Greetings everybody and Welcome to Duerrisms, presented by ADVANCE Physical Therapy. Hope the Labor Day Weekend treated you well. Me? Nothing but work and birthday/homecoming dress shopping on Sunday with my now 15 year old daughter. Man, I am getting old....
For those of you who have not yet gotten to pick up a copy of THE GRIDIRON PLAYBOOK, each and every team profile is now on-line for your perusal on the new High School Football Page here at ConnectTriStates.com. Also, we've had tremendous participation on Friday Nights for our Sports Final Live Chats. Come join us this Friday at 10:40 and see what you have been missing. And you can get all caught up to speed as past transcripts of previous Friday chats are on-line for your perusal right now. And as always, you can now get random Tri State Sports blurbs to tide you over in between Duerrisms and Due-Tubes at Twitter.com/ChrisDuerr.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
7) MATT VANHOOSER, QB, Louisiana
9 of 18 Passing, 132 Yards, 2 TD vs Highland
6) JORDAN CAWTHON, QB/DB, Pittsfield-Griggsville Perry
11 of 23 passing, 329 Yards, 3 TD Passes; 2 Interceptions vs South Fulton
5) GW SCOTT, FB, Quincy High
15 Carries, 85 Yards, 3 TD vs Mount Pleasant
4) TAYLOR BARR, QB, Paris
10 of 15 Passing, 194 Yards, 3 TD; 5 Carries, 75 Yards, 2 TD vs Slater
3) BRADY SPEARS, RB/KR, Beardstown
5 Carries, 50 Rushing Yards, 2 TD; 87 Yard, 92 Yard Kickoff Returns for TD vs West Prairie
2) KRIS VINCENT, DE/WR, Illini West
2 Catches, 124 yards, 2 TD; Fumble Recovery for TD vs South Fulton
1) JORDAN HOLLAND, LB/RB, Monroe City
10 Carries, 92 Yards, 3 TD; 2 Catches, 76 Yards, TD; 13 Tackles, 2 Sacks vs Macon
KHQA HERO OF THE WEEK:
MICHAEL TONRY, RB, Jacksonville Routt
With apologies to Quincy High, Bowling Green and Fort Madison, the biggest statement win of the week comes to us courtesy of the Rockets, who went into hostile climes and stunned state ranked Greenfield to improve to 2-0 on the year. Most of so-called "experts" had dismissed Routt, post Barry Creviston, as a non-player at the top of the WIVC North. Goes to prove what I know. Nate Graham has built a stronger than expected supporting cast around superstars Michael Tonry and Ben Heinemann; and just that quickly the Rockets look like top-shelf material. I would be stunned if the win at Fleur de Lis Field doesn't propel Rout into the Class 1A Top Ten this week. And if it does, a lionshare of credit should fall rightfully to the dynamic tailback who made it happen. Michael Tonry busted a much touted Tiger Defense for 186 yards and 3 touchdowns, although that first number is a bit misleading. Tonry actually ran for about 450 yards again on Friday, it's just that only 186 of them count in the official stat column. The kid gets his money's worth on every run; criss-crossing the field, reversing pivot, stepping out of seemingly certain tackles, running 40 yards in tight space just to pick up two positive yards. Tonry is a joy to watch. He does things in space to elude defenders that you can't teach. And no one ever seems to get a clean hit on the kid. He is just a very special talent who makes even a three yard gain Sensational Seven worthy.
Week One: DERRICK HULL, QB, Central-Southeastern
WEEK TWO TALKING POINTS
1) Last season Quincy High, Louisiana, Fort Madison, and Van-Far finished their seasons a combined 3 and 36. The collective record of the Blue Devils, Bulldogs, Bloodhounds and Indians through two weeks this season: 7-1.
2) Yes kids, Centralia really is that much better than everyone else in the Clarence Cannon Conference...
3) Bowling Green's win over Montgomery County (the Bobcats first since 1996) clears the biggest obstacle on the slate to a potential 10-0 regular season finish. Ryan Cox already has thrown for 5 touchdown passes and over 500 yards against a pair of teams (MC and Mark Twain) with highly touted defensive backfields.
4) Heck, I did not know Stefan Flynn could hurdle the Basco Phone Book, let alone a would-be tackler, ala Reggie Bush in his USC Days. See also this week's Sensational Seven...
5) Most impressive individual performance I saw Friday Night: Zach Asbury. Keokuk's massive defensive tackle is deceptively fleet of foot, makes plays sideline to sideline, and finishes his tackles with authority. He had 12 stops on Friday night. Central Lee's offensive futility on Friday begins and ends with an inability to get anyone to put a body on Asbury. He and Jazz Asbury finished with 17 combined stops between them, which was quite a 1-2 punch up front. Keokuk also forced eight total turnovers on the night. Don't forget about Stacey Kinkade, who looks like a real breakout star in his own right.
KHQA WEEK TWO POWER POLL
1) ILLINI WEST (2-0)
Last Week: 70-18 win over BPCA
This Week: at CSE (KHQA Game of the Week)
THE DIAGNOSIS: The Chargers drop 70 points on a BPCA team that will likely win seven games this year. After surrendering a game opening 46 yard touchdown run to Trey Yocum, Illini West responded by scoring touchdowns on four of its next five plays from scrimmage. If there is a small school team in Tri State Football who can slow down this offense, I have not seen it yet. With a heightened offensive emphasis for Receiver Kris Vincent (see also the two first quarter touchdown receptions of 60 and 64 yards) and more carries now being diverted to luminous wingback Ser Whitaker, the Chargers have as much diversified quick strike ability and sheer offensive athleticism as we have seen in a long time. Point blank, this team is better at the edge that it was last season. Which I also think means the thirty-carry Stefan Flynn effort we saw against DuQuoin in last year's state final is probably a by-gone offensive convention in Charger Country. The Chargers bruising fullback is likely relegated to being a ten touch per night option from now through the end of the regular season, which better focuses his impact and keeps him fresh. And as we all know, come playoff time, Jim Unruh is reknowned for paring down the playbook, so Flynn will be anything but leg weary. A good thing because you never know when your 230 pound fullback needs to hurdle a defensive back, like he did last week on his way to a 12 yard touchdown against the Spartans. I did not get to stay long in Carthage on Friday, but the Charger Offensive Line did a bang up job clearing holes for Whitaker and Flynn and pass protecting for Michael Lafferty against BPCA. More than even that, however, I thought the Spartans really paid a price for kicking directly to IW's return men. Drake Schmudlach took his first touch of the night from his own 15 yard line to the 15 yard line of BPCA and later added a 54 yard punt return for touchdown. Ser Whitaker also added a 76 yard touchdown return. The only real cause for hand-wringing in Illini West this week was the Chargers lack of success in shutting down BPCA's ground game. I am less certain that is an indictment on the Illini West defense than it is a function of playing against Trey Yocum, who is phenomenal. Still, the Chargers need to prove they can better stand their ground against power runners. Outside of that, you'd be hard pressed to find something else here to quibble with. This might be the most explosive Jim Unruh team we have ever seen, given some of the athletes in play. And traditionally, Illini West Offenses have never been this good this fast. This crew is scary good and may not be held under 60 points the rest of this regular season.
2) BROWN COUNTY (2-0)
Last Week: 48-0 win over Carrollton
This Week: at V/AC
THE DIAGNOSIS: Eight straight shutout quarters... and counting. Brown County dismantled Carrollton's high powered offense Friday, holding the Hawks to just 156 yards of total offense. And outside of a pair of forced fumbles, there really wasn't anything overly flashy about the way the Hornets imposed their will on Carrollton. It was just good old fashioned system football, played to perfection. Who needs space aged schemes when you simply tackle and pursue relentlessly? The Hornets are the ultimate motor team and fast proving there is still a place for blue collar football ideals in the age of spread the field attacks and "science" football. Eric Grady has done a tremendous job in getting his impact players where he needs them to be on Defense, but the unsung hero here is D-Line guru Heath Fullerton, who now employs his linemen the way most coaches use their linebackers. Run and hit is what Nathan Goudschaal (who had 11 tackles and 3 sacks in Week One) Frank Price, and Cory Bowen do best. Tom Little has kept his offense as bland as can be and yet no one yet has shown any signs of being able to stop it; the ultimate sign of a superb offensive line. Every opponent on BC's schedule knows it is going to see a steady diet of Joe Cross and Jacob Ward running the ball. They scheme all week for it. And yet the holes are still there. After a slow start in week one, Ward got to show off his versatility behind those outstanding bodyguards with 120 all purpose yards and three touchdowns. Joe Cross was his usual forceful self with 69 hard earned yards. And Dallas Phelps got seventy yards on seven carries as well. The Hornets had 52 running plays against just 4 pass attempts. Clearly this is a team that knows its strengths and has a clear sense of its own identity. Like Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Hornets do one thing right. Or in this case, two things. Smack people around with the region's most stifling defense. And cram the football down your throat on the ground. And good luck finding anyone on the Hornets schedule capable of making them deviate from their plan of execution. Your turn on the clock, V/AC. Wish you well with that one...
3) QND (2-0)
Last Week: 55-0 win over Palmyra
This Week: at Spring Valley Hall
THE DIAGNOSIS: Bottom line, Palmyra isn't a very good football team right now. Still, the Raiders leap-frog Pittsfield this week on the overwhelming nature of their early season resume. QND's Defense, which got tremendous play again up front, helped limit the Panthers to just 80 yards of total offense and only one first down all night. This week it was Jay Finley who, in our opinion, shined brightest for the Raider Defensive Front. I suspect we will have a weekly rotation of heroes on the QND Line until Eddy Holtschlag returns. It bears noting that QND's Linebacker crew, even with lone holdover Cody Boots suspended (perhaps indefinitely) continues to show up very strong. Offensively, the Raiders kept much of the Spread Offense arsenal pared down. QND enjoyed short fields all night long and used four short Daniel Weiman touchdown runs in the first half to put this game into the bag even before it began. If nothing else, QND was able to limit the scouting report for future opponents, I guess. All those phenomenal receivers that Bill Connell has on staff probably could have just stayed in Quincy, for the lack of workload. Truth be told, this was just really a pretty blase week for the Raiders and outside of boredom and complacency, it could be long time before this Raider football team finds an outside force to test them and bring out their best. Spring Valley Hall got housed in Week One by state ranked 3A power Stillman Valley, and I would suspect a similar outcome this week from QND. Beyond that, QND may not get pushed until October 9th's showdown with Richwoods. In the interim, expect Bill Connell to use his creative motivational streak to keep his squad plugged in, creating perceived slights whereever he can find them. And when the Raiders are full go, QND might well be the most dangerous team from top to bottom on this list. I am struggling to find a discernable weakness to date. Although, I was left with this thought this week: Bill Connell has three open dates to fill next season. How about an audience with Erle Bennett and Centralia in the non-conference next fall? If my calculations are right, the schedules actually match up and I'd even be willing to mow the field to get this done...
4) PITTSFIELD (2-0)
Last Week: 32-13 win over South Fulton
This Week: at West Prairie
THE DIAGNOSIS: Question marks about the Saukee's defensive resolve reappear after PGP gives up 408 yards of total offense to the Rebels. Week one's blowout to CSE notwithstanding, I feel like South Fulton is ultimately going to be a pretty solid football team, especially on offense, so I am not ready to write off Don Bigley's defense yet. But if the Saukees want to stand toe to toe with Illini West or CSE in the WPT, some serious improvement needs to be made this week in the Saukee secondary. Dylan Westlake is no "one week wonder" as a quarterback. He is a very talented and pedigreed kid with an All Conference nod to his credit last year. Clearly PGP had to have much of the game plan centered on limiting his passing options. It just did not work as intended, with South Fulton imploding offensively under the weight of six turnovers, rather than being stymied by solid play from the PGP Defense. The Saukees will have some chance for pass defense redemption with Jansen Baker on tap this week and the area's top passing quarterback looming in two weeks. The problem for PGP is that Derrick Hull doesn't make those kind of high risk mistakes. Offensively, the Saukees had their own turnover issues, but still ramped up 551 yards on South Fulton's defense. Jordan Cawthon was the big hero of the night with 329 passing yards and three touchdowns, while snaring two interceptions on defense. Some credit here as well goes to Jordan's receivers. Dillon Butler's catch on his 81 yard 1st Quarter touchdown was tremendous as the ball was overthrown. We did not do a very good job of shooting the play this week with our camera, but it was certainly Play of the Week worthy in that Butler hauled in a 15 yard, poorly thrown pass, landed awkwardly on his left foot, kept his balance, and then did the YAC thing to perfection. Michael Johnson, who seems to be posting at least one home run catch a week, had a 60 yard breakaway snare to go along with a much shorter 10 yard touchdown. He remains the kid that no one seems to be be able to account for defensively. He's got six catches for 240 yards and three touchdowns through two weeks. The Saukees also amassed 222 rushing yards on the night, with Elijah Hoover hitting for 101 on the ground. And mind you, this was on an "off night" for the Saukee attack. To be honest, South Fulton was kind of a trap game for PGP and the Saukees fell a little prey to it. The Rebels got destroyed the week before, looked weaker than they really were. The Saukees got lulled after a barely break a sweat effort against Unity-Payson. I think all the sins this week were forgivable and predictable. And I would bet Don Bigley got everyone's attention with them in practice this week. Point blank, I would not want to be a West Prairie Cyclone on Friday Night.
5) BOWLING GREEN (2-0)
Last Week: 32-26 win over Montgomery County
This Week: at Wright City
THE DIAGNOSIS: It took a 27 yard touchdown strike from Ryan Cox to Zac Pease in Overtime, but the Bobcats claimed their first win over Montgomery County since 1996 and clearly seized control of their own fate from here on out. As confidence boosts go, you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger shot in the arm for a program that four years ago was simply trying to be semi-relevant again. And to be candid, I think Bowling Green won Friday without its "A" game. The Bobcats gave up 470 yards of offense, committed eight penalties and turned the ball over a couple of times. I have to admit, I was also surprised the score came in so "low" for what we thought we might see out of these two offenses. Jimmy Tucker got decent balance on Friday, slamming Huntley Leverenz into the line for 118 yards on the night. And Ryan Cox continues to shine at quarterback, going fro 284 yards and three touchdowns at Montgomery County's expense. Cox has looked every bit the POY candidate to date, with eight touchdowns in two weeks. Cox spread the ball around nicely, with Zac Pease and Cody Spegal each hauling in over 60 yards in receptions while Jeff Pease caught four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Bottom line, I think the Bobcats are far more multiple when they were last season. The more positive development here, at least long range, is the increasing stinginess of the defense. Geoff Correnti, Huntley Leverenz, and Brett Cobb all posted double digit tackle totals and this was against one of the most bedeviling and beguiling offenses in the state. Matt Brown is fast proving to be one of the more opportunistic kids in the region, with two critical interceptions on Friday. Yes, the Bobcats gave up a ton of yardage (466 total, including 230 on the ground) but did the bend-not-break thing by limiting Montgomery County to just 26 points. Whatever doubts anyone might have had about Bowling Green are silenced. Jimmy Tucker's crew is really talented, avoids Centralia in the postseason as a Class 3 team, and has the swagger of a squad that is starting to understand just how good it can be. I'll take Bowling Green and give you the field right now for last team standing honors in Northeast Missouri. And I won't think twice about it...
6) CENTRAL-SOUTHEASTERN (2-0)
Last Week: 64-0 win over R/I
This Week: vs Illini West (KHQA Game of the Week)
THE DIAGNOSIS: My name is Derrick Hull and I have thrown for 494 yards and eight touchdowns in two games. I have also made 46 passing attempts without an interception. And on occasion when I feel the need to stretch my legs, I have three rushing touchdowns to my credit as well. Get to know me!!!!
Through two weeks of the season, no one anywhere has been more impressive than C-SE's franchise quarterback. Shy of James Vandenberg, no area quarterback in memory has gotten off to a hotter start. And few players have been better supported. The Panthers skill position kids, to a man, have been outstanding. Patrick Flesner might be the best wide receiver in the WPT, but there are moments were he doesn't even look like the best wide receiver on his own team. Dustin Tangerose has improved as much as any running back in Tri State football and his Offensive Line has made similar strides. The Panthers have weapons everywhere. Justin Jackson and Tony VanZandt would be number one targets for 90% of the teams in the region. And Garrett Kestner is future superstar waiting to happen, but the victim of Tangerose's quantum leap. And granted, I am one of the guys who have been beating the CSE drum since late last year, but I think the Panther Defense is a little better than I thought it would be. It's easy to like Jacob Conley and Flesner, but I think CSE has been pretty balanced as unit, which I had my qualms about going in. Just a very good team...that is stuck measuring itself the next two weeks against two of what I consider to be the top five teams in Class 3A Football. As much progress as CSE has made on defense, I just can't envision the Panthers keeping Illini West or PGP corralled. So bottom line here: CSE is going to have continue its X-Box mentality and light up the scoreboard to steal a win over one of these state ranked foes. To the Panthers credit, they will clearly be the best armed team either IW or PGP have faced to date. But trying to outscore a Jim Unruh team, especially THIS Jim Unruh team, seems like a fool's errand, even if it is the best shot the Panthers have got. Home Field may help, but I think if you want to pick a CSE shocker, you might wait one week....
7) CONCORD TRIOPIA (2-0)
Last Week: 34-6 over Calhoun
This Week: vs ISD
THE DIAGNOSIS: Routt is the new flavor of the week and Brown County has been hyped like the second coming of the 2000/2001 Baltimore Ravens (guilty as charged)
And quietly, the Defending State champs just keep rolling up fundamentally sound victories. Two weeks into the season, the Trojans wins over North Greene and Calhoun are looking more and more impressive. Triopia basically just kind of took care of business on Friday at the Warriors expense. There was no Bradley Dinsmore type signature moment this week. Clay Nordsiek was the big offensive star in Week Two, with 132 rushing yard and a couple of touchdowns (including a 68 yard run) but this was more workman than electrifying. And while he isn't exactly wowing anyone with numbers yet, Kody Kleinschmidt is proving a pretty capable quarterback, albeit his greater utility comes right now as a running threat. Listening to this game Friday through the static on the way home from Carthage, it sounded like Andy Phelps defense opened cold but heated up nicely as the game wore on. Clearly, Jacob Fricke remains the focal point (14 tackles, 2 sacks in week one) but Clay Nordsiek has become and impact hitter on that D as well. And Tim Wise remains for me one of the most unsung kids in Tri State football. It's hard to sell the point that the number two ranked team in the state and defending titlest might be a big underrated, but truthfully, Triopia has a much fuller set of attributes and things to like going forward than we projected. Sometimes you get a little too hung up on what was lost to graduation and I may have fell pray to that here.
THE NEXT LEVEL
8) MONROE CITY (2-0)
When the Panthers were struggling with conditioning drills during Practice One, Tony DeGrave delivered a 10 minute diatribe on how sick to his stomach he was of losing to Centralia every year; and that everything MC does on the field, from stretching to sprints, is done to beat Centralia. This week's opponent is Centralia, by the way...
9) CLARK COUNTY (2-0)
Two ninety yard rushers and a 200 yard, 3 touchdown passing night from Justin Oilar was good. Fifteen penalties and just 26 points to show for it. Not so much....
10) ROUTT (2-0)
Show of hands please...who else beat a state ranked foe on the road last week?
11) QUINCY HIGH (2-0)
Blue Devils amass 366 rushing yards...and knock four Mount Pleasant players out of the game with hard clean hits. How long have we been waiting to praise a QHS team as "supremely physical?"
12) HANNIBAL (1-1)
Pirates implode with six turnovers at Harrisonville. Can't fault KHQA cult hero Jordan Strickland, however, who had eight tackles, a sack, safety, and fumble recovery.
13) SOUTH SHELBY (1-1)
Cards draw first blood on Centralia, but the rest of the game was an ugly blur. Andress re-aggravates bad ankle. South can't stop Panthers on 3rd Down.
14) FORT MADISON (2-0)
From 21 straight losses to back-to-back wins, Todd McGhghy is working his magic again in Hound Country. Travis Boyer with 109 rushing yards. Hound Offensive Line might be the single most improved unit of any kind in Tri State Football.
15) MACOMB (1-1)
Balanced Bombers get touchdowns from six different players in demoliton of PBL. Really impressed with the work of Robert McKee, Charles Whitaker, Alex Roberts on Defense in Week Two. And Brandon Cousin's Fraternity of Pain hit to start the game was worth price of admission alone.
16) VAN-FAR (2-0)
Matt Cole throws three touchdown passes to prove there is balance to what might be the best small school running game in Northeast Missouri. Scott Brookshier (255 yds this week) would be a star for any team in the area.
17) BPCA (1-1)
After playing IW so well last year, Spartans get crushed at Fuzz Berges. And despite the ease of victory, every Charger fan walked out of there Friday marveling at just how good a back BPCA's Trey Yocum has become.
18) NORTH SHELBY (1-1)
Raiders rebound from ugly trip to Westran to stifle Putnam County offense. Josh Messmer does it all in win for Terry Ahern's crew with lone touchdown, interception to seal the victory.
19) PARIS (1-1)
Taylor Barr and Jon Gilliam (120 receiving yards, 2 TD; 40 yard Interception return for TD) light up Slater
20) MARK TWAIN (1-1)
Jared Runyon sets a nice tone for the resurgent Tigers with KO return for TD on play one as Tigers bounce back after ugly opening loss to Bowling Green.
THE BEST OF THE REST
21. KNOX COUNTY (1-1)
22. MACON (1-1)
23. PLEASANT HILL (1-1)
24. KEOKUK (1-1)
25. JACKSONVILLE (1-1)
26. SCOTLAND COUNTY (1-1)
27. BEARDSTOWN (1-1)
28. LOUISIANA (1-1)
WEEK THREE SNAPSHOT
After opening at 19-2 in week one, my inability to pick Southeast Iowa games accurately and make lack of faith in the Quincy High Blue Devils and Routt Rockets on the road comes back to haunt me. I went 15-6 last week, which I hope will be the low water mark of the season. My only happiness last week in this endeavor was picking Bowling Green to finally beat Montgomery County. And as a point of fact, remember to follow your first instincts kids. I talked myself out of both Keokuk and Harrisonville in the wee hours of Wednesday night, costing me two more picks. Stupid on my part. By the way, Todd McGhghy has forbidden me from predicting a Hounds win the rest of the year. We aim to please...
Overall Duerr Record for Fearless Predictions Through Week Two: 34-8
GAME OF THE WEEK
ILLINI WEST AT CENTRAL-SOUTHEASTERN
The two most explosive teams in Tri State Football, averaging 69.5 and 62.5 points per game respectively, lock up in Camp Point for a WPT Showdown that should once an for all answer this question: is CSE for real? The Panthers track record against the Chargers last year wasn't very good. Two plays into their regular season meeting, Tim Yex sacked Derrick Hull and the CSE quarterback sat out the rest of a 41-12 beating. In the first round of the playoffs, CSE drew first blood on a Derrick Hull to Patrick Flesner touchdown pass, only to watch Illini West drop 55 unanswered points from that point on. There are two major differences for Bill Reed's team this season. Obviously, it is a break for CSE to get out of the hostile environs of Fuzz Berges Field and host this game. It might be the biggest gate and most important game in Camp Point, well, ever. And this CSE team grew up a lot last year in the wake of those IW losses, realizing that moral victories and five win seasons weren't merely enough anymore. As Koal Twaddle told us this off-season, those memories fueled a lot of weight room sessions. And as a stated goal, the Panthers have worked this entire off-season with the idea that they could beat an elite team. That confidence, not talent, was all that separated them from that goal. Clearly, the Panthers have played with a chip with that kind of swagger out of the gate. I just tend to think the measuring stick is too tall this week. Illini West is laying for this game and the Chargers have come out of the gate this year as impressively as any Jim Unruh team I can remember. In response to the struggles at BPCA last season, IW put 70 on the board against a team that went to the 2A Elite Eight last season, and did so barely breaking a sweat. And no area team has ever been better in spotlight games than Illini West, which seems to feed off and handle the hype better than anyone. I am convinced that CSE can and will score on Illini West, just not the 50 points I think it will be necessary to keep contact. And in the end, I think the Panthers are left settling for a moral victory and using it to good advantage a week later at PGP.
ILLINI WEST 60
OTHER GAMES OF INTRIGUE
CENTRALIA AT MONROE CITY
Since Dale Labuary's retirement, Monroe City's blood feud with Centralia has been decidedly one-sided. So much so in fact, that Monroe hasn't scored a single point on Centralia in Tony DeGrave's tenure (CHS is a combined 87-0 against Monroe since 2005) One would surmise that streak stops at Lankford Field on Friday night as the Panthers have too many weapons to be blanked again. But Monroe City has proven somewhat suspect in pass defense (see also Paris, Week One) and Scott Rodgers is the most efficient and accurate passer (see also South Shelby, Week Two) MC will see also season. I've said it once and I'll say it again, until I see a chink in Erle Bennett's armor here, I've got Centralia perfect to The Dome and not even a team as potentially explosive as Monroe changes that for me.
MONROE CITY 21
MONTGOMERY COUNTY AT SOUTH SHELBY
The "what might have been" Bowl. Just imagine how good a game this would have been had these teams not succumbed to Bowling Green and Centralia last week. With Stefan Andress' status at safety in doubt due to a bum ankle, the Cardinals will need supreme pass rushing pressure from their front four to try and better protect a secondary that was badly exposed by Centralia. South should have no problem moving the football, but can the Birds ball control offense level the playing field against MC's barrage of weapons. In no game this week will tempo be more important....
MONTGOMERY COUNTY 42
SOUTH SHELBY 35
MARK TWAIN AT MACON
There is a big drop off in appeal this week after those first three games, but Twain and Macon should be a plenty interesting contest as it could not be more evenly matched. Macon is really gifted, but extremely young, which is why we saw such a dramatic swing of fortunes from week one to week two. Mark Twain recovered from a week one tailspin with a really solid effort against a lousy Hallsville squad, putting some wind back in the Tigers sails. Concerned a bit by Macon's inability to consistently run the football against Monroe last week, because Mark Twain boasts a very physical and imposing Defensive Front.
MARK TWAIN 21
PALMYRA AT LOUISIANA
Another case where intrigue trumps "wow factor." Palmyra has yet to score this season, but gets quarterback Austin Hinkle back from suspension. Louisiana's win at Highland snapped a 23 game conference losing streak for the Bulldogs and is a nice payoff for the hard work Steve Gschwender and his 26 players have done to try and get Bulldog football back on an even keel. Truth be told, I think Louisiana's unsung defense is about as stingy as the Macon unit that blanked P-Town in Week One. And Matt VanHooser has put some wind in the offensive sails with his performance last week. The Dawgs missed a golden upset opportunity for an upset in Palmyra last season. On the home digs this weekend, I like the Dawgs chances for revenge
BOWLING GREEN 47
WRIGHT CITY 20
CLARK COUNTY 42
PUTNAM COUNTY 0
POPLAR BLUFF 12
SCOTLAND COUNTY 22
KNOX COUNTY 28
NORTH SHELBY 30
CENTRAL LEE 12
FORT MADISON 17
MOUNT PLEASANT 21
CLEAR CREAK-AMANA 21
BROWN COUNTY 54
CHATHAM GLENWOOD 40
WEST PRAIRE 12
PLEASANT HILL 28
BUNKER HILL 0
QUINCY HIGH 34
WEST CENTRAL 8
UNITY PAYSON 12
SOUTH FULTON 36
WEST HANCOCK 24
Illinois College played Millikin to a first half draw on Saturday, before succumbing to 23 unanswered second half points. Fort Madison product Michael Jennings had eight catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns in defeat, becoming IC's career receptions and yardage leader in the process. Central's Mitch Niekamp had 339 passing yards and three touchdowns, not to mention a whopping 61 attempts for the Blueboys as well.
BPCA product and former Do or Die Bowl MVP Marcus Ruff had a team high ten tackles in Monmouth's 39-20 season opening win against Loras.
Former Illinois College Head Coach Aaron Keen is back in the Tri States this weekend as the Offensive Coordinator at Nebraska-Omaha, which serves as Truman State's week three opponent.
Former Rushville Industry kicker Cody Crum had a huge week for Northwestern College. Crum earned UMAC North Division Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his efforts in a 44-27 win over Wisconsin Lutheran. Crum made his only field goal attempt of the day, a 44-yarder, to go with five made PAT-attempts. Before the Eagles were unable to convert their sixth point-after attempt in the game, Crum had made a school record 41 consecutive PAT kicks. The 44-yard field goal was also a personal best for the junior. Crum also caught a 55-yard touchdown pass in the win.
QND alum Alex Watterkotte is currently running as St Ambrose's second team Tight End in this, his sophomore season as a Bee.
Born Under a Bad Star Player of the Week: Macomb's Matt Gordy, who had a sensational punt return for touchdown and a 50 yard touchdown catch wiped off the board by penalties in Macomb's win over PBL. Both were Sensational Seven worthy plays and abject lessons in why one should never kick to Gordy in the return game.
Insult to injury; Jacksonville was tagged with five personal fouls this week in its 57-14 loss to Springfield High. Mark Ground's practices this week rank dead last on my list of places I would have wanted to be this week.
Quietly, Aaron Elmore is amassing some pretty decent skill position contributors at Beardstown. Brady Spears got the big press clippings this week, but Weston Blake had nearly 100 rushing yards on just eight carries and Braxton Hoenes and Wes Carlock both had over 50 yards rushing at West Prairie's expense.
With two touchdown catches against West Central, Evan Borrowman moves within 12 of the IHSA All Time Career Touchdown Receptions record.
Quincy High alum Emily Kvitle is currently the starting setter for Ole Miss, in this her junior season, and has helped lead the Lady Rebels to a 5-2 start. Kvitle has a team leading 178 assists and nine service aces and is third among the Rebs with 46 digs this season.
The Holy Trinity Volleyball machine is back up and rolling for "Spikes Svenghali" Melissa Freesmeier. The Lady Crusaders are currently ranked 14th in the state in Iowa 1A and feature a couple of dynamite hitters in Deanna Knustrom and Jayme Dyer and a real unsung setter in Ashley Tinguely.
Jacksonville Routt is off to a fine start on the spikes season at 6-1 and boasts the Tri State's tallest and most season front line with the returns of Morgan Eilering, Erika White, and Katie Lindsey who is getting Division One and Division Two recruiting looks, including some interest from Keith Rubio and the QU Lady Hawk Program.
Terrific player who doesn't get near enough ink: Unity's Deanne Donley, who is one of the better all around kids plying her trade this fall.
Griggsville Perry took out a good West Central squad on Saturday to claim the Dosh Tournament Title. Miranda Whitaker and Addie Freeman claimed first team All Tourney honors for the champs.
A pair of unsung heroes from the Soccer Civil War. QND's Ryan Riggs moved to the back line for Greg Reis against the Blue Devils and did a superb job of helping to limit Quincy High's scoring opportunities. And for the Devils, Dalton Stark had the play of the game with his textbook perfect slide tackle to disposses QND on an intended clearout. Stark took the ball away and bounced to his feet to hit a wide open Zach Forbes with the Devils second goal of the night. Stark was terrific on the edge for QHS all night long however, just one more really good piece who tends to get overlooked in a crowded QHS puzzle.
Clopton pitcher Kelsea Dorsey continues to shine. On Thursday, she shutdown one of the most potent lineups in the area by tossing a one hitter against 2008 state qualifier Canton. Along the way, Dorsey struck out 16 batters.
Coming off her number one singles title at the Moline Invitational, Quincy High Freshman Tennis Sensation Kadi Fauble waged an epic comeback Tueday against Rock Bridge's Kelsi KinderBracht to rally from a 2-6 first set loss with wins of 7-5 and 10-5. It was the Blue Devils only match victory against a Bruin squad that is a perennial power in MSHSAA racquets.
Holy Trinity Cross Country team roars out of the gate at Van Buren with a first place team finish and top three finishes from Sean Conrad (2nd) and Cody Mehmert (3rd) in the small school division. On the girls side, Morgan Kayvan of Keokuk finshes second in the big school race. Fort Madison boys and girls swept big school titles, with the Hounds Issac Steffensmeier, a freshman, winning medalist honors
Favorite Musical Guilty Pleasure of the Month: Cage the Elephant's irresistable earwig "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked." Listen at your own peril. You will be humming it for days on end afterwards...