75
      Sunday
      94 / 74
      Monday
      88 / 73
      Tuesday
      84 / 68

      The Clearness is Gone (Duerrisms for October 25th)

      Happy World Series Week Everybody. Whether you are a die hard Cardinal devotee, a Red Sox Fanatic, or simply despise them both, this is me wishing you every baseball happiness over this next ten days or so. No dog in the fight. And I am saving my energies for the start of the NBA Season next week as I promise to do my best to keep my "30 win season" anger under wraps on Social Media as best I can.

      #EmptyPromise

      This is Duerrisms for October 25th presented by the fine folks at GAMEMASTERS. And we are about to get both simultaneously less busy around here as the volleyball and football field is going to get thinned dramatically in pretty short order. And MORE busy as well as we travel near and far chasing State Title Hopefuls. I suspect we could have as many as three champions when all is said and done. But let's see how this all plays out in the weeks ahead. That is 90% of the fun.

      Can't emphasize enough this week that if you have a deserving KHQA Student Athlete of the Week Nominee (Senior Athlete with a minimum 3.5 GPA) you get a nomination form to us, through your athletic director, before our next meeting on November 4th. We will pick 12 winners at the time, which means we will not reconvene again to consider new nominees until February. And that final meeting will be the most competitive of the year because we always get that late round of procrastinators who wait to the last minute to submit. We don't want to deny one single worthy candidate consideration because they get lost in the last minute avalanche of nominees. Do this now. Forms are available on line at ConnectTriStates.com under the SAW header atop the page. Your local Athletic Director has them now as well. Put a bug in their ear. These kids truly deserve the acclaim...and the potential scholarship that goes along with...

      A reminder as always that you can check us on Social Media for instant sports news, results, or other goodies. Our Sports Facebook Page is https://www.facebook.com/KHQAChrisDuerr and our Twitter Account, some 4200 followers strong, is twitter.com/ChrisDuerr some come join the party and have instant access to information any time you need it. Plus if you get bored, I am always fun to argue with.

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

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

      Now in its ninth year, The KHQA STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK program strives to honor the Tri State's outstanding Senior achievers. Every Wednesday, we will profile one Senior (minimum 3.5 GPA and participation in one sport) chosen by independent nominating committee for their outstanding accomplishments. And from that pool of 30 honorees, we will award one scholarship each at year's end to the Top Male and Female Student Athlete in our region. Our next committee meeting is slated for November 4th, so act now to get deserving candidates recognized.Your favorite High School Athletic Directors and Principals have forms in hand now. Or you can print one out from our website. 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.

      2013-2014 Honorees

      Week One: MACKENZIE GROSSMAN, Mark Twain Softball/Basketball/Track

      Week Two: MITCHELL NICHOLS, Hannibal Football/Basketball/Track

      Week Three: LANE DAVIS, Unity Basketball/Football

      Week Four: BRETT GENENBACHER, Liberty Cross Country/Basketball/Track

      Week Five: ALEMA STONE, Macomb Football

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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 (Iowa Wesleyan)

      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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      THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

      7) UNITY/PAYSON DEFENSIVE LINE

      Held PHill/Western to 6 Points; still unconfirmed number of Sack/TFL/Fumble Recoveries

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      6) WILL MCROBERT, FB, Scotland County

      28 Carries, 250 Yards, TD vs Putnam County

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      5) DAKOTA SHAW, LB/FB, Keokuk

      10 Tackles, 4 Stops for Loss (3 QB Sacks) vs Mount Pleasant

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      4) MITCH NICHOLS, RB, Hannibal

      30 Carries, 221 Yards, 4 TD vs Marshall

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      3) BRETT THREKELD, QB, South Shelby

      5 of 9 Passing, 144 Yards, 2 TD; 16 Carries, 97 Yards, TD vs Clark County

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      2) JR BOYD, RB/LB, Rushville/Industry

      28 Carries, 217 Yards, 3 TD; 9 Tackles vs South Fulton

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      1) AUSTIN KRAMBERG, RB, Central

      14 Carries, 205 Yards, 3 TD vs Carrollton

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      KHQA PLAYER OF THE WEEK

      (as voted by you our readers)

      PARKER SCHUTTE, Quincy High

      An incredibly spirited week of voting with too many lead changes and surges to count between Quincy High Defensive Back Parker Schutte, Rushville/Industry Sledgehammer Back JR Boyd, and Central Speedster Austin Kramberg. In the end, the Blue Devil Cornerback wins out with a tremendous late surge in numbers. And for those of you who love Defense, I would argue deservedly so. It's hard to quantitatively compare what Parker did on Friday to the raw rushing numbers of his running back counterparts, but as someone who was in Flinn Stadium Friday Night I can tell you that the Blue Devil Defense, and in particular the Blue Devil Secondary (which has taken some flak in some corners this season) definitely rose to the challenge and carried the day against a Galesburg team that would not go away. I found two things really interesting on Friday. The Streaks deliberately seemed to want to test Parker (and test him deep) on Friday as part of their stretch the field game plan when the run game didn't flesh out. And more important to our discussion here, getting tested brought out the best of Parker Schutte. The kid made two absolutely stellar plays that prevented the Streaks from being able to get over the top on the QHS Defense. The first was an interception to kill a Galesburg drive in the first half with the Blue Devils clinging to a 7-0 lead. The second was a third down stop on the Streaks just before Galesburg scored its first points late in the third quarter. It's not the play results themselves so much that matters here, but the manner in which Parker executed them. The kid made two ridiculously great breaks on thrown balls against a bigger wide receiver. The kind of mid-air adjustments that you see from a Defensive Back at his best at any level of football. But more than that, I loved the position Parker put himself in to have a chance to make those plays. It was fearless coverage; a step for step smothering from first step to final step. And it was just flat fun watching a kid come this far as a coverage guy from start to now of this season. If you were paying attention, it was about as good a game as a Defensive Back can play...against good competition no less. Typically, you play cover corner, you spend a lot of time on the wrong end of the highlights. Last Friday, Parker Schutte showed how to do it right. And the Blue Devils are playoff bound for the first time since 2010 because of it.

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      Past Winners:

      Week One: BRADY CRANE, Rushville/Industry

      Week Two: CHRIS JACKSON, Scotland County

      Week Three: CRAIG SMITH, Macon

      Week Four: BRAXTON PHELPS, Brown County

      Week Five: BRETT THREKELD, South Shelby

      Week Six: MATTHEW FRANKENBACH, Palmyra

      Week Seven: CAITLIN BOLTON, Louisiana Softball

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      KHQA POWER POLL FOR WEEK NINE

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      1) CENTRAL (8-0)

      Last Week: 33-0 win over Carrollton

      Up Next: vs West Central

      THE SKINNY: They made it look far too easy on Friday in Carrollton, taking a very good football team (sporting a considerable home field advantage no less) out to the woodshed. The Hawks may have been the undefeated, fourth ranked team in Illinois Class 1A football but they looked little different than every other team crushed under the Panther Wheels to date this season. Granted, it would be short-sighted and silly not to argue that weather conditions did in fact favor Central on Friday. Precision passing is what Jerrett Smith does best and his 9 of 22 passing night (a game in which he threw more interceptions in two quarters (two) than he had the entire first seven weeks of the season (one) combined) screams cold, misty night. So weather was certainly part of Carrollton's undoing. I would argue their demise was equally born of scheme. The bottom line is this: WIVC teams still haven't gotten accustomed to blocking Brad Dixon's 3-5 scheme. They see it once a year and four days of practice isn't really enough lead time for teams to make the adjustment after seeing nothing but more conventional fronts the other nine weeks of the season. I'd argue even a mediocre team running a 3-5 will cause some issues for teams that run the football during a week of practice because there is a natural level of unknown to combat for guards trying to figure out who is coming from where. But if you populate this thing with the kind of talent that Central has in the Defensive Line and Linebacker groups, numbers like 3.38 yards per carry averages and five total first downs aren't difficult to fathom. Brad Dixon has a bunch of guys who just aren't going to miss tackles at the core of the scheme (Michael Houston, Michael Johnson, Jared Starman) mixed in with a couple of pure catalyst type kids (see also Shake, Andrew or Waters, Jacob) who are going to fly around and cause havoc in their wake. And the strange thing is, there just isn't a weak link there to be found in Run Defense. Case in point, Jason Dormire had another big night (5 tackles, QB Sack) this week and nobody outside of Camp Point knows about him. If he played on the edge at Clark County or Palmyra, he'd be a household name. Here he is just part of this uber-talented collective. And that is the dilemma an Offensive Coordinator faces: who do you try to negate or take away? All of which is trouble enough until you discover quite by accident that Austin Kramberg is a great bad weather back and the Panther Offense is going to play keep away all night. Look, I built the Kramberg bandwagon this preseason because I saw him as a kind of Michael Tonry-type if he played Wingback experiment. I had no idea this kid had 200 "bad surface" yards and 3 touchdowns in him. That's Ashton Gronewold stuff right there, especially against that Defense. And yes, I realize the kid's line is amazing but come on. That cut back run through the heart of the Carrollton Defense for his second touchdown was nothing short of insane. Name me one thing at this point not to like about Central. That was just a scary good win. And human nature would probably dictate the Panthers are due for a let down in the aftermath of the Carrollton win; especially with a talented West Central squad coming to town (have you seen Barnett/Boehs run?) to fight for it's very playoff life on Friday. For mere mortal teams, this would have all the earmarks of a trap game. Beginning to think those parameters no longer apply here.

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      2) PALMYRA (8-0)

      Last Week: 58-0 win over Mark Twain

      Up Next: at Monroe City (KHQA Game of the Week)

      THE SKINNY: Much like the Central/ISD pairing earlier this season, we took a pass on getting highlights of the Palmyra/Mark Twain tilt for fear that it would not be a very competitive game. The Tigers are a couple of years away from being pretty darned good but playing an essentially JV nucleus here against this juggernaut wasn't going to end pretty and it didn't with the Tiger getting out-gained 463-14 in the yardage department. I saw former Mizzou Tiger Basketball star Kim English tweet out an old Mike Anderson analogy over the weekend about killing an ant with a sledgehammer; the mentality you should have when you are playing as a heavy favorite and Palmyra obviously showed plenty of finishing instinct in getting this thing over with in riding a three rushing touchdown, 160 yard ground night from Quarterback dynamo Brock Butler. Beyond that, Palmyra essentially finished its work and moves on to the next act. Granted, Palmrya will be a heavy, heavy favorite again this week but this is Monroe City week and crazy weird things tend to happen when these two archrivals get together. Monroe City is riding a two game win streak, has established Tariq Garner as a viable workhorse, and most importantly seems to be playing much better defense than what we saw out of these guys a month ago. Will that even slow Palmyra? Doubtful but again, I think the Panthers will get much more residual benefit in return here than they got a week ago. It will be charged, almost playoff-like atmosphere at Lankford Field. The Panthers boast a quarterback and dangerous wide receivers who will command the full attentions of Palmyra's talented secondary. And if Monroe City starts hanging around with Palmyra early, the collar will start getting a little tight. To be honest, I like this as a District Primer game more than records or talent bases would indicate. Max-Q Palmyra is as fun a team to watch as I can remember in the last three years. There's a good chance the spectre of this rivalry will evoke that on Friday and that would make for a really fun ticket.

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      3) CENTRALIA (7-1)

      Last Week: 55-22 win at Louisiana

      Up Next: vs Macon

      THE SKINNY: Sports Director Duerr has responsibilities to fans and sponsors and an audience to cater to and must be back on set at 10:20 to anchor Sports Final. Football Fan Duerr would, in his heart of hearts, love to jettison all of that this week and simply set up shop at The Chair Game to watch one of his favorite rivalries anywhere. And I think this year's incarnation will be sneaky good. Centralia warmed up for the big showdown with an absolute blistering of the Bulldogs; one that say the Panthers jump out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter with Zach Etzler rushing for three touchdowns and tossing another to Ethan Leighton. And the Centralia First Team Defense pitched a shutout of Louisiana before retiring for the night at halftime, when the bulk of the Bulldogs yardage and scoring damage was done. Methinks the test will be far more exacting this week. Macon is the first team since Palmyra with the ability to truly stretch the Centralia Defense (be it Joe Lewis or Brendan Watts) the fact that the Tigers have won seven games in a row, including a red letter victory over Brookfield last week, leads me to believe that Macon isn't going to shy away in this thing. I think this game hinges on whether or not Macon's Defense has the ability to account for and negate all of Centralia's big play threats. It starts with containment in the running game and that means bottling up both Cullen Ralphs and Zach Etzler, which is not a picnic. But if Macon can avoid a bunch of 2nd and 3rd and shorts, Centralia's play action passing game loses some of its surprise element potency. Those receivers are still big and daunting but at least the Tiger Secondary will have an idea what's coming. I am also anxious to see if Macon will be disciplined enough to play contain on Etzler and not let him freelance, which he does incredibly well. There's a lot of fun checks and balances at play here on two teams that have some of the most impressive pockets of strength in the Cannon. And I like the fact that Centralia is going to get pushed a little bit here in that it will continue to sharpen the Panthers for the Districts and beyond. This game benefits both teams going forward.

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      4) QND (7-1)

      Last Week: 54-6 win at West Hancock

      Up Next: vs MonRose

      THE SKINNY: The Raiders secured their first West Central Conference in rather emphatic fashion, putting up 41 first half points before calling off the dogs early and resting the troops for the Season Finale. Again, outside of another big stat stuffing night from Daylin Anders and a spectacular catch from Jordan Chapel, there isn't a whole lot resonant here. QND attended its business and put itself squarely on path for an 8-1 finish and a home playoff date. The most interesting permutation of the week actually came off the field for Bill Connell as it is beginning to look like there is fair chance the Raiders could slide down to a 3A Playoff, which would provide a far more favorable draw for a team with the ability to create unique Defensive Match Up issues with its phalanx of Wide Receivers to open up room in the run game. Throw out that awful Helias game (and lets be blunt, the Raiders were more plain "off" psychologically, particularly on Defense that night than Helias was good) and you'd have a hard time pointing to things about this QND team you don't like. Is there one fatal weakness here? Not really. The lesson of that Helias loss seems to have resonated here because the tackling is no longer tentative; it's aggressive and competently finished. And this is the rare team that is as physical at the back of a defense as it is at the front, when playing at Max-Q. Offensive Line play has been very solid, both in pass protection and lane clearance. Joey McCaughey looks very comfortable running the offense...and again...those receivers are just dynamite. Warming quickly to the idea of these guys making a nice run into November...provided these guys don't revert into another Crusader type clunker somewhere down the road. When QND plays confident football, they've got a chance to hang with anyone. Particularly if those "anybodies" are of the 3A variety. Just something to watch for when the Field of 256 is made official on Saturday.

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      5) BROWN COUNTY (7-1)

      Last Week: 54-28 win over Calhoun

      Up Next: at Pleasant Hill/Western

      THE SKINNY: Just another run-of-the-mill blowout win by "Team Methodical" in taking apart Calhoun as the Hornets salted away this game early and never looked back. As usual, Tom Little mixed up the offense, got a lot of different kids looks in the right spots, as the Hornet Offense continues to tune up nicely for what is starting to look like it could be a very long playoff push. I think if you can divorce yourself from the opening night "jitters" game against Greenfield, it's pretty easy now to envision the Hornets as the second best team in the WIVC and maybe the only one capable of hanging with Central. Be kind of fun to see the Week Nine Hornets against Greenfield for comparison sake, wouldn't it? Or better yet Carrollton. But in the absence of that, we will at least get to see BC end the regular season and hone itself for the playoffs going on the road to take on a big, physical, and (speaking plainly) desperate for a win to save their playoff hopes Pleasant Hill/Western squad that figures to put up ample resistance and physicality. Bottom line, however, is that the Hornets also match up better with the Wolves than any team on the schedule given that PHill/Western has no answer for the Hornets edge speed or athleticism. Their best hope is to muck this up and force BC into a slug fest between the tackles. It's a tough sell to dictate game plan to Brown County (heck, Central was barely able to get the Hornets out of their comfort zones until late in that game) and the Hornets are probably as immune to being "stylistically countered" as any team on this list. To wit, this is a better unit now than the one we saw look uneven against Triopia's size/strength. BC is going to do what they do and defy you to stop them. And very few have this season. More to the point, the Hornets are going to open the postseason with momentum, a healthy roster, and one of the best home field advantages in Small School Football. This is not a draw you want to see as an opponent come Saturday Night.

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      6) MACON (7-1)

      Last Week: 12-7 win over Brookfield

      Up Next: at Centralia

      THE SKINNY: It was hardly a thing of beauty, at least from an Offensive standpoint, but the Macon Tigers were able to slug their way clear of Brookfield's stingy defense with twelve first half points and enough stellar defense of their own to make it stand up. When you can beat a team of Brookfield's ilk with both your rainmakers (Joe Lewis and Craig Smith) having "off" nights that is very telling. Chris Little's heart and determination was on full display in the victory as he ground his way to 98 of the hardest earned yards any back in this area will amass this season. And without that performance, Macon might not have enough in the tank to keep the Brookfield Offense off the field and salt away this game. But the big story of the night was the continued and crescendo-ing brilliance of the Tiger Defense. CJ Gast, now fully looking like the tackle machine of old, led a sensational charge up front with 12 total tackles on the night while Christian Thrasher (6 solo stops and a pick) helped effectively close off the back third of the field to the Brookfield passing game. Five interceptions on the night (including a pair unexpectedly up front from Brandon Sontheimer as well as one from Bradley Burkhardt there as well) speaks volumes about the way Macon responded, adapted and attacked aggressively all of Brookfield's soft targets. It was a really stellar game plan and one Pete Claas and his staff should be commended for. And if they somehow find a way to scheme away Centralia's even more considerable weapons this week, every one of those guys deserves a considerable raise. It's a tall order, given the opponent and location, but right now Macon's Defense is as confident as any in the area, rolling in momentum, and has a host of kids stepping up in big spots proving themselves "closers" when called upon. Again, it's a really tall order, but if you a forced to slay a Dragon, then do it on your timetable. And Macon is about as well-heeled for that task this week as they are going to be.

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      7) QUINCY HIGH (6-2)

      Last Week: 14-12 win over Galesburg

      Up Next: vs Peoria Richwoods

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      THE SKINNY: Let's be honest here. Any win over Galesburg is a good win for Quincy High, given the Streaks strange ability to play over their record and heads when the Blue Devils are involved. Whatever strange sway the Streaks have over QHS was exemplified again Friday by the struggles of the Blue Devil Offense, which never seemed to find a consistent rhythm or comfort zone at any point. The Devils would follow up a decent run by Malique Robbins or Jordan Osborne with a self inflicted mistake or blocking breakdown. One step, two steps back kind of night. And one shudders to think what might have been if Bryce Unmisig doesn't bust off that 60 yard beauty in the first half, which actually accounted for a quarter of the Blue Devils rushing total on the night. The safety net here was a complete and dominant effort by the Blue Devil Defense to ensure Win Number Six and the teams first (now guaranteed) playoff berth since 2010. I was very impressed with a number of aspects of the way the Devils defended. The Defensive Line (which gets very little pub) isn't spectacular, but those guys are really good at holding up Offensive Linemen and allowing Malik Bondon and River Bugh to run to contact. The Pass Defense was water tight, holding the Streaks to 36% efficiency and just 72 yards, 36 of which came on a freakish tipped touchdown reception in the end zone. As mentioned above, I thought the Defensive Backs and Linebackers, without exception looked really comfortable dropping back and making plays. And I loved the way QHS tightened the screws and played in the red zone with even more bite. Bondon is a monster. Wes Creasy is exceptionally underrated. Bugh is already a cult hero. And Parker Schutte...well, see above. Just very, very impressed. Now lets see if that QHS Offense can get it cranked back up this week and improve the draw with a seventh win.

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      THE NEXT LEVEL

      8) HANNIBAL (6-2)

      One blown coverage last November cost the Pirates a win over Helias and probable trip to the Show Me Bowl. Hannibal kids have had this dates marked on their calendar's for a full year and are now empowered to write a new ending. But it will be an exceedingly tall order against and exceedingly talented opponent.

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      9) JACKSONVILLE (6-2)

      The Crimsons booked passage back to the playoffs with a very tidy first half performance at Breese Mater Dei that toed the line of exception run/pass balance between Floyd Lomelino and Bryce Schnitker. Like Hannibal, however, the Crimsons find themselves with the toughest possible Week Nine Draw as undefeated, top-ranked Rochester rolls into town.

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      10) BOWLING GREEN (6-2)

      The Bobcats weathered a cold start (thanks in no small part to uneven special teams play) to regain traction with a 53-18 win over Van-Far. This has been a hard team to figure. Despite the impressive win/loss total, Bowling Green doesn't have a win to its credit this season over a team that currently has a winning record. And the Bobcats got run in the one Red Letter game they have played by Montgomery County.

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      11) ILLINI WEST (5-3)

      The struggles continue to mount for IW stopping the run. If last week's lopsided loss to IVC wasn't motivation enough for the Chargers, consider this: should Illini West drop Friday's game at Pittsfield/Griggsville-Perry, a lack of playoff points could leave Lyle Klein's team on the outside looking in come playoff pairings time on Saturday.

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      12) PARIS (5-3)

      Suffered an ugly beat against a really quality opponent in which Marceline completely negated (-24 yards rushing) the Coyotes ground game. The Coyotes need something better this weekend against Paris to build a little traction for Districts.

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      13) SOUTH SHELBY (4-4)

      Monster games from Brett Threkeld and Trace Windsor on Offense, bench mark performance from a Jacob Trivette (14 tackles) led Defense in Kahoka keep the Cardinals win streak rolling with an uber-impressive performance in Kahoka. As if on cue, the Cardinals are poised to his Districts playing their best football of the year.

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      WORTH CONSIDERING

      14) BEARDSTOWN (5-3)

      15) SCOTLAND COUNTY (4-4)

      16) UNITY-PAYSON (4-4)

      17) WEST CENTRAL (4-4)

      18) PLEASANT HILL/WESTERN (4-4)

      19) CLARK COUNTY (4-4)

      20) KEOKUK (3-5)

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      FEARLESS DUERR PREDICTIONS FOR WEEK NINE

      Last Week: 19 of 23 (82.6%)

      Season to Date: 149 of 184 (81%)

      ROCHESTER 42

      JACKSONVILLE 21

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      RICHWOODS 17

      QUINCY HIGH 13

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      QND 28

      MONROSE 18

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      WEST CENTRAL 14

      CENTRAL 42

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      BROWN COUNTY 27

      PHILL/WESTERN 18

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      UNITY/PAYSON 18

      NORTH GREENE 6

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      ILLINI WEST 35

      PGP 14

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      MACOMB 40

      WEST HANCOCK 8

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      BEARDSTOWN 28

      NORTH FULTON 0

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      R/I 17

      LEWISTOWN 34

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      KEOKUK 28

      FORT MADISON 13

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      HELIAS 32

      HANNIBAL 27

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      PALMRYA 42

      MONROE CITY 20

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      SOUTH SHELBY 43

      MARK TWAIN 8

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      MACON 12

      CENTRALIA 18

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      HIGHLAND 20

      LOUISIANA 13

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      KNOX COUNTY 28

      NORTH SHELBY 13

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      SCOTLAND COUNTY 39

      SCHUYLER COUNTY 7

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

      RANDOM MUSINGS

      Bob Nielson isn't messing around on the recruiting trail. Per Evan Flood of 247 Sports in Wisconsin, the Leatherneck Boss has received a commit from dynamic 6'3" Franklin Quarterback Sean McGuire. You can catch a sneak peek of the future WIU Signal Caller here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4VvZFW8-oA

      Coy Dorothy's first collegiate Quarterback start at MacMurray saw him throw a pair of touchdown passes, including an 80 yarder, and rush for a team high 70 yards on 22 carries in a 23-15 loss to Eureka. It's a very good thing Coy is as mobile as he is because the pocket was constantly in a state of collapse for him on Saturday.

      With 956 rushing yards on the season, Illinois College's Cecil Brimmage currently ranks fifth in productivity among All NCAA Division III rushers.

      Culver Stockton Football is still winless on the season but the Wildcats have been more competitive on the field. And that's making football seem like a much more viable option for athletes on campus. I am told that former Scotland County RB/WR Zach Miller and former Macon Defensive End Kendall Kothe are strongly leaning to ending one year football sabbaticals and joining the Wildcat Grid ranks next season. Both were All Do or Die Bowl invitees this past Summer.

      There has been a lot of talk and conjecture about the semantics of Melissa Young's departure (release or resignation) from the Culver Stockton Women's Basketball Program. I spoke with C-SC Athletic Director Greg McVey for clarification on Tuesday, shortly after the school had announced the hire of Janette Burgin (former QU Hawk/current Central Methodist Assistant) to replace Melissa, and the Wildcat AD told me in no uncertain terms that Melissa resigned her position of her own volition and accord and that any other account of that decision was misconstrued.

      A win over Mount Pleasant last week certainly helped but the Keokuk Chiefs will still need some assistance to make the Iowa Football Playoffs. Per our friend Brad Cameron at the Daily Gate City: Keokuk must not only beat Fort Madison on the road on Friday but the Chiefs also need Centerville to upset seventh ranked Washington to punch a postseason return ticket. If the Big Red loses, Fairfield and not Keokuk would be playoff bound.

      Paris Coyote Track and Field Star Zane Lockhart pledged UMKC this week. Lockhart finished fifth in Missouri Class 2 in the Triple Jump this past season and is expected to compete in both the Triple and Long Jumps in College.

      With a win in Marshall on Saturday, the Hannibal Lady Pirates guarantee their fourth straight NCMC Volleyball Crown.

      Payson Seymour announced this week that it will field a Varsity Girls Basketball team, as a solo artist, for the first time since 1989 this winter. Jessica Spears has been hired to helm the program as head coach.

      Holy Trinity Junior Sensation Mikaela Foecke currently leads the State of Iowa in Kills with 598. The Nebraska commits Kill Efficiency (.597) also significantly dwarfs any other player in the state with 600 or more Kill attempts. What may surprise you is that fellow Crusader Junior Nicole Wilkens is also tops in IGHSAU Spikes with 128 Aces on the year as well.

      Quincy High's Michael Longo has garnered All State Soccer Recognition. The Blue Devils Hunter Hoschar along with QND's Cooper Reis and Evan Riggs earned the Distinction of being All Sectional Selections. Raider Keeper Zeke Little was a Sectional Honorable Mention pick.

      Love to have someone from the IHSA explain some day how the assign Regional and Sectional Sites. Two of the three sites we frequented this week for games, Raymond and Alton, seem really week alternatives when there are now so many turf fields or facilities with better amenities and seating situations for patrons. No quibble whatsoever about Mendota (where Macomb played Sectional action) which is an absolute palace. But it's not like there aren't similar options to found in the Metro East and Springfield regions as well for teams that deserve a little better venue.

      Girls tease last week. Time for the gentlemen: Your KHQA Boys Basketball Preseason Player of the Year is, to the surprise of no one, is Dan Majere-esque Payson Seymour Swingman Cody Hildebrand.

      Preseason All Do or Die Basketball Team

      First Team

      Guard: Tyler Niemann, Canton

      Guard: Jonny Dahl, Keokuk

      Guard: Miles Wentzien, Fort Madison

      Forward: Lane Davis, Unity

      Center: Kenny Lesley, Elsberry

      Sixth Man: Wayde Smith, Pittsfield

      2nd Team

      Guard: Brock Butler, Palmyra

      Guard: Trevor Meny, Palmyra

      Forward: Royce Poore, Knox County

      Forward: Tristan Castiglia, Louisiana

      Center: Gabe McKenzie, Canton

      Sixth Man: Austin Richmiller, Highland

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