

To get involved at a Board level, reach out to district athletic director Matt Koeppel. 

Illinois Football Makes AP Top 25

For the first time in over a decade, the Illinois Fighting Illini football team is in the college football AP Top 25.

 

Back-to-back Big Ten wins over Wisconsin and Iowa have opened the eyes of voters as well as a convincing victory over Virginia in September.

 

It's the first time the Fighting Illini have been ranked in the AP Top 25 since 2011.

 

The poll features some new arrivals with Texas and James Madison cracking the top 25. It's a historic ranking for JMU, cracking the top 25 in the program's first-ever season of FBS play. 

 

The scores and results from Week 6 produced a shake-up in the top four of the college football rankings. There's a new No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll and every spot in the top five has a new team as the voters start to scrutinize every result among the final undefeated teams in the country.

 

Georgia returns to the No. 1 spot after its 42-10 win against Auburn. That spot was previously occupied by Alabama, which dropped to No. 3 after its thrilling defensive stand secured a 24-20 win against unranked Texas A&M. Though the Crimson Tide dropped, it could also be read as getting passed by Ohio State for the No. 2 spot.

 

The first-place votes among the big three break down with Georgia now represented by 32 first-place votes, Ohio State receiving 20 and Alabama still in the mix with 11 first-place votes.

 

Clemson also jumped ahead of Michigan for No. 4 after a 31-3 win at Boston College while Michigan was tied 10-10 at halftime before pulling away late at Indiana. Other moves inside the top 10 include a two-spot jump for Tennessee to No. 6 after its win at LSU and the resulting one-spot drop for USC and Oklahoma State because of the Vols moving up.

 

Elsewhere in the rankings the updated AP Top 25 has UCLA up seven spots, knocking on the door of the top 10 at No. 11, and Mississippi State also making a seven-spot leap to No. 16. The Bruins win also comes with a nine-spot drop for Utah to No. 20, while Kentucky was another team falling down in the poll following its loss to South Carolina. The Wildcats, now 4-2 overall, are nine spots lower than last week at No. 22.

Big Day For Clinton Cross Country in Delevan

It was a banner day for the Clinton Cross Country teams on Saturday afternoon in Delevan.

 

Both the boy's and girl's squads took home first-place honors and 24 runners set lifetime bests at the historic three-mile course.

 

In the girl's race, junior MaKayla Koeppel finished second with a time of 18 minutes and 43 seconds, 47-seconds better than her previous lifetime best. Additionally, the time is the second-best score in the Clinton record books. 

 

Sophomore Amerie Hemphill's time of 19 minutes and 13 seconds propelled her to a third-place finish and was a new personal record, beating her previous best by 53 seconds. Additionally, her time was the fifth-best time in school history. 

 

Chloe Barth and Lydia Cahill finished with new lifetime bests in the girl's team competition. Barth's improvement was the most dramatic for the Lady Maroons, improving on her lifetime best by one minute and 21-seconds. 

 

In the girl's open race, the Lady Maroons took the top five spots. Alexa Harris, Missy Hale, Maddi Leonard, Grace Duke, and Ella Steward finished one through five, respectively. Hale, Leonard, Duke, and Steward finished with lifetime bests and Harris finished first despite being under the weather leading up to the race. 

 

In the boy's race, all of the Maroons runners finished with lifetime bests. Drew Moser finished second with a time of 15-minutes and 51-seconds, not only a new lifetime best, it is the ninth best time in school history. 

 

Talan Thrasher finished fourth with a time of 16-minutes and 32-seconds, 32-seconds ahead of his previous best. 

 

Abel Koritz finished ninth overall with a time of 18-minutes and one second, topping his previous personal best by 47-seconds. 

 

Ollie Goar topped his previous best by 25 seconds. Colin Jameson bested his previous record by 44 seconds. Preston Daniels saw the biggest improvement on his previous best by one minute and ten seconds for the Maroons boy's runners. And Lincoln Adams finished 16-seconds ahead of his previous lifetime best.

 

In the open boy's race, all the runners significantly improved on their previous lifetime best and the Maroons occupied the second through seventh place finishes. Jarrett Turney ran a time of 19-minutes and 36-seconds, good for second place and one minute and 33 seconds ahead of his previous best. 

 

Dyllon Wright finished third with a time of 19-minutes and 49-seconds, one minute and 21 seconds ahead of his previous.

 

Finishing fourth was Carter Blankenship with a time of 19-minutes and 56-seconds. His time was one minute and 33 seconds better than his previous lifetime best.

 

Logan Newberg ran a fifth-place time of 20-minutes and six seconds, a minute and 45-seconds ahead of his previous lifetime best. 

 

Miguelangel Mendoza finished sixth with a time of 21-minutes and 21-seconds, one minute and 17-seconds better than his previous lifetime best.

 

And coming in seventh was Kael Morlock with a time of 22-minutes and 14-seconds, 1:28 better than his previous personal record. 

 

It's off to the conference meet next for the Maroons. 

Sheppard, Teschke Lead Monticello Past PBL to Qualify for Postseason

In a game heard on WEZC, Drew Sheppard accounted for four touchdowns and Luke Teschke returned a kickoff 90 yards leading Monticello past Paxton-Buckley-Loda 41-26 in Illini Prairie Conference high school football action Friday night in Monticello.

 

Friday's win qualifies the Sages for the postseason as they move to 5-2 overall.

 

Monticello marched down the field on the opening drive of the game as Sheppard capped an eight-play, 72-yard drive with a 22-yard run.

 

The Sages defense kept PBL off the board after the Panthers opening drive went for 13 plays and 52 yards but they turned it over on downs inside the red zone.

 

A 17-play drive for the Sages stalled out on downs. The very next play, sophomore tailback Robert Boyd-Meents went 72 yards to bring PBL within 7-6.

 

On the kickoff, Teschke fielded the kick at the 10 yard line and went to the house. 

Later in the first quarter, Sheppard hit Spencer Mitze for a 45 yard touchdown pass to put the Sages up 20-6 before the half.

 

Out of the break, PBL fumbled the opening kickoff and Tylor Bundy ran in an 18-yard touchdown to stretch the lead to 27-12.

 

Starting the fourth quarter, Sheppard hit Teschke from eight yards out to go up 34-12 but PBL was not going to go away.

 

Boyd-Meents scored from 59 yards out and converted the two-point attempt at 10:29 in the fourth to get withing 34-20. Then the Panthers recovered an onside kick. 11 plays later, Boyd-Meents connected with Aiden Johnson on a halfback pass from four yards out. PBL missed on the two point conversion to make the score 34-26 and that would be as close as the Panthers would get the rest of the way.

 

Sheppard sealed the win with a 13 yard run to send Monticello the final score of 41-26.

 

Sheppard finished 15-for-23 for 184 yards through the air with three touchdowns and added 67 yards on the ground on 11 carries and a touchdown. 

 

Bundy finished with 57 rushing yards on six carries and a touchdown, all in the second half.

 

Mitze hauled in six passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. 

 

Boyd-Meents led PBL with 206 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns. 

 

PBL drops to 5-2 overall. 

 

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

Maroons Clip Cardinals 28-14 In CIC Football

In a game heard Friday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons traveled to Warrensburg-Latham and downed the Cardinals, 28-14.

 

The Maroons led 7-6 at halftime before opening the third quarter with a 64 yard touchdown pass.  Clinton built upon the lead after that on the back of junior running back, Tristin Potts. He carried the Maroons, running 33 times for 246 yards and a touchdown.  He earned the Serv-Pro of Piatt & Dewitt County Maroons Player of the Game for the second week in a row.  The Maroons offfensive line also earned a mention, not only for their run blocking, but also for protecting sophomore quarterback, Colton Walker.  Walker went 5 of 6 passing for 79 yards & a touchdown.  He also ran 13 times for 39 yards & two touchdowns in his first varsity start.  Dawson Graves caught 3 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown, and also ran 9 times for 25 yards. In total, the Maroons ran for over 300 yards in route to their first conference victory under second year Head Coach Ron Bass.  
 

Warrensburg-Latham was led by sophomore quarterback, Brayden Hickey, who went 9 of 20 passing for 116 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.  The pick was made by Clinton's Ryan Stapleton at a key moment late in the fourth quarter.  Senior Shayne Gillen paced the Cardinals with 7 carries for 60 yards, and 4 catches for 81 yards & 2 touchdowns. 
 

Clinton improves to 2-5 with the win, and 1-4 in the CIC.  Warrensburg falls to 2-5 overall, and 0-5 in the conference. They'll travel to Tuscola next week. 
 

As for the Maroons, they'll host Meridian next Friday for Senior Night.  Hear the coverage on all WHOW platforms. 
 

Clinton Travels to Warrensburg-Latham

The Clinton Maroons will visit the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals tonight for a Central Illinois Conference matchup in week 7 action of the high school football season. 

 

The Maroons were able to hang with a tough Tuscola team on the road last week but couldn't find any offensive momentum. The Maroons enter play 1-5 overall.

 

Meanwhile, the Cardinals will be looking to break a two-game scoreless stretch tonight. Warrensburg-Latham was shut out by Shelbyville and then Central A&M in weeks five and six, respectively. Warrensburg-Latham enters play 2-4 overall.

 

Game time tonight from Warrensburg is 7 pm. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and on the many WHOW digital platforms.

 

Central Illinois Conference action tonight...

 

Central A & M at Meridian
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Shelbyville
Tuscola at Decatur St. Teresa

Monticello Starts Pivotal Stretch Hosting PBL

Monticello needs just one win to qualify for the postseason but it's going to be a tough road ahead for a Sages squad that has been up and down this season when things kickoff tonight hosting Paxton-Buckley-Loda in Illini Prairie Conference action in week 7 of the high school football season.

 

The Sages have won two in a row and four of its last five games after convincing back-to-back wins over Pontiac and Rantoul.

 

The Sages routed Rantoul 55-0 last week. 

 

PBL, meanwhile, will be looking to get back on its winning ways after a tough home loss to Prairie Central last week, 51-8. The Panthers upset Monticello last year by intercepting a pass in the end zone late in the game, preserving a one-point lead for a 16-15 win in Paxton.

 

PBL has been in-and-out of the top 10 Class 3A rankings this season and last week's defeat, the first of the seaosn for 5-1 PBL, knocked them out this week. 

The next two Sages opponents, Prairie Central and Tolono Unity, are ranked in the top 10.

 

Game time tonight from Monticello High School is 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Illini Prairie Conference action tonight...

 

Bloomington Central Catholic at Illinois Valley Central
Pontiac at St. Joseph-Ogden
Rantoul at Tolono Unity

 

8-Man football

 

Champaign St. Thomas More at Milford 
Blue Ridge] at Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland
West Prairie at Peoria Heights
Decatur LSA at Danville Schlarman (Sat.)

 

Apollo

 

Effingham at Lincoln
Mattoon vs. Charleston at EIU
Taylorville at Mahomet-Seymour

 

Big Twelve

 

Bloomington at Peoria 
Champaign Centennial vs. Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Richwoods (Sat.)
Champaign Central at Danville 
Peoria Manual at Peoria Richwoods

 

Central State Eight

 

Chatham-Glenwood at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
Decatur Eisenhower vs. Springfield Lanphier at Springfield Southeast (Sat.)
Jacksonville at Decatur MacArthur
Normal U-High at Rochester
Springfield at Springfield Southeast

 

Lincoln Prairie

 

Arcola at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Argenta-Oreana at Cerro Gordo-Bement
Sangamon Valley at Villa Grove
Oakland Tri-County at Toledo-Cumberland

 

Mid-Illini

 

Dunlap at Washington
Metamora at Limestone
Morton at East Peoria
Pekin at Canton

 

Sangamo

 

Auburn at Pittsfield
Maroa-Forsyth at Williamsville
New Berlin at Athens
Petersburg PORTA at Riverton
Pleasant Plains at Olympia

 

Non-Conference high school football this week...

 

Colfax-Ridgeview-Lexington at Eureka
Collinsville at Mt. Zion
Tri-Valley at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
El Paso-Gridley at Heyworth
Prairie Central at Aledo
Dee-Mackat LeRoy
Normal West at Quincy Notre Dame
Tremont at Nokomis

EIU Back in Action at O'Brien Field Saturday

Eastern Illinois snapped a nine-game losing streak as the Panthers won at Murray State on Sept. 24, 35-21, to improve to 1-3 overall.  The win moved EIU to 1-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference as the Panthers will not play another league game until Oct. 22 at Tennessee State.  

 

Northwestern State enters Saturday afternoon's matchup at 2-3 on the season including 2-0 in the Southland Conference.  This will be the first of two OVC/Southland crossover games for EIU as they visit McNeese on Nov. 5.  EIU is slated to play both teams as part of its 2023 schedule as well.

 

Eastern Illinois rushed for a season high 339 yards in the win over Murray State as the Panthers had three players finish with more than 60 yards on the ground.  It was the highest rushing total for EIU since a 351 yard day on Oct. 14, 2017, also at Murray State.  It marked the ninth time since the 2012 season that EIU has rushed for 300 or more yards in a game.  EIU's biggest rushing day in the last ten years was 413 yards in 2014 against Austin Peay.

 

Eastern Illinois defense forced five turnovers during the Panthers OVC opening win over Murray State with four interceptions and one fumble recovery.  

 

Linebacker Elijawah Tolbert was named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week following his efforts against Murray State.  Tolbert had two interceptions and three pass break-ups to go along with six tackles. 

 

Running back Kendi Young ripped off a career high 160 yards on eight carries in the win at Murray State.  Young had two runs in the game over 40 yards while scoring one of the Panthers three rushing touchdowns.  It was a career high for Young whose previous career high was 88 yards during the 2020 spring season against Southeast Missouri. 

 

Game time is 2 pm Saturday from Charleston. Hear all the action starting at 1:30 pm on WHOW and its many digital platforms.

Illinois State Visits Northern Iowa Saturday

After completing a three-game homestand, Illinois State will hit the road for the first time since September 3 when the Redbirds (2-2, 0-1 MVFC) head to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take on the UNI Panthers (2-3, 2-1 MVFC) at the UNI Dome.

 

For the third time in just four games played, Illinois State senior linebacker Zeke Vandenburgh was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Southern Illinois. Vandenburgh tied his career high with 14 tackles against the Salukis and finished the game with a sack and 3.5 tackles-for-loss. 

 

Game time is 6:30 pm from Cedar Fall, Iowa.

Illinois Hosts Iowa for Saturday Night Big Ten Showdown

The Big Ten West is seemingly there for the taking after the Illini dismantled Wisconsin in Madison last week and cost Paul Chryst his job.

 

Saturday’s winner between Illinois and Iowa will stay atop the division with favorable matchups on the horizon. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz noted that Illinois is “three points away from being undefeated” and has improved significantly on offense. 

 

Second-year Illinois coach Bret Bielema has Champaign buzzing with excitement, but a win over the Hawkeyes for the first time since 2008 could take the excitement to a fever pitch.

 

The margin for error is smaller than usual this year for another talented Iowa defense because of struggles on the other side of the ball, but if players like DT Lukas Van Ness (five tackles for loss, three sacks) and DE Joe Evans (four tackles for loss, two sacks) can win their matchups and limit Illini RB Chase Brown, the Hawkeyes could walk out of Champaign with another win. 

 

Veteran Alex Palczewski and junior college transfer Zy Crisler have been particularly effective for the Illini.

 

Iowa QB Spencer Petras might finally be finding a rapport with someone in the Hawkeyes’ struggling passing attack. He hit sophomore tight end Luke Lachey for four receptions, 84 yards and a touchdown — one of two Petras has thrown in five games — in the loss to Michigan last week. Against the Illini’s No. 3-ranked run defense, Petras will have to hit some targets to move the chains.

 

Illinois RB Chase Brown leads the nation with 733 rushing yards. He had 129 in the win over the Badgers last week and now has 25 carries of more than 10 yards, a mark that also leads the country. 

 

In the secondary, Devon Witherspoon and Jartavius Martin rank second and eighth, respectively, with 1.8 and 1.6 passes defended per game.

 

Iowa has beaten Illinois in eight straight games dating back to 2008, the longest streak in the series in 77 meetings.

 

Game time is 6:30 pm Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

Arraez wins AL batting title, Twins beat White Sox 10-1

Luis Arraez won the AL batting title, hitting a third-inning double after walking twice to finish the season at .316, and the Minnesota Twins rolled to a 10-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

 

Arraez was all but assured of topping the Yankees' Aaron Judge for the batting crown when the day began. He removed any doubt by walking in his first two plate appearances and then hitting a drive that barely cleared the glove of right fielder Gavin Sheets before he was lifted for a pinch-runner.

 

Gary Sanchez and Jermaine Palacios homered during a six-run first inning for Minnesota, which snapped a four-game skid. The Twins finished at 78-84, a six-game improvement over 2021.

 

The White Sox (81-81), last year's AL Central champions, had their three-game winning streak snapped and finished 12 games worse than their 2021 record.

 

Sanchez hit his 16th homer, a three-run shot, off Chicago starter Davis Martin (3-6), and he added an RBI double during a three-run second. Palacios hit his second homer in as many games, a two-run shot. Martin was charged with nine runs in 2 2/3 innings and was pulled due to right biceps soreness.

 

Louie Varland (1-2) allowed four hits in five scoreless innings in his fifth major league start. The 24-year-old struck out five and didn't allow a walk. Josh Harrison was the only Chicago batter to reach second base against Varland as he led off the second with a double. Varland rebounded by striking out Mark Payton, Romy Gonzalez and Adam Engel in succession.

 

Chicago didn't score until the ninth, when Carlos Perez hit a one-out double off reliever Cole Sands to score Romy Gonzalez. Sands worked the last four innings for his first save.

Reds lose 100 for 1st time since '82, Bote 5 RBIs lead Cubs

The Cincinnati Reds lost 100 games for the first time in four decades, falling to the Cubs 15-2 in their season finale on Wednesday as David Bote drove in a season-high five runs.

 

Similarly rebuilding Chicago finished 74-88 and third in the NL Central, up from 71-91 and fourth last season.

 

Bote hit a three-run homer before Chicago broke open the game with a six-run sixth capped by Zach McKinstry's three-run homer.

 

Over the weekend, the Cubs won eight of their last 10 games, including a sweep of a three-game series against the Reds.

 

Adbert Alzolay (2-1), the first of five relievers who took over for the injured Adrian Sampson, pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to win.

 

Rookie right-hander Graham Ashcraft (5-6) set a season high with five walks while slipping to 0-4 against the Cubs this season. The rookie went 0-4 with two blown saves over his last six starts.

Pujols sits as Cards finish season with 5-3 loss to Pirates

The St. Louis Cardinals fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates by a 5-3 Wednesday score from PNC Park.

 

Tommy Edman had three of St. Louis' eight hits. Matthew Liberatore (2-2), recalled from Triple-A Memphis earlier in the day, took the loss after allowing five runs in five innings.

 

Hard-throwing St. Louis reliever Jordan Hicks pitched a scoreless inning in his return from a stint on the injured list due to fatigue in his right (pitching) arm.

 

Hicks can now prepare for the playoffs for the first time after missing the Cardinals' past three postseason appearances due to injury.

 

Kevin Newman, Rodolfo Castro and Ji Hwan Bae drove in runs for Pittsburgh. Manny Banuelos (2-1) picked up the win in relief and Johan Ramirez worked the ninth for his second save of the season - first with the Pirates.

Williamson scores 13 points in return after missing season

Zion Williamson scored 13 points and grabbed four rebounds over 15 minutes in his return after a lost season with a broken foot, and the New Orleans Pelicans held on to beat the Chicago Bulls 129-125 on Tuesday night.

 

Devonte’ Graham led the Pelicans with 21 points and five assists. Willy Hernangomez and rookie Dyson Daniels, the eighth overall pick in last summer’s draft, had 15 points apiece. Dyson had 12 points in the fourth quarter as New Orleans won with a late push.

 

DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 21 points, and Javonte Green had 18. Nikola Vucevic finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Rookie Dalen Terry scored 11 points.

 

The Pelicans built a 73-50 lead at halftime with a significant portion of the scoring coming from the bench, a testament to New Orleans’ depth. And the Pelicans were without Brandon Ingram, who sat out with a sore toe.

 

Williamson was the only New Orleans starter to reach double figures. Jaxson Hayes added 14 points off the bench.

Arraez moves closer to batting title, White Sox beat Twins

Luis Arraez had a hit to move closer to his first AL batting championship, one of only two singles Minnesota managed off Lucas Giolito in seven innings as the Chicago White Sox beat the Twins 8-3 on Tuesday night.

 

Elvis Andrus hit his third homer in four games, a three-run shot, and the White Sox cruised to their second straight win after Tony La Russa stepped down as manager Monday.

 

Giolito allowed two runs on two hits and two walks and hit two batters as he won for the first time since Aug. 24. 

 

Gavin Sheets had two RBIs, and Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez and Adam Engel each drove in a run with a double as the White Sox won their fifth in six to improve to 81-80.

 

Jermaine Palacios hit his first career homer in the ninth. Nick Gordon singled in a run and Jake Cave added a sac fly for Minnesota, which lost its fourth straight.

 

Twins starter Josh Winder (4-6) allowed four runs and was knocked out in the third.

 

Giolito hit the first two batters in the second with pitches. The second, Jose Miranda was struck on the left hand, then the ball deflected into his face,

Miranda tumbled to the dirt and was checked by a trainer, but walked off the field on his own and was replaced by Palacios. Miranda suffered only bruising to his mouth and lips and is day-to-day.

 

Gordon scored Cave's sac fly to put Minnesota ahead, 1-0.

Reds avoid 100th loss with 3-2 walk-off win over Cubs

Spencer Steer doubled off Brandon Hughes in the ninth inning to score Stuart Fairchild and the Cincinnati Reds avoided their 100th loss, beating the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Tuesday night.

 

Chuckie Robinson tied it for Cincinnati in the seventh with a two-run homer off Keegan Thompson.

 

Alexis Diaz (7-3) was the winner.

 

Willson Contreras and Nico Hoerner homered for the Cubs. Hughes (2-3) took the loss. 

 

Cubs starter Javier Assad allowed only four hits over five scoreless innings, retiring 11 straight in one stretch.

 

Luis Cessa held the Cubs hitless until Contreras led off the fourth with his 22nd home run of the season, two shy of his career high set in in 2019. Cessa left during the sixth inning with a knee injury.

 

Hoerner's homer, his 10th of the season, made it 2-0 in the seventh before the Reds rallied.

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

 

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs.

 

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben DeLuzio.

 

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz's line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

 

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

 

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

 

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

 

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

 

Pujols' hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar's run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

 

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

 

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals' Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates' JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

 

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

Cueto helps White Sox beat Twins after La Russa steps down

The Chicago White Sox watched Tony La Russa step down as manager, and then beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 on Monday night behind Johnny Cueto's seven effective innings.

 

Josh Harrison hit a two-run homer in Chicago's fourth win in five games. Cueto (8-10) stopped a personal four-game slide, and Liam Hendriks got three outs for his 37th save.

 

Minnesota dropped to 9-19 in its last 28 games. Gio Urshela hit a two-run homer, and Bailey Ober pitched five innings of two-hit ball.

 

The game was tied at 2 before Carlos Perez drove in AJ Pollock with a two-out single against Griffin Jax (7-4) in the seventh. It was Perez's second career hit and first RBI.

 

The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the ninth, but Hendriks struck out Mark Contreras swinging to close it out.

 

Minnesota jumped in front in the first. Nick Gordon hit a two-out double and scored on Urshela's 13th homer, a drive to right on a 1-1 pitch.

 

But that was it for the Twins against Cueto, who struck out four and walked none. The right-hander was shaken up after fielding Matt Wallner's two-out infield single in the seventh, but he got Gilbert Celestino to bounce to third on his next pitch.

 

Chicago rallied in the second. With Pollock aboard on a one-out single, Harrison's drive traveled just over the wall in left for his seventh homer.

Reds avoid 100th loss, beat Cubs 3-1 behind Hunter Greene

Hunter Greene pitched six scoreless innings and the Cincinnati Reds remained at 99 losses, beating the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Monday night.

 

Greene (5-13) and relievers Derek Law, Buck Farmer and Alexis Diaz combined on a two-hitter to stop the Cubs' winning streak at seven games.

 

Chicago only got one runner past second base before scoring under odd circumstances in the ninth against Diaz, who picked up his 10th save. The Cubs scored on a game-ending double play that wasn't completed until Esteban Quiroz, believing he was forced out, wandered off second base and was tagged. The official scorer announced the final score as 3-0 before correcting it.

 

Quiroz also was doubled off second base in the sixth on Seiya Suzuki's line drive to shortstop Jose Barrero.

 

Greene walked one and struck out eight while throwing 90 pitches, 65 for strikes, in his last start of the season. He also hit a batter. 

 

Cubs rookie right-hander Hayden Wesneski (3-2) worked six innings, allowing four hits and two runs - one earned - with one walk and six strikeouts. He hit Jonathan India twice with pitches.

 

Donovan Solano had two of Cincinnati's six hits as the Reds scored more than two runs for the second time in their last six games. They took a 2-0 lead in third as Jose Barrero scored from second on Wesneski's throwing error of TJ Friedl's slow roller up the first-base line and India scored from second on Kyle Farmer's blooper into short right field. Farmer's hit eluded the diving effort of first baseman Alfonso Riva, who knocked it far enough away for Farmer to leg out a double.

 

India added a run-scoring ground-rule double in the eighth against Manuel Rodriguez.

Pujols hits 703rd HR to pass Babe for 2nd in RBI; Cards lose

Albert Pujols hit his 703rd home run Monday night, breaking a tie with Babe Ruth for second place in career RBIs, but the St. Louis Cardinals lost to Pittsburgh 3-2 when the Pirates drew four consecutive walks in the ninth inning to force home the winning run.

 

The 42-year-old slugger connected off right-hander Mitch Keller, pulling a two-run shot into the left-field stands to snap a scoreless tie in the sixth. 

 

The drive gave Pujols 2,216 RBIs, passing Ruth on the all-time list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,297.

 

With the score tied 2-all in the ninth, the Pirates loaded the bases when Ke'Bryan Hayes, Miguel Andujar and Rodolfo Castro drew consecutive walks from Giovanny Gallegos (3-6).

 

JoJo Romero relieved and walked Oneil Cruz on four pitches to end the game. It was the first walk-off plate appearance of the rookie's career.

 

Yohan Ramirez (4-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

 

Paul Goldschmidt led off the St. Louis sixth with a single before Pujols connected. Keller was chased after giving up two more singles in the inning.

 

The Pirates rallied to tie it at 2. Bryan Reynolds doubled home a run in the sixth and Jack Suwinski homered off Andre Pallante in the eighth.

 

Normally a starter, Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas allowed one run in three innings of relief. He followed Quintana, who pitched three scoreless innings.

 

Keller allowed two runs and six hits in five innings.

Rodgers, Crosby's OT FG lead Packers past Pats, Zappe 27-24

Aaron Rodgers threw two second-half touchdown passes and led an overtime drive that resulted in Mason Crosby's 31-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Packers to a 27-24 victory on Sunday.

 

The dramatic finish came after Rodgers went 4 of 11 for 44 yards for an 11.2 passer rating in a first-half performance that included New England's Jack Jones scoring on a 40-yard interception return, lifting the Patriots to a 10-7 halftime lead.

 

Hoyer led New England to Nick Folk's 37-yard field goal on the game's opening drive, but he got sacked by Rashan Gary on the team's next series and departed.

 

Zappe and the Patriots (1-3) still played well enough to force overtime, but Rodgers continued his recent home mastery of AFC teams. The Packers (3-1) are 18-1 in the last 19 home games Rodgers has started against AFC foes.

 

Aaron Jones rushed for 110 yards to lead Green Bay's 199-yard attack on the ground. Allen Lazard had six catches for 116 yards.

 

Zappe gave New England a 17-10 lead in the third quarter with a 25-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. The ball appeared to get snapped after the play clock had expired on Parker's touchdown, but no penalty was called.

 

After Crosby's 38-yard field goal late in the third, New England regained the lead on Damien Harris' 5-yard touchdown run with 11:14 left. Harris rushed for 86 yards on 18 carries, while Rhamondre Stevenson ran 14 times for 66 yards.

Jones injures ankle in Giants' 20-12 victory over Bears

Daniel Jones ran for two first-half touchdown before his injury and Saquon Barkley capped a 146-yard rushing effort by running a last-resort wildcat offense in leading the Giants to a 20-12 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

 

Jones had scored on runs of 21 and 8 yards in the first half and Graham Gano kicked field goals of 44 and 43 yards for New York.

 

Michael Badgley kicked four field goals for the Bears (2-2) while filling in for Cairo Santos, who missed the game for personal reasons.

 

Jones and backup Tyrod Taylor were injured in a roughly 10-minute span in the second half. Jones (8 of 13 for 71 yards and 68 yards rushing) was hurt when he was sacked by Jaquan Brisker late the third quarter. Taylor sustained a concussion after scrambling for a first down with 8:35 to go.

 

Jones finished the series that Gano ended with a 44-yarder for a 17-12 lead, and Barkley ran the direct-snap offense that Gano finished with his 43-yarder with 5:34 to go. Jones was on the field and lined up as a receiver on those plays and he took the snaps on some of the final series for handoffs.

 

Chicago had a chance late, but Velus Jones Jr. fumbled a punt at his own 35 and Gary Brightwell recovered with 2:13 to play. The Bears got the ball back at their own 27 with 17 seconds to play, but the game ended with a final play that included about 10 laterals.

 

Justin Fields was 10 of 21 for 163 yards, ran for 52 yards and was sacked five times. Khalil Herbert had 77 yards rushing as the Bears lost to the Giants for the first time in four games.

Padres clinch NL wild-card spot during 2-1 loss to White Sox

The Padres clinched a playoff spot while batting in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, drawing a roar from the sellout crowd of 41,407 after the Miami Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 in 12 innings.

 

Lance Lynn (8-7) and Blake Snell 8-10) were locked in a scoreless duel when Elvis Andrus homered off the San Diego lefty with one out in the sixth, his 16th. His shot reached the top balcony of the brick warehouse in the left field corner.

 

The White Sox went ahead 2-0 on Adam Engel's two-out single in the seventh that brought in Andrew Vaughn, who had drawn a leadoff walk.

 

San Diego got on the scoreboard when Kim homered to left off Lynn with two outs in the seventh, his 11th.

 

Lynn allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked one.

 

Snell allowed one run and three hits in six innings, struck out six and walked one.

Pujols hits 702nd HR, ties Ruth in RBIs, Cardinals lose 7-5

Albert Pujols hit his 702nd career home run and tied Babe Ruth for second on the all-time RBI on Sunday, but the Pittsburgh Pirates took the game from the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5.

 

Ben Gamel and Bryan Reynolds homered for Pittsburgh, which has won four of six. Reliever Chase DeJong (6-2) got the win for the Pirates, allowing one run on four hits over 1 2/3 innings. David Bednar recorded his 19th save in 23 opportunities.

 

Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright started their 328th game together. Wainwright (11-12) allowed six runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings.

Contreras gets ovations, Stroman goes 6, Cubs beat Reds 8-1

Willson Contreras got several standing ovations in what could be his final home game at Wrigley Field, Marcus Stroman threw six scoreless innings and the surging Chicago Cubs won their seventh straight, beating the Cincinnati Reds 8-1 on Sunday.

 

Nelson Velazquez drove in four runs, helping Chicago match its best run since a seven-game streak late last year. The Cubs, aided by three walks and a hit batter, knocked out a Chase Anderson in a five-run first and cruised to their 11th win in 12 games in their home finale.

 

Stroman (6-7) gave up five hits, struck out seven and walked two. The right-hander was 3-0 in his final four starts.

 

Velazquez capped a five-run first with a two-run double against Fernando Cruz and drove in two more with a triple off the right-field wall in the seventh. Seiya Suzuki had two hits and two RBIs.

Week 6 HS Football Scores

Illini Prairie

Prairie Central at Paxton-Buckley-Loda 51-8
St. Joseph-Ogden at Bloomington Central Catholic 20-42

 

Apollo

Charleston at Taylorville 27-8
Lincoln at Mattoon 27-7
Mt. Zion at Effingham  39-36

 

Big Twelve

Champaign Centennial at Bloomington 49-14
Normal West at Peoria Manual 41-14

 

Central State Eight

Decatur Eisenhower at Jacksonville 0-48
Springfield Lanphier at Chatham-Glenwood 14-56
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Normal U-High 49-7

 

Heart of Illinois

Eureka at El Paso-Gridley 33-3
Fieldcrest at Tri-Valley 0-41
Tremont at Dee-Mack 0-46
Gibson City Melvin-Sibley vs. Colfax-Ridgeview-Lexington 12-40

 

Lincoln Prairie

Arcola at Sangamon Valley 28-12
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 8-63
 

Mid-Illini
Metamora at Pekin 13-55
Morton at Limestone 49-7
 

Sangamo

Athens at Petersburg PORTA 37-8
Pittsfield at Pleasant Plains 12-43
Riverton at Auburn 19-47
Olympia at Maroa-Forsyth 20-42
Williamsville at New Berlin 48-14

 

Non-Conference action tonight
Ottawa Marquette at LeRoy 40-17
Quincy Notre Dame at Mahomet-Seymour 10-35

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