Local Sports

Monticello Rolls Pontiac in Testy Game

Monticello played discpline football and routed Pontaic 45-0 in a testy Illini Prairie Conference victory in high school football action Friday night from Monticello. 

 

Pontiac received numerous personal foul penalties throughout the course of the game despite a strong start defensively after rain started to fall shortly after kickoff.

 

Senior Dalton Tovrea was ejected in the third quarter after receiving his third personal foul penalty. 

 

Monticello went up 7-0 at the 7:58 mark of the second quarter on a one yard touchdown run by Drew Sheppard. 

 

Tylor Bundy scored from 20 yards out at the 3:38 mark of the second quarter to up 13-0.

The Sages started the second half with three scores on three possessions. Bundy scored again from ten yards out to go up 19-0. Sheppard then put a pass over the top of the Indians defense to Bundy in the end zone, absorbing a big hit and holding on to the catch for a 15-yard score.

 

Drew Sheppard was hit late on a 45-yard touchdown to Raiden Colbert at the 3:01 mark of the third quarter and Myles VonBehren took exception to the late hit by Tovrea and was penalized for his retaliation. 

 

Tovrea would not be long for the game and was ejected on Monticello's next possession after his final personal foul of the night shortly before the quarter expired.

 

Coming out of the fourth quarter, Monticello went up 38-0 after Sheppard ran for another score from 13 yards out.

 

Braxton Tharp closed out the scoring for Monticello with a 15 yard touchdown.

Sheppard ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more while Bundy scored three total touchdowns. 

 

The Indians drop to 1-4 overall while Monticello moves to 3-1 overall.

 

The Sages travel to Rantoul next Friday for a 7 pm kickoff. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Maroons Get Bit by Bulldogs

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell 49-7 to the St. Teresa Bulldogs by a score of 49-7 on Friday night. Junior Tristin Potts had 16 carries for 68 yards. Junior Dawson Graves had 6 carries for 10 yards and got the nod for ServPro Player of the Game for leading the defensive effort. Freshman Keaton Graves had 6 carries for 20 yards and a touchdown. Graves was 1 of 2 passing for yards.

 

The Bulldogs were led by Joe Brummer who was 11 for 18 passing for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns. Elijah Willis had 5 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown. He also had 1 catch for 63 yards and a touchdown. Ja'carrion Jones had 4 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown. 

 

With the loss, the Maroons fall to 1-4 on the season. St. Teresa improve to 5-0.

 

Tune in next week as the Maroons travel to Tuscola. You can hear the game live at 7pm 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.

Maroons Delivered Tough News Entering Week Five Matchup Against Decatur St. Teresa

The Clinton Maroons will have to find a way through the remainder of the football season after learning this week junior quarterback Mason Walker will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.

 

Coach Ron Bass says it happened in the second quarter of the team's 13-6 loss to Central A&M Friday night during the Homecoming game. While he credits Walker's toughness, it certainly leaves the team in a tough spot. 

 

 

Looking back on the team's performance in week 4, Coach Bass says it's the little things that are showing up on film. He says it's still a work in progress to get the kids to understand it's the little things done right that make a program successful. 

 

 

Coach Bass told his team to cherish the opportunity to play an athletic team like Decatur St. Teresa this Friday night at Clinton High School when the Bulldogs visit for a 7 pm kickoff. 

 

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 Confernece

 

Meridian at Sullivan-Okaw Valley

Tuscola at Central A & M

Warrensburg-Latham at Shelbyville

Monticello Hoping to Overcome Injuries, Pontiac Tonight

A beat up Monticello Sages football team will look to overcome the injury bug which biting pretty hard in the fall of 2023 when they host Pontiac tonight for Homecoming.

 

A frustrating end led to Bloomington Central Catholic powering past the Sages 42-28 in week four in Bloomington. The Saints turned to a power run game led by junior quarterback Colin Hayes. Monticello Coach Cully Welter was frustrated with his team's tackling late in that game.

 

 

Pontiac will bring very good size and a balanced approach into tonight's contest at Monticello. Coach Welter says defensively, the Indians keep you guessing.

 

 

Game time tonight is 7:30 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

Illini Prairie Conference matchups tonight

 

Bloomington Central Catholic at Tolono Unity

Illinois Valley Central at Prairie Central

Rantoul at Paxton-Buckley-Loda

 

Big Twelve

 

Danville at Champaign Centennial

Normal Community at Bloomington 

Peoria Manual vs. Peoria at Peoria Stadium (Sat.)

Peoria Richwoods)at Normal West

 

Central State Eight

 

Chatham-Glenwood at Rochester

Decatur MacArthur at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin

Jacksonville vs. Springfield at Springfield Southeast

Normal U-High at Decatur Eisenhower

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

 

Lincoln Prairie

 

Sangamon Valley at Cerro Gordo-Bement

Oakland Tri-County at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

Toledo-Cumberland at Arcola

Villa Grove at Argenta-Oreana

 

Mid-Illini

 

Limestone at Washington

Canton at Metamora

East Peoria at Dunlap

Pekin at Morton

 

Sangamo

 

Auburn at Petersburg PORTA

Maroa-Forsyth at Pittsfield

New Berlin at Olympia

Pleasant Plains at Riverton

Williamsville at Athens

 

Non-conference action tonight

 

Tri-Valley at Heyworth

El Paso-Gridley vs. Ridgeview-Lexington at Ridgeview

Eureka at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

Blue Ridge at Martinsville (Sat.)

Fisher at Dee-Mack

Granite City vs. Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Richwoods

LeRoy at Fieldcrest

Milledgeville at LSA

Nokomis at St. Joseph-Ogden

Pawnee at Champaign St. Thomas More (Sat.)

Wheaton St. Francis at Champaign Central (Sat.)

HS VBall: Blue Ridge Rallies Past Tri-County

The Blue Ridge Lady Knights came from behind to defeat Tri-County in three sets - 22-25, 25-21, 26-24 - in Lincoln Prairie Conference high school girl's volleyball action Thursday night from Blue Ridge.

 

Gracie Shaffer paced the Lady Knights attack with 26 assist, 23 digs, and a block. Phoebe Reynolds added 11 kills and Cassie Zimmerman had three aces.

 

Blue Ridge moves to 17-7 overall and 2-2 in the Lincoln Prairie. Tri-County falls to 6-7 overall.

Illinois Rolls FCS Chattanooga

Chase Brown became the first Illinois running back to rush for 100-plus yards in five straight games, Tommy DeVito passed for 329 yards and three touchdowns and the Fighting Illini blanked Chattanooga 31-0 on Thursday night.

 

Illinois improved to 3-1 and is off to its best start since 2015.

 

Brown capped a five-play, 64-yard scoring drive with a 9-yard touchdown run after the defense forced Chattanooga (3-1) into a three-and-out on its first drive.

 

He finished with 108 rushing yards on 20 carries and currently leads all FBS rushers with 604 yards through four games.

 

The closest the Mocs came to scoring came early in the second quarter when they drove to the Illinois 16-yard line. Jartavius Martin picked off a Preston Hutchinson pass in the end zone to end the Mocs' threat and preserve a 10-0 lead.

 

The Illini recorded their first shutout since a 2015 win over Western Illinois.

 

Chattanooga went just 4 of 14 on third downs and gained 142 total yards. Illinois piled up 502 yards of offense.

 

Hutchinson was sacked four times and completed just 6 of 18 passes for 49 yards with two interceptions.

 

Illinois nearly quadrupled Chattanooga's total first-half yardage, 332 yards to 84 yards, and led 24-0 at intermission.

 

Williams' 63-yard touchdown off a screen pass made it 31-0 with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

 

DeVito became the first Illinois quarterback to pass for more than 300 yards in a game since Brandon Peters threw for 369 yards at Michigan State in 2019.

 

Ailym Ford rattled off runs of 39 and 32 yards for the Mocs' biggest gains of the night. He finished with 93 yards on 17 carries.

 

Andrew Southard missed a 43-yard field-goal attempt early in the third quarter after Ford's 32-yard run took the Mocs into Illini territory.

 

Caleb Griffin kicked a 34-yard field goal to put Illinois up 10-0 in the first quarter.

 

Bret Bielema returns to his old stamping grounds when the Illini play at Wisconsin on Oct. 1.

Eastern Illinois at Murray State Saturday

Eastern Illinois and Murray State prepare to open the Ohio Valley Conference portion of the schedule against each other on Saturday night.  

 

Both teams enter at 0-3 season on the year with EIU coming off a 35-7 loss at Illinois State in the 110th Mid-America Classic.  Murray State is coming off a 31-0 loss at Ball State.  

 

This will be the final time the two schools will meet as Ohio Valley Conference foes with Murray State moving to the Missouri Valley Football Conference next season.

 

Game time Saturday is 4 pm. Hear all the action starting at 3:30 pm on WHOW and its many digital platforms.

Guardians Double Up Sox in Big Blow to Chicago's Playoff Hopes

In a game heard on WHOW, Shane Bieber pitched two-run ball into the eighth inning, and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Chicago White Sox 4-2 on Thursday night for a three-game series sweep.

 

Cleveland opened a seven-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central with its 15th win in 18 games. The Guardians (83-67) can clinch the franchise's first division title since 2018 as early as Sunday.

 

Bieber (12-8) earned his fourth straight win. The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed seven hits, struck out five and walked none in 7 2/3 innings.

 

Trevor Stephan finished the eighth and Emmanuel Clase handled the ninth for his AL-best 37th save in 41 chances.

 

Cleveland's pitching staff issued just one walk in the three-game set.

 

Gavin Sheets homered for Chicago in the eighth. Johnny Cueto (7-9) allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits in six innings in his third straight loss.

 

Chicago isn't out of it yet, but it needs lots of wins - and help - down the stretch.

 

The White Sox (76-74) have dropped three straight and four of six overall.

 

Cleveland went ahead to stay on Jose Ramirez's sacrifice fly in the third. Steven Kwan hit an RBI triple in the fifth and scored on another Ramirez sacrifice fly, giving the Guardians a 4-1 lead.

 

The White Sox, who started September with an 8-2 streak but failed to make up much ground on the streaking Guardians, got a run in the first on Eloy Jimenez's RBI single.

 

Lucas Giolito (10-9, 5.07 ERA) goes against Tigers LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-5, 4.35 ERA) on Friday night.

Cardainals Rally Past Padres

Brendan Donovan hit his first career grand slam in the seventh inning to lead Albert Pujols and the Cardinals to a 5-4 victory against the San Diego Padres on Thursday, snapping a three-game losing streak.

 

Pujols remained at 698 career homers, although he did drive two balls to deep left field, one for a single and one for an out on the warning track. The next stop in his pursuit of the 700-homer club is Dodger Stadium, where the Cardinals open a three-game series on Friday.

 

Manny Machado hit his 30th homer for the Padres, who had won five in a row. They currently hold the NL's No. 2 wild-card spot.

 

Donovan's slam made a winner of Jack Flaherty (1-1), who struck out nine in six innings. He allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits and four walks.

 

Giovanny Gallegos pitched the ninth for his 14th save.

 

The Cardinals, who had been shut out in their previous three games, got on the board when Nootbaar led off the fifth with a drive to right against Joe Musgrove for his 13th homer. That ended a scoreless streak of 31 2/3 innings by Padres starters, five outs shy of the club record.

 

Musgrove was gone after five innings and 72 pitches, and Adrian Morejon breezed through a perfect sixth to hold a 3-1 lead.

 

Alec Burleson singled leading off the seventh and Nootbaar drew a one-out walk, leading manager Bob Melvin to bring on Nick Martinez (4-4). Tommy Edman walked to load the bases before Donovan drove his first career grand slam deep to right-center.

 

Musgrove allowed one run and five hits, struck out four and walked two.

 

Jose Quintana (5-6, 3.16 ERA) starts Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers. Andrew Heaney (3-2, 2.66 ERA) pitches for the NL West leaders.

Cubs Get By Pirates

Rookie Hayden Wesneski had an immaculate inning in his second major league start to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the skidding Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.

 

Wesneski (2-1) gave up two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out six and walking two in sending Pittsburgh to its seventh straight loss. It was his fourth appearance in the majors.

 

Wesneski had an immaculate inning in the fifth when he struck out the side on nine pitches. He fanned the three hitters at the bottom of the order: Jack Suwinski, Zack Collins and Jason Delay.

 

Mark Leiter Jr. got the last seven outs for his third save. The Pirates put the runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth, but Rodolfo Castro lined out to center field to end the game.

 

Christopher Morel hit a two-run double, and David Bote and Michael Hermosillo had two hits for the Cubs, who won their third straight game.

 

Mitch Keller (5-12) pitched well in a losing effort, allowing two runs and four hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

 

Keller has yielded three earned runs or fewer in 17 of 20 starts since being moved back to the rotation May 31 following a brief demotion to the bullpen.

 

Bryan Reynolds was 3 for 3 with an intentional walk for the Pirates. Kevin Newman homered.

 

Morel's double down the left-field line with two outs in the second inning opened the scoring.

 

The start of the game was delayed 25 minutes because of rain and momentarily in the seventh inning when the stadium lights went out.

 

Javier Assad (1-2, 3.86) will start Friday night. He lasted just two innings in his previous start last Sunday against Colorado, allowing four runs and taking the loss.

 

Pirates RHP Bryse Wilson (3-9, 6.07) is 1-3 with a 6.48 ERA in his last seven games, including six starts.

Packers Visit Bucs

While Aaron Rodgers has a deep appreciation for what Tom Brady has accomplished during an unparalleled NFL career, he doesn't see himself following the seven-time Super Bowl champion's lead of playing well into his 40s.

 

Brady's already won two Super Bowls in his 40s. Less than six weeks after retiring in February, he announced he was returning for a 23rd season to pursue ''unfinished business'' with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who host Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

 

The league's all-time passing leader turned 45 during training camp. What impresses Rodgers most about Brady's longevity is how well he continues to play.

Tampa Bay is 2-0 against Green Bay since Brady joined the Bucs in 2020, including a 31-26 victory in the NFC championship game two seasons ago.

 

The Bucs will play without leading receiver Mike Evans, who's serving a one-game suspension for his role in an on-field brawl at New Orleans last week. Brady could also be without two other primary targets - Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) - who sat out against the Saints.

 

Packers rookie receiver Christian Watson went to Plant High School in Tampa and expects to have plenty of friends and relatives watching him Sunday. The second-round pick from North Dakota State has five catches for 43 yards through his first two games.

Bears Host Texans

The Chicago Bears were riding high after a surprising victory over San Francisco in a rain-soaked season opener at Soldier Field, only to get taken down by Aaron Rodgers and the rival Green Bay Packers yet again.

 

They will try to bounce back when Lovie Smith - their former coach - and the winless Houston Texans visit Sunday.

 

Both teams have experienced their share of frustration. The Bears (1-1) have some big issues in their passing game, and the Texans (0-1-1) are simply searching for ways to win after failing to finish the first two weeks.

 

Houston settled for a 20-20 tie in the opener against Indianapolis after blowing a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Texans also led entering the fourth last week against Denver, only to lose 16-9.

 

As frustrating as those two games have been, the Texans see encouraging signs coming off a 4-13 season.

 

The Bears got their run game going in a 27-10 loss at Green Bay. But when it comes to passing, they're not getting much.

 

Justin Fields, in his second season, is 15 of 28 for 191 yards. He has the fewest attempts in the NFL among qualifiers. Only Dallas' Dak Prescott has fewer completions and yards, and he missed last week's game following thumb surgery.

 

Smith led the Bears to an 81-63 record and a Super Bowl appearance from 2004-12. He was fired following a 10-win season.

 

The Bears have just one winning record and two playoff appearances since they let him go. They're also on their fourth coach since, with Matt Eberflus in his first season

NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 Opens In Texas

Chris Buescher gave RFK Racing, a team long-owned by Jack Roush that added Brad Keselowski as a co-owner this year, its first victory in a points-paying Cup race in over five years by winning the night race at Bristol last Saturday night.

 

2014 series champion Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) and Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick were eliminated as the playoffs moves to the round of 12 starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

Buescher became the 19th different winner in NASCAR’s top series this season, matching a record accomplished four other times, and the third straight non-playoff participant to win in the postseason. 

 

Chase Elliott leads Joey Logano by 15 points, Ross Chastain by 20 and defending series champ Kyle Larson by 21.

 

Kyle Larson won from the pole position in the fall race last season on his way to the 2021 championship.

 

The 334-lap, 500 mile race begins at 2:30 pm Sunday afternoon. 

 

Noah Gragson held off Brandon Jones over the closing laps at Bristol to win his third consecutive XFinity Series race and series-best sixth this year.

 

Gragson enter the first race of the XFinity playoffs as the top seed while A.J. Allmendinger won his second consecutive regular season title. Gragson leads Ty Gibbs by 13 points, Justin Allgaier by 18 and Allmendinger by 19 heading into the Round of 12. Ryan Sieg claimed the last spot in the postseason by five points over Landon Cassill, who finished 35th.

 

John Hunter Nemechek won after starting 10th last fall in Texas. 

 

The 200-lap, 300 mile race starts at 2:30 pm Saturday afternoon. 

 

The Camping World Truck Series returns with the second race in the round of eight returns next Saturday at Talladega. 

Shelbyville Joins 1A Top 10; 2A, 3A Polls Largely Unchanged

The Shelbyville Rams have joined the Class 1A Top 10 and the 2A and 3A polls remain largely unchanged as the high school football regular season crosses into the halfway point this Friday night.

 

The Rams join the 1A top ten, checking in at no. 8 this week. Lena-Winslow, Athens, and Ridgeview remain 1-3, unchanged from last week. Camp Point Central and Hope Academy round out the top 5. Fulton drops from no. 4 to no. 6 this week. St. Bede is new to the top 10 at no. 7 and Iroquois West and Ottawa Marquette round out the top 10. 

 

Central A&M and Tuscola received votes in this week's poll but did not crack the top 10.

 

The Class 2A poll is almost unchanged as 1-8 remains the same as last week. Wilmington, Decatur St. Teresa, Maroa-Forsyth, Bismarck-Henning, and North Mac are the top 5 teams this week. Knoxville, Rockridge and Tri-Valley are 6-8, respectively. Johnston City is up a spot to no. 9 and Carmi White County enters the poll at no. 10. 

 

The top 5 in Class 3A are unchanged. IC Catholic, Williamsville, Reed-Custer, and Princeton are again the top 5 teams. Mt. Carmel, Prairie Central, and Eureka remain the same at no. 6-8, respectively. Paxton-Buckley-Loda enters the poll at no. 9 while Tolono Unity re-enters the poll tied for tenth with Seneca. 

 

Joliet Catholic and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin break their tie for 1-2 this week. Richmond Burton moves up a spot after a big week 4 win over Normal West. St. Francis and Rochester round out the top 5. 

 

Stillman Valley, Wheaton Academy, Carterville, Genoa-Kingston, and Macomb round out the 4A top 10.

 

Morris, Kankakee, Mahomet-Seymour, and Sycamore are unchanged 1-4 in Class 5A this week. Peoria moved up a spot to round out the top 5. Chicago Morgan Park, Glenbard South, LaGrange Park-Nazareth, Highland and Sterling rounds out the top 10 in 5A. Decatur MacArthur received a vote in this week's poll.

 

East St. Louis is the no. 1 team in 6A. Chatham-Glenwood moved up a spot to no. 5 this week and Normal West's loss to Richmond Burton bumped them from the top 10. 

 

Chicago Mt. Carmel is the unanimous no. 1 in this week's 7A poll. Pekin moved up a spot to no. 5.

 

Loyola Academy remains the unanimous no. 1 in Class 8A.

Kim homers, Padres beat Cards 5-0 to clinch winning record

Kim Ha-seong homered and Mike Clevinger had a strong outing for the Padres, who shut down Pujols and the Cardinals 5-0 Tuesday night to clinch their first winning record in a full season since 2010.

 

Kim homered to left off Adam Wainwright (11-10) with two outs in the fourth, his 10th, for a 3-0 lead. Manny Machado lobbed an RBI single into shallow right with one out in the fifth and Juan Soto hit a run-scoring single to right off Packy Naughton with two outs in the seventh.

 

Jake Cronenworth hit a two-run, opposite-field single with two outs in the first.

 

Clevinger (6-7) held the Cardinals to three hits in 5 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking two. Padres starters have a scoreless streak of 20 2/3 innings. The right-hander got the hook after allowing a double to Paul Goldschmidt with two outs in the sixth and then hitting Nolan Arenado with a pitch. Martinez came on and retired Corey Dickerson.

 

Wainwright allowed four runs and six hits in six innings, walked two and struck out one.

Straw leads Guardians to 10-7 win over White Sox in 11

Myles Straw had a tiebreaking two-run double in Cleveland's five-run 11th inning, and the Guardians beat the Chicago White Sox 10-7 Tuesday night to move closer to the American League Central title.

 

Straw got his game-winning hit off Jake Diekman (5-4), and Steven Kwan followed with his fourth hit - an RBI single - to score Straw. Kwan scored on Jose Ramirez's sacrifice fly, and a throwing error by Chicago catcher Seby Zavala allowed Amed Rosario to score with an insurance run.

 

Emmanuel Clase (3-4), who allowed a game-tying single to Jose Abreu in the 10th for his fourth blown save in 40 chances, earned the win. Bryan Shaw survived a two-run home run by AJ Pollock - his 1,00th career hit - in the bottom of the 11th.

 

Cease lowered his ERA to 2.13 despite striking out three, tying a season low in an April 21 loss at Cleveland. Cease has a 1.35 ERA with 146 strikeouts in his last 21 starts.

Bote drives in both runs, Cubs edge Marlins 2-1

David Bote hit a tying home run in the seventh inning, then added a sacrifice fly in the eighth that lifted the Chicago Cubs over the Miami Marlins 2-1 Tuesday night.

 

Esteban Quiroz got the first two hits of his major league career and P.J. Higgins also had two hits for the Cubs, who snapped a three-game losing skid

Chicago loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth against reliever Steven Okert (5-3).

 

Michael Hermosillo was hit by a pitch and Zach McKinstry reached on a sacrifice bunt when catcher Jacob Stallings threw late to second. Quiroz had a bunt single and Bote hit a go-ahead flyball.

 

Adbert Alzolay (1-1) threw two innings of perfect relief. Brandon Hughes closed with a scoreless ninth around Garrett Cooper's leadoff double for his sixth save.

 

Miami starter Pablo Lopez kept the Cubs scoreless until Bote's leadoff homer in the seventh tied it at 1. Bote drove Lopez's fastball over the wall in left-center for his third homer.

 

Lopez's one-run outing ended after 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander gave up five hits and hit a batter.

 

Jordan Groshan's two-out RBI infield single against Adrian Sampson in the second put Miami ahead. Bote dove and deflected the hard grounder to third base, but couldn't retrieve it to throw out Groshan while JJ Bleday scored from third.

 

Cubs pitchers retired 13 straight before Cooper's double. The Marlins had eight singles through the first four innings but hit into two double plays.

 

Sampson completed six innings of one-run ball. He allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out three.

Illinois Defense Stepping Up With FCS Powerhouse Chattanooga Coming to Champaign Thursday

If Illinois can take care of business Thursday night when the 10th ranked team in the FCS Chattanooga comes to Champaign, Illinois enters a big contest at Wisconsin next Saturday at 3-1. 

 

The key to the Illini's success so far has been an effect ground game and a defense that is vastly improved from last season. Illini beat writer Bob Asmussen says the health of Keith Randolph, Jr. has been huge for Illinois this season.


 

Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters is certain to start gaining interest in head coaching jobs in the next year or two and Asmussen says the buzz around the building in Champaign is this is the best coaching staff the program has ever had.

 

 

In college football, head coaches get a very short leash to prove their worth to a program and for Asmussen, he believes second-year coach Bret Bielema is the right man for Illinois and has them trending in a very positive direction. 

HS VBall: Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond Topples Blue Ridge

Arthur-Lovinginton-Atwood-Hammond defeated Blue Ridge 25-14 and 25-16 in Lincoln Prairie Confernece high school girl's volleyball action Tuesday night in Atwood.  

Blue Ridge was led by Gracie Shaffer with 9 assists. Cassie Zimmerman added 11 digs while Phoebe Reynolds contributed six kills and Kylie Madden had an ace.

 

With the loss, the Lady Knights drop to 16-7 overall and 1-2 in the Illini Prairie Conference. They will host Tri-County in another Lincoln Prairie Conference tilt on Thursday. 

Monticello Football Coach Challenging His Team After Tough Friday Night Loss at Bloomington Central Catholic

After falling behind 13-0 in Illini Prairie Conference play at Bloomington Central Catholic Friday night, the Monticello Sages rebounded to score 14 unanswered points before the half, but things fell apart in the second half as the Siants imposed their will to run away with at 42-28 win.

 

Coach Cully Welter was pleased with the effort that led to the comeback in the first half but was disappointed after BCC started to take the game over on the ground in the fourth quarter.

 

 

Coach Welter did not waste time laying out the challenge to his team. After the game in the post-game huddle, he challenged everyone to get better.

 

 

Monticello hosts Pontiac Friday night at 7:30 pm for the Homecoming game. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 

Clinton Football Coach Highlighting Positives in Close Loss to Central A&M

Despite falling 13-6 at home to Central A&M on Homecoming night at Clinton High School Friday, Maroons football Coach Ron Bass believes his team continues to take steps forward.

 

He says the tough loss is a good step forward in the process of his program becoming a winner. He was proud of the effort they gave Friday against a perennially strong football program.

 

 

Perhaps the next step forward for Clinton is to hone in on the little things. Coach Bass says when you watch a program like Central A&M, it's noticeable they are well coached and do the little things that lead to wins and that's what he sees as the next step for his group.

 

 

Coach Bass thought the option game was very strong for his team Friday and would like to see them turn to that more. He notes they are in the very infant stages of implementing that scheme.

 

 

Coach Bass indicates they continue to keep things simple defensively and was pleased with the execution of his team despite Central A&M getting open for some big plays. 

 

The Maroons take on Decatur St. Teresa Friday night. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW as well as on the many WHOW digital platforms. 

HS VBall: LeRoy Topples Blue Ridge

The LeRoy Lady Panthers got by Blue Ridge in two sets - 25-21 and 25-14 - Monday night in high school girl's volleyball action from Farmer City.

 

Gracie Shaffer paced the Lady Knights with 14 digs, six assists, an ace, and a block while Phoebe Reynolds contributed six kills.

 

Blue Ridge falls to 16-5 overall and travels to Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond tonight for a Lincoln Prairie Conference tilt.

Changing Landscape of Big Ten West Gives Hope to Illinois

The first month of the college football season has been wild and for teams in the Big Ten West, the division feels almost wide open.

 

Could the Illinois Fighting Illini win eight football games this year? It's not out of the question says Illini beat writing Bob Asmussen who wouldn't have guessed it just a few weeks ago.

 

 

For Asmussen, he believes the way byes are set up in this year's schedule is really going to favor second-year coach Bret Bielema. 

 

 

This week's opponent, Chattanooga ranks tenth in the latest FCS top 25. This week's game is Thursday night at Memorial Stadium coming off a bye this last weekend.

Marlins Pound Cubs

Bryan De La Cruz hit a grand slam in the third inning and the Miami Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs 10-3 on Monday night.

 

Rookie Charles Leblanc and Jon Berti also went deep while Miguel Rojas had three hits for the Marlins. Berti also singled twice and stole two bases, giving him an NL-leading 36.

 

Miami starter Edward Cabrera (6-3) threw five innings of three-run ball. The rookie right-hander gave up three hits, walked three, struck out four and hit two batters in a 79-pitch outing that was cut short because of a blister on his right middle finger.

 

Berti hit a solo homer to put Miami on the board. Leblanc then reached on a fielding error, Brian Anderson was hit by a pitch and Nick Fortes hit a two-out infield single that loaded the bases. De La Cruz followed with an opposite-field drive to right-center for his 10th homer and second career grand slam.

 

The Marlins added two runs in the fourth and ended Miley's outing after three-plus innings. Jerar Encarnacion scored from third on a wild pitch and Berti hit an RBI single.

 

In his third start since returning from the 60-day injured list, Miley allowed seven runs, three earned, on seven hits. He walked two in addition to plunking Anderson.

 

The Cubs struck first on Christopher Morel's solo homer and Ian Happ's RBI double in the third.

 

Adrian Sampson (2-5, 3.48 ERA) will start the middle game of the series for the Cubs Tuesday and RHP Pablo Lopez (9-10, 3.99) will start for the Marlins.

Packers Roll Past Bears

Aaron Jones rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and caught a scoring pass from Aaron Rodgers, who continued his domination of the Chicago Bears by leading Green Bay to a 27-10 victory on Sunday night.

 

Jones had five carries for 49 yards and three catches for 27 yards in a season-opening 23-7 loss at Minnesota, and the Packers (1-1) vowed he'd have a bigger role.

 

Jones came through, gaining 8.8 yards per rush and leading the Packers' 203-yard ground attack. He had 15 carries as well as three catches for 38 yards.

 

Green Bay beat the Bears (1-1) for a seventh straight time, matching its second-longest win streak in the 205-game history of the NFL's oldest rivalry. The Packers won 10 straight over the Bears from 1994-98. They have two other seven-game win streaks in this series, from 1928-30 and 2000-03.

 

The Packers built a 24-7 halftime lead by dominating the second period, then made a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter to thwart a Bears comeback attempt.

 

A week after he struggled to connect with his new crop of receivers, Rodgers was characteristically efficient, going 19 of 25 for 234 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers are 24-5 against the Bears in games Rodgers has started.

 

Chicago's David Montgomery rushed for 122 yards on 15 carries. Fields had a touchdown run and was 7 of 11 for 70 yards with an interception.

 

The Packers outscored the Bears 21-0 in the second quarter. Jones scored twice, both times catching pitches from Rodgers in the backfield and reaching the end zone.

 

The first was a backward pass that got ruled as a 15-yard carry. On the second touchdown, Jones went in motion, caught a flip pass in the backfield and scored from 8 yards out. Jones benefited from the return of right tackle Elgton Jenkins, playing for the first time since tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament last Nov. 12.

 

Rodgers completed passes to eight receivers. None had more than three receptions, but Sammy Watkins turned his trio of catches into 93 yards.

 

The Bears made the game competitive in the second half by capitalizing on Green Bay's mistakes.

 

Cairo Santos' 44-yard field goal cut Green Bay's lead to 24-10 after a fumbled exchange between Rodgers and Dillon gave the Bears the ball at their own 31.

 

The Packers' next series got foiled when a snap from Josh Myers hit receiver Christian Watson, who was in motion, and got past Rodgers. Dillon recovered the fumble, but it put the Packers in a third-and-22 situation and led to a punt.

 

Chicago drove toward Green Bay's end zone and had an apparent 6-yard touchdown run by Fields overturned when replays determined he was down before stretching his arm across the goal line. On the next play, Fields ran again on fourth-and-goal from inside the 1, and officials ruled that Preston Smith and Jarran Reed stopped him just short of the end zone with a little over eight minutes left in the game.

 

The Bears host Houston on Sunday While the Packers are at Tampa Bay on Sunday.

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