69
      Saturday
      83 / 64
      Sunday
      85 / 67
      Monday
      89 / 71

      Bitter Rivals (Duerrisms for September 26th)

      We've been anticipating this little gem of a Gridiron Week since the schedules were first released. Welcome to Week Five of the High School Football Season which provides, at least on paper, the most interesting set of matchups we will see this side of November. And this is your Pigskin Primer so you can enjoy the action thusly.

      Welcome to this extended edition DUERRISMS for September 26th, my friends. W are brought to you, as always by the great folks at Quincy's GAMEMASTERS. Please show them your appreciation for their support of local sports.

      We've had a lot of questions about how you can vote/nominate a candidate on Friday Nights for our KHQA Player of the Week Award. It's a pretty simple and utterly democratic process. Just go to our Sports Facebook Page here : https://www.facebook.com/KHQAChrisDuerr any time and look for the POTW Post. I will list a slate of nominees there but you are always free to add your own suggestion simply by commenting on the string. We count every individual vote (but just one vote per customer) So jump on in every Friday, usually starting around Midnight...or any time before Wednesday's 5:00pm deadline and have at it.

      It's a brand new program, but sincerely appreciate all the SEEDS OF GREATNESS nominations that have been rolling in. For those unfamiliar, this is a feature on OVERTIME where we are looking to introduce the Tri-States to the next generation of great local athletes before they arrive. We are talking about the 14 and under set here. Junior High School phenoms. Youth League stars. That nine year old Black Belt recipient. The six year old Dance prodigy. This is there chance to shine. Nominations (including contact info and brief explanation of why you think the candidate of choice deserves the spotlight) can be e-mailed to me at cduerr@khqa.com. And look for this feature every Saturday at 10:45pm on OVERTIME.

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      2013/2014 KHQA STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK PRESENTED BY SUBWAY, CELL TECH AND PETERS HEATING AND AIR

      The deadline is now for your KHQA STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK nomination forms. Our first meeting is September 30th and deadline for the first vote is to have those sheets to me by noon on Monday. Your favorite High School Athletic Directors and Principals have forms in hand now. Help them out by nominating/suggesting a deserving candidate you know from your community. Again, the minimum bar for inclusion is a 3.5 GPA and participation in one Sport or State Activities Board Recognized Activity. And because of the Scholarship component of the award, we can only recognize High School Seniors who graduate in May/June before our annual Awards Banquet. This is a highly competitive process and we are usually inundated with incredible candidates. In that spirit, I suggest that you get your nominee of choice into the voting pool as early as possible to get him/her as many different long looks in the process as possible. Come winter time, we may have close to a 100 different kids to consider for just 30 spots. Truth be told, it's a nice problem to have and speaks well of the future of our communities. And as always, thanks for the help in giving these young people the appreciation they richly deserve.

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      Past Scholarship Winners

      2013: KASSIDY GENGENBACHER, Quincy Notre Dame (Lindenwood University)

      DALTON POWELL, Hannibal High School (Truman State University)

      2012: ALEX WALTER, Central High (Augustana College)

      TORI KUHN, Quincy Notre Dame (Quincy University)

      2011: JACOB CONLEY, Central High (U.S. Military Academy at West Point)

      DAKOTA FLESNER, Payson Seymour (John Wood Community College)

      2010: MICHAEL LAFFERTY, Illini West (Monmouth College)

      TAYLOR BAXTER, Palmyra (Illinois State)

      2009: MATT PATTERSON, South Shelby (Truman State)

      CHLOE BARNES, Quincy Notre Dame (Ball State University)

      2009: LUKE GUTHRIE, Quincy High (University of Illinois)

      2007: KATELYN BASTERT, Illini West (Duke University)

      2006: MIKAL BENECOMO, Clopton (Southeast Missouri State)

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      FOOTBALL 2013

      Roll Call of Stars

      7) CJ GAST, LB, Macon

      13 Tackles vs Clark County

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      6) JORDAN MARTIN, PK, Keokuk

      47 Yard Field Goal vs Fairfield

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      5) ZACH VAHLE, WR/PR, QND

      80 Yard Kick Off Return TD, 27 Yard Receiving TD vs Macomb

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      4) JACOB NIEMEYER, QB, Bowling Green

      195 Rushing Yards, 3 TD; Passing TD vs North Callaway

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      3) MITCH NICHOLS, RB, Hannibal

      24 Carries, 125 Yards, GW TD vs Mexico

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      2) KYLE POPKES, QB, Paris

      11 of 24 Passing, 258 Yards, 5 TD vs Knox County

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      1) AUSTIN KRAMBERG, WB, Central

      10 Carries, 222 Yards, 4 Rushing TD; 74 Yard Receiving TD vs Unity/Payson

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      KHQA PLAYER OF THE WEEK

      (as voted by you our readers)

      BRAXTON PHELPS, WB, Brown County

      With a large constituency of fans backing him, Brown County Speedster Braxton Phelps was able to separate himself from an avid and impressive pack of candidates this week; one that included three kids with 50 or more votes in the mix. It's a hard choice to argue because Braxton came up very large in the week's biggest game. He had 148 rushing yards against a supremely physical and imposing Triopia Defense, including one of the prettiest touchdown runs you will see anywhere in which he fainted and stutter-stepped his way away from five different Trojan Defenders who had him hemmed in. Seventy two yards later, Braxton was standing alone in the back of the end zone in delivering the first score of the football game. Right now, Braxton is giving the Hornets Wing-T the 1A equivalent of Ser Whitaker type home run production and that is a pretty special asset. To wit, Central Coach Brad Dixon told me this week that on Sweep Action, Phelps is averaging better than 22 yards per carry for the season. He has always been a very gifted athlete. What I like more about Braxton this season is that he is finishing runs and becoming far tougher to bring down. Point blank, he's better through contact. That, taken in compliment with his tremendous burst, makes him incredibly dangerous and Braxton is a certifiable Top Five Player of the Year Candidate at this point in the season, given what he has meant to the Brown County Offense and his added utility in Special Teams. This has been a very fun, very positive transformation to watch as Phelps has gone from promising to elite game breaker in very short order.

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      Past Winners:

      Week One: BRADY CRANE, Rushville/Industry

      Week Two: CHRIS JACKSON, Scotland County

      Week Three: CRAIG SMITH, Macon

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      KHQA Football Power Poll for September 26th

      1) CENTRAL (4-0)

      Last Week: 56-14 win at Unity/Payson

      Up Next: vs Brown County (KHQA Game of the Week)

      THE SKINNY: Though the final score may not seem indicative of this, we did come away from this week with some better tape of the Panthers against better competition. And what stands out about Brad Dixon's team from the Unity/Payson game is the ease and comfort with which it executes Offensively. Relatively speaking, the Mustangs are an infinitely better team than ISD. By the same token, they didn't look any more suited to standing up to the Central Offensive Line than ISD did. Take nothing away from Austin Kramberg, who I have touting to you fine folks since the Barnstorm Tour, but the kid's monster night (10 carries, 222 rushing yards and five total touchdowns) came with nary a spot of dirt on his uniform after the game. You go back and look at the video in the trenches and Muddy Waters, Eann Diller, and Michael Houston are knocking their respective defenders into little piles to allow Kramberg to run completely clean. It's almost too easy. And there is just a different level of physicality being played there by the Central O-Line right now. Most 1A teams will be hard pressed to match it. And to be honest, I am not sure we've seen what this Offense is capable of when it gets pushed. To wit, Cole Phillips was quietly 3 of 4 passing this past week for 80 yards and a touchdown. I think there is a dimension of functionality to that Panther Passing game that Brad Dixon is "slow playing" at this point that might really change the paradigm this season against better competition. They may boast the area's benchmark running attack at this point, but my theory is that Central is way more than just a running team. And I think we see some of that potential this week against a Brown County team that is light years better than anyone Central has faced to date. But I also think even allowing for that, and Eric Grady's Defensive wizardry, it may be really hard for even the Hornets to keep Central under 30 points. Unless the Panthers shoot themselves in the foot with mistakes, I have a hard time envisioning any 1A team from keeping all this firepower bottled up. This Offensive Line really is that good and this is a statement moment for Alex Ebbing's group to prove it...against Ebbing's coaching mentors no less. Knowing the demeanor of that front line, they will want to leave no doubt. Central will get its points. And more dauntingly for Brown County, this Panther Defense is more big play potential than the one the Hornets struggled to score on last week against Triopia. I don't think Central is as physically imposing as the Trojans, but the Panthers make up for it with their speed across the front. The big guys run well. See also Michael Houston's nine tackles and scoop and score TD last week. Brad Dixon had seven guys in all post nine more more tackles last week, led by Jared Starman's 18 stop effort. Unlike the Triopia game, Brown County doesn't enjoy a speed advantage to the edge against Central. Basically, to my mind, that means Central's biggest key to victory is taking away the inside run from Brown County. In defense of the Hornets, they did not have bruising transfer Fullback Wyatt Jones available last week against Triopia and I think that hurt BC's run game consistency a lot. There was now counterpunch to set up Phelps/Long. Jones will be back for the Central game. And I think BC's Fullback physicality, ability to occupy clock, and keep Central's offense off the field, may be the Hornets best chance to win this game. And there is your tipping point. Central hasn't had to battle this level of Offensive Opposition yet, but every sign we've seen is that the Panthers are well heeled in the Front Eight to play with anybody. Friday night, we will have our answer and it will go a long ways in telling us "just how good is good" when it comes to Central's Defense. My inclination is that Central is relishing the opportunity, in all phases of this game, to prove themselves against a worthy competitor that brings out their very best.

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      2) PALMRYA (4-0)

      Last Week: 40-0 win over Highland

      Up Next: at Louisiana

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      THE SKINNY: And you wonder why I can't grow hair. These are the decisions your Friendly Neighborhood Sports Director wrestles with on a weekly basis. We faced the decision on where to start our photographer first last week:Hannibal or Palmyra. Me, being the student of football trends that I am, says lets start at Porter Stadium because Palmyra is a notoriously slow starter and Highland has been playing very well of late so the chances are the Panther/Cougar game will be closer in the end than the traditionally lopsided Mexico/Hannibal series. And what happens? Yep, vice versa. Suffice it to say, we arrived in the Flower City to watch the Panthers start the turbo clock. I am either too smart or too dumb for my own good. Likely both. Good to see Kevin Miles team sprint out of the gate. The Panthers had 21 points on the board eight minutes deep and played easily their best Defensive Game of the season in limiting the Cougars to just 78 total yards. Not a surprise, it was actually the first "rust free" outing for Linebacker Extraordinare Ben Althoff, who had a team high nine tackles. Austin Hightower continues to build on a potential award winning resume with another six tackles on Friday from his interior Defensive Line position, including three and a half for loss. Matt Hettinger, become a very good blitz option, was one of Four Panthers on Friday to register a Quarterback sack. Scarier still, this is a Defense that is only just now starting to come into its own. Check in three weeks from now and lets see just how dominant these guys are. Offensively, it was just a good old fashioned display of ground game dominance against Highland with Caleb Kizer and Brock Butler going for 139 and 109 yards respectively and five combined touchdowns. No two ways around it, these guys are just very sound in all phases of the game and most impressively, realizing the enormous potential everyone thought they had but no one was for certain they would deliver on. And in that spirit, hard to find anyone who has done a better coaching job to date than Kevin Miles and his staff.

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      3) BROWN COUNTY (4-0)

      Last Week: 12-8 win over Triopia

      Up Next: at Central (KHQA Game of the Week)

      THE SKINNY: Gritty win over a very game opponent. Tom Little's crew should be very proud of itself in finding ways to overcome adversity and tough out a win against a Triopia team that played nearly flawless defense against them the entire game. What you like in this victory for the Hornets is guys stepping up and making plays in tight spots. Speaking plainly, Dylan Ruble had a rough night...right up until his team needed him the most. And then he could not have been more golden. It's also becoming more and more readily apparent that if you find a way to get a football anywhere in Brady Robinson's direction, he's going to find a way to catch it. There is a young man who is seizing a role and making the very most of it and without him, the Hornets are 3-1. This is twice now the Hornets have stepped into an elevated threat level and found a way to win games. That's impressive. And I thought Eric Grady called a magnificent Defensive Game against Triopia, which had a physically more imposing Offensive Front with which to slug away in front of the human battering ram that is Dean Arendt. Still, allowing even that, the big players on defense made big plays when they were needed for BC. Brady Long had a couple of big tackles for loss. Nathan Banta made a critical hit behind the line of scrimmage. Michael Scoggan had a great pass break up. But the truth here is that is as good as the Hornet Defense was last week, it's absolutely going to have to be better to try and hem in Central. The Panthers have the advantage of Triopia type-physicality up front; but it is paired with better speed than anyone else the Hornets have yet seen. This same defense gave up 30 plus points to Central last year. They probably have to halve that number to have a chance to win. Offensively, BC down a starter for the second week in a row in its offensive backfield and from where I stand, the Hornets need every bit of their speed to stretch a Central defense that has been unfailingly elastic to date. And as mentioned earlier, Tom Little needs the physical component of his run game to be at its most physical. Again it's a tall order and BC will be the underdog here Friday, especially on the road. But there are factors here that also must be accounted for riding in the Hornets favor than make it feasible for BC to win. For starters, the Hornets have been as good as anyone playing in tight spots and against adversity. Central in contrast, hasn't seen an adverse situation yet this season and BC is light years better than anyone the Panthers have played to date. Could their be an "acclimation" advantage in that for BC? I've always believe in life you truly know nothing about yourself until you have been punched in the mouth. No one has even remotely grazed this Panther team yet to see if there might be some glass in the jaw. You know that BC minimally, will do that. The Hornets are too talented and too well coached not to at least scar Central up some. I also think that BC has the ability to win the turnover ratio game against any opponent they see. And if BC is clean and can create some chaos for a Central Backfield that hasn't yet been tested, there may be some leeway there as well. Regardless of how you slice it, there is a ton of fascination in this game and I for one can't wait to see what plays out on Friday Night in Camp Point.

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      4) CENTRALIA (3-1)

      Last Week: 50-0 win vs South Shelby

      Up Next: at Brookfield

      THE SKINNY: Granted there are some significant injury issues at play, but Brookfield's queasy tight road walk to 4-0 likely ends here. The things the Bulldogs have gotten away with against other teams wont fly against a Panther team this good and this still clearly ticked off in the wake of the Palmyra loss. How else do you explain a Centralia Defense holding South Shelby to 47 yards of total offense (and not one passing yard) last Friday? Look, I know the Cardinals have their issues and struggles right now but this is still a Rob Wilt coached team with weapons like Brett Threkeld, Trace Windsor and Kenny Smithey. And the Panthers just suffocated them. Six guys with eight or more tackles, led by Ethan Leighton's ten stops. And the Panther Offense just went nuts with over 500 yards of total offense in the offing. Zach Etzler led the charge with 93 rushing yards and 145 more through the air. But it was a night of supreme balance with all the usual suspects getting to share in the workload. This was about as decisive and one-sided a victory as we will see all year, at least against decent competition. And Centralia is steam-rolling right now. Nile Thudium is one heck of a coach and his work to get his team through all of its various early season woes unscathed to this point is coach of the year type material. But you can't buy enough mirrors or create enough smoke in Northeast Missouri to account for the talent disparity between these two teams right now. Based on the outlay of this past week; particularly the Panthers blitzkrieg approach to business; I am predicting it will be a long time before we see Centralia lose again.

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      5) BOWLING GREEN (4-0)

      Last Week: 49-34 win at North Callaway

      Up Next: vs Wright City

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      THE SKINNY: Yes, I know. You have concerns. Too high here... based on the fact that the Bobcats have honed their perfect record against a slate of opponents who are combined 5-11 on the season. And you can't get over the strangeness of any Jeff Gschwender Defense surrendering 20 points per game to those kind of, well, not exactly pedigreed opponents. Just for a second though, try to appreciate this group for what it is and does well rather than trying to dwell on the negative. This might just be the most breathtakingly exciting offense you can watch right now in Tri State Football. The Bobcats are averaging better than 50 points per game. They've got a Quarterback who runs better than 85% of the Tailbacks in our area (see also Jacob Niemeyer's virtuous 191 yard, 3 TD touchdown ground effort in Kingdom City last week) and a pair of running backs in Adam Holt and Malik McPike who belong amongst that other elite 15% group. They can beat you on the ground and they can beat you in the air. And quietly, the Bobcat Offensive Line has been a flat out revelation. After getting two weeks worth of tape on these guys, I am buying on Bowling Green and this video game approach to winning games until someone actually finds a way to hold these guys under 40 in a night. And I don't see that happening this week as well. Give the Brothers Gschwender some credit here. They've defined what they do best and they are not trying to be anything else that they are not. The Kentucky Fried Chicken Approach of doing one thing better than anyone else. That approach will obviously be tested in a few weeks much more exactingly by Montgomery County (and to be honest, we probably won't have an accurate gauge on just how good...good is for Bowling Green until that game) but I fully expect the Bobcats to be 7-0 going into that game and that has to count for something here; especially with other power teams in our area looking more flawed by the week.

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      6) JACKSONVILLE (3-1)

      Last Week: 29-15 win over Southeast

      Up Next: vs SHG

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      THE SKINNY: Let me reiterate, Good People: any win is a good win. Found it strangely weird that the Crimsons were catching some social media flak within their own fan base over the "less than blowout" nature of the victory over Southeast. Lets address that notion. For starters, Southeast is a pretty darned decent football team. Two, the funny nature of sport (heck life for that matter) is that your not always going to have your good fastball every single day. I have days at work where I get writers block, can't string coherent thoughts together while on live TV, and even suffer bad hair days. Okay, not so much the latter but you get the point. Human nature. The telling sign is that "pros" fight through on the lesser days and find ways to salvage the cause. The Crimsons did exactly that. Justin Herron's strong efforts rushing the football helped pull through on one of those rarest of games where Bryce Schnitker didn't have his best location throwing the football. And lets be even more direct here. Schnitker is the best passing Quarterback in our region and its not even up for debate. So no one then is immune to the occasional "the football feels weird coming off my hand" night. Kody Wood helped pick up some of the slack by proving to be a Receiver who is just going to go out every time he is targeted and make the most of his opportunities. And the Crimson Defense, while not perfect, made plays in critical spots to keep Southeast hemmed in. So you pen the final words on Week Four and move on victorious. This would be a heck of a time to regroup with SHG making the road trip over to K-R Field. I know this sounds weird, but from my vantage point since July, I thought this was the most readily winnable of the Big Three CS8 Power Games. Not that Griffin isn't a very, very good football team but there just doesn't seem to be the same level of mental hurdle in finishing against the Cyclones for JAX that seem to crop up when the Crimsons run across Glenwood and Rochester. These kids have all seen, some have participated in Crimson wins (or at least daunting near misses) over/against SHG and confidence matters here. To win on Friday, this going to have to be the best Defensive effort we've seen to date from this Crimsons Defense and in particular, from this unsung Linebacker group, which is going to be stretched in a lot of different directions. And it's probably going to have to be an outlier game for Bryce Schnitker that sees him mix and match his targets against tendency. Ken Leonard's crew is going to do it's best to give Schnitker uncomfortable windows on the passes (and targets) he is most comfortable with. The thing I like about Bryce is that he doesn't seem to get shaken mentally and has the proven mettle to rise to tough challenges (see also how well the guy played on one leg last year during the playoffs) I suspect Mr Schnitker relishes this change to author one more signature game against SHG and I think that makes for a really interesting and highlight rich night in The Ville .

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      7) ILLINI WEST (3-1)

      Last Week: 48-36 loss to MonRose

      Up Next: vs QND

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      THE SKINNY: Make no mistake about it, Martel Hunter and Trayvon Smith are special, special football players who deserve every bit of the respect they get. But the Illini West Defense also didn't do much to take the shine off of those two MonRose Superstars and that is more than a little bit befuddling. Lyle Klein coached Defenses don't give up 48 points to anyone, ever. And more precisely, they rarely give up many yards after first contact. Chalk up whatever part of that to "Hunter Exposure" you would like, the Chargers simply have to tackle better going forward. End of story. This has been kind of a weird, two-week malaise for Illini West; one in which you could toss rare phrases like mistake-prone, defensively lax, and plain sluggish at the Chargers at times and make them stick. Still, I tend to think this is more of a transitional growing pain than a design flaw. The talent level here is still very, very good. And for all the things that went wrong early against MonRose, the Chargers reconnected their Offensive Timing Belt at halftime on Friday and roared back into this game with a full tilt display of Firepower that included the first true evidence of what a difference maker Jacob Sholl and his speed can be at 190 yards on just five touches. Nolan Ard's 72 yard touchdown, which I finally saw on HUDL this week, is a pretty powerful reminder as well of all the ammo Joey Dion still has at his command. And for all that went south early, the Chargers roared back to within six points in the third quarter before their own turnover issues squelched any residual momentum. IW just has got to stop harming itself with mistakes, both active and passive. It's that simple. On paper, this still might be the most talented Football Team, man for man in our region but the Chargers are beating themselves and undercutting their own strengths in a strangely deflating way, with maddening consistency right now. Like it or not, that makes this kind of a crossroads week for IW. Quincy Notre Dame could be the springboard that launches the Chargers back on the trajectory we media types prescribed for them coming off what was a universally lauded preseason. Or it could be the week that mini-slump devolves under creeping self doubt in the wake of a third possible "off" performance. Bottom line, I think Win/Loss result at Fuzz Berges is less important this week than quality of play. The latter would take care of the former. First drive will say everything. Do the Chargers get aggressive and return to the bar setting historic level of tackling execution this program is known for or do we get another Monmouth Roseville facsimile of Charger Defense Lite? I will spare you the suspense. The latter ain't cutting it against a QND Offense with the best Wide Receivers and "Run After Catch" potential in our area. Put simply, this is "answer the bell" week for Illini West.

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      THE NEXT LEVEL

      8) QUINCY HIGH (3-1)

      The level of legitimate resistance from Manual can be called into question. The Blue Devils focus can not. Rick Little's crew took care of business with elan on Friday and even used the sparring session to take the passing game wraps off of George Krickard IV, who scorched the Rams for a career best 232 passing yards in the offing. Lots to like here in a game whose conclusion we could have predicted four weeks ago. Now it's time for QHS to silence the remaining doubters and go out and scare up a true signature Road win. Dare I say, on roster talent alone, this Blue Devil team is more gifted than the Pioneers. But this is no longer about best talent. This is about Best Will and its high time for these Devils to live that mantra and get the deed done.

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      9) QND (3-1)

      Zach Vahle's Game Opening Kickoff Return for Touchdown touched off a 48 point onslaught and allowed the Raiders to end their gnawing two game losing streak to rival Macomb. Different threat level and challenge this week for QND in an Illini West Double Wing Offense that presents better man for man speed than the Raiders possess and a system that Bill Connell's crew rarely sees. This is probably a litmus test on the discipline of QND's Defense and in particularly on the play making of the Raider Linebackers. Brady Genenbacher and Logan Schutte can't let those Chargers backs into the second level. Call it The Ser Whitaker Principal. The fewer big plays the QND D allows the better their odds increase to post a road win at Fuzz Berges.

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      10) HANNIBAL (3-1)

      Gritty comeback win on Homecoming against a vastly improved Mexico squad comes on the sweat of Mitch Nichols brow. The Senior Tailback had a 10 yard touchdown run with sixty one seconds to play to help cement a 21-20 victory. Credit Austin Kirby with a couple of nice touchdown passes early (to Tanner Sanborn and Dalton Overstreet) to deliver the early scoring in support of what was three quarters of outstanding Pirate Defense; perhaps some of the best play the team has delivered to date over those 36 minutes. Road trip to Kirksville gives Pirates a nice window to chase 4-1 this week.

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      11) MACON (3-1)

      Highly impressed with the Offensive Balance Pete Claas has working right now. Another 250 passing yards from Craig Smith on Friday. Another 100 ground yards from Joe Lewis in a red letter win over formerly unbeaten Clark County. That might have been the week's biggest statement win. Scarier still, CJ Gast is starting to play his way into fully healthy form (see also team high 12 tackles vs the Indians) and this Tiger Defense is really starting to beguile me again. Holding Clark County to 27 points is like holding anybody else to 13. This is a team that demands more of your/our respect.

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      12) BEARDSTOWN (3-1)

      That was a gigantic and gifted Havana team the Tigers bested on the road last week, weathering seven different lead changes along the way before Alex Myles played closer with the game winning touchdown, and later a huge hit that smothered the last bit of life out of the Duck Offense. Which means its time to load up and reboot one of the Tri State's best rivalries with Rushville/Industry coming to town on Friday. Granted, it's a far cry from the days of Skip Dillon faking the victory formation with 10 seconds left, only to launch a bomb so he could run up the score on Jeff Langner even more. Or Mike Ewing tell us the only think Beardstown kids were good for was knocking down so you could roll them around in the dirt. This is a much classier affair these days. But should still be plenty fun....

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      13) CLARK COUNTY (3-1)

      Not the ending the Indians were hoping to author at Hugh Dunn Field last weekend but right now, Macon is just a more complete team. Still love Clark County's long range potential, provided they can tighten up the Defense and find ways to pressure passing quarterbacks better than they did a week ago. Hosting run oriented Mark Twain won't give much practice in that discipline this week.

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      14) PARIS (3-1)

      If the pass happy Kyle Popkes (10 touchdowns in two weeks) and his gifted Wide Receivers find a way to upset Westran this week, there won't be enough room on the Coyote Bandwagon for everyone ready to jump aboard. To date, these guys have been the most pleasant surprise in Northeast Missouri Football and a very fun watch as I've now got multiple camera guys clamoring for Paris assignments (selfishly, we love the way those pretty rainbow touchdown passes look when we shoot them right)

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      For Your Consideration

      15) WEST CENTRAL (2-2)

      16) PLEASANT HILL-WESTERN (2-2)

      17) TRIOPIA (1-3)

      18) KEOKUK (2-2)

      19) RUSHVILLE-INDUSTRY (2-2)

      20) FORT MADISON (2-2)

      21) SCOTLAND COUNTY (2-2)

      22) MONROE CITY (1-3)

      23) MACOMB (1-3)

      24) KNOX COUNTY (1-3)

      25) PGP (1-3)

      26) SOUTH SHELBY (1-3)

      27) HIGHLAND (1-3)

      28) LOUISIANA (1-3)

      29) CLOPTON-ELSBERRY (1-3)

      30) CENTRAL LEE (1-3)

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      FEARLESS DUERR PREDICTIONS FOR WEEK FIVE

      Last Week: 23 of 26 (88.4%)

      Season to Date: 76 of 93 (81.7%)

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      HANNIBAL 28

      KIRKSVILLE 14

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      WRIGHT CITY 7

      BOWLING GREEN 49

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      WESTRAN 35

      PARIS 20

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      PALMYRA 48

      LOUISIANA 6

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      MARK TWAIN 8

      CLARK COUNTY 42

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      CENTRALIA 35

      BROOKFIELD 14

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      MACON 27

      HIGHLAND 13

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      MONROE CITY 24

      SOUTH SHELBY 20

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      QND 24

      ILLINI WEST 31

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      SHG 28

      JACKSONVILLE 27

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      QUINCY HIGH 20

      ALLEMAN 23

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      BROWN COUNTY 12

      CENTRAL 28

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      UNITY/PAYSON 31

      ROUTT 23

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      ISD 0

      TRIOPIA 50

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      PHILL/WESTERN 13

      WEST CENTRAL 24

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      MACOMB 27

      TAYLORVILLE 8

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      WEST HANCOCK 7

      PGP 35

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      R/I 13

      BEARDSTOWN 35

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      WEST PRAIRIE 12

      WETHERSFIELD 42

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      WASHINGTON 28

      KEOKUK 16

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      FORT MADISON 13

      CLEAR CREAK AMANA 18

      -------------------------------------

      KHQA HALFWAY AWARDS

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      Best Illinois Offensive Player: MALIQUE ROBBINS, Quincy High

      Best Missouri/Iowa Offensive Player: BROCK BUTLER, Palmyra

      Best Illinois Defensive Player: ANDREW SHAKE, Central

      Best Missouri/Iowa Defensive Player: AUSTIN HIGHTOWER, Palmyra

      Best Coaching Job, Illinois: RICK LITTLE, Quincy High

      Best Coaching Job, Missouri/Iowa: KEVIN MILES, Palmyra

      Breakout Star of the First Half, Illinois: BRAXTON PHELPS, Brown County

      Breakout Star of the First Half, Missouri.Iowa: KYLE POPKES, Paris

      Best Rising Sleeper, Illinois: ALEX MYLES, Beardstown

      Best Rising Sleeper, Missouri: ADAM HOLT, Bowling Green

      Biggest Upset of the First Half: PLEASANT HILL over TRIOPIA

      Best Game of the First Half: BROWN COUNTY over TRIOPIA

      ------------------------------

      RANDOM MUSINGS

      Yocum if you got 'em: Former BPCA star and current Monmouth College Tailback Trey Yocum has received an invite to play in the D3 Classic Senior All Star Game in Virginia in December. Yocum needs just over 400 yards to become the Scots all time rushing leader. He already holds the school mark for career touchdowns.

      After posting a career best nine tackles in Western Illinois loss to UNLV, Quincy Notre Dame alum Chip Holtschlag was honored as the Leathernecks Papa Johns Scholar Athlete of the Week. Chip has a 3.71 GPA as a Biology Major in Macomb.

      Central Lee alum Brad Vogel is the reigning IIAC Offensive Football Player of the Week honors for his eight catch, 115 yards, one touchdown effort in Simpson College's thrilling 35-34 win over UW-River Falls. Per Simpson's website, Vogel currently ranks second in the Iowa Conference in receiving touchdowns (3) and receiving yards (273) and is fourth in receptions per game (6.7). He leads the league in both all-purpose yards per game (150.67) and yards per kickoff return (25.3).

      Hard not to feel for South Shelby alum and current Truman State Bulldog Ethan Decker, who suffered a season ending knee injury last weekend, just days after his father passed away. Keep the Deckers in your prayers.

      Hannibal High School has promoted Patricia Carmitchel to replace Ron Greenwell as the new head coach of Lady Pirate Basketball

      Former Quincy Notre Dame pivot Morgan Martin, now at Cedar Rapids Kennedy, has pledged to continue her Basketball Career at Eastern Illinois University.

      Quincy University's Jaclyn Mastrioanni is the current reigning National Womens Collegiate Soccer Player of the Week, as voted by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, after delivering both golden goals for the Lady Hawks last weekend. The NSCAA currently has QU ranked as the number ten Division Two Womens Team in the country as well.

      Quincy High product Dylan Hoschar has scored a pair of goals and started in all six games this season for the University of Illinois-Springfield Soccer program.

      Central Lady Panther Girls Golf earned team title honors at the Macomb Invitational last weekend, beating the powerhouse QND Lady Raiders along the way. Amanda Ihrig led the charge with a fourth place finish individually. The Lady Panthers might be a intriguing player in a few weeks here when the golf postseason kicks off.

      Got my first in-person look at the top ranked Holy Trinity Volleyball squad last weekend at the Keokuk Invitational and this might be the most potent squad I've seen Melissa Freesmeier field at Southeast Iowa's resident Spikes Factory. Obviously, Mikaela Foecke, the future Nebraska Cornhusker, draws a lot of attention and deservedly so. I was very impressed with the depth of talent on this roster, overall. This is a fantastic defensive squad that was near flawless when I saw HTC in Serve/Receive. Madelyn Orton has the look of a rising star and Lauren Pothitakis might be the most underrated talent in all of Tri State Volleyball; a kind of Abbie Foster type fill-in-all-the-gaps star. Maria Vonderhaar quietly does a nice job quarterbacking the squad and I watched Nicole Wilkens serve off some 30 plus of HTC's 42 points in a blowout win over BND. Sounds like the 1A Title may well come down to Janesville and HTC and whoever is playing better at the time.

      Keep an eye out for Quincy High Cross Country runner Wendell Bias, who pulled off a confidence boosting win at South Park on Tuesday. Kid ran hard and withstood a late challenge from QND star Luke Watson. This might be the springboard to a big Fall Finish.