NOVEMBER 11 – Saturday was a rocky road for a trio of NowDecatur coverage area high school football teams, as the Mt. Zion Braves, Maroa-Forsyth Trojans, and Argenta-Oreana Bombers fell short in the second round of the IHSA Playoffs.
The dream of the big match-up fell one team short between Maroa-Forsyth and St. Teresa, after the Trojans (9-2) hit the road for a rematch with Auburn (8-3), and fell just short, driving to win in the closing moments, 16-14. St. Teresa (10-1) also had a rematch, back to Week Four against Tuscola (8-3), but had little trouble advancing to the elite eight round, with the 63-20 victory over the Warriors. St. Teresa will now follow Maroa-Forsyth, on the road to Auburn, to play the other Trojans, to try to advance to the state semifinals.
Mt. Zion (10-1) closed their season in Joliet, against the Hilltoppers of Joliet Catholic (8-3). The Braves trailed 27-0 at halftime, but shutout Joliet in the second half, and scored twice in the fourth quarter, to fall 27-14. The Braves did have a drive stall close to the goalline, and missed a pair of field goals, courtesy of the windy afternoon, proving Mt. Zion kept the fight alive all day long.
In the 1A south bracket, Central A&M (11-0) coasted to the victory over the Fisher Bunnies (8-3), leading 35-0 early, and finishing the running-clock performance winning, 69-34. Another all-local postseason match-up dream was shattered in the 1A bracket, as Argenta-Oreana’s fourth-quarter-rally one-eighty’d, and Carrollton (9-2) would win it, 48-35.
The Bombers (9-2) led 21-20 from the three-minute mark of the second quarter until just under nine minutes to play in the game, when the Hawks scored, recovered a fumbled kickoff return by the Bombers, and a few plays later scored again to take a 34-21 lead. But Argenta-Oreana answered with a touchdown drive that included a pair of fourth down conversions, before quarterback Josh Williams, busted loose for a 37-yard touchdown run. Makail Stanley then won a footrace to the ball as the Bombers recovered the onside kick, picked up a could first downs. Stalled out on fourth down. held a few plays defensively, got a Dirk Buhlig interception, and a few plays later, saw Williams break free again for a 33-yard score, and the sudden 35-34 lead.
But the gas tank appeared empty and in the closing minutes, not only did Carrollton drive down for the go-ahead score, they sacked Williams on the closing drive with seconds remaining, forcing a fumble that turned into a scoop-and-score, to make-up the two-score victory.
Below are the capsules of the final two NowDecatur programs, including games within our extended coverage area.
NowDecatur.com Team Capsules
(1) The Central A&M Raiders vs. (4) Arcola Purple Riders
Game Information – Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Mark Ramsey Field in Moweaqua
Records – The Raiders are 11-0, and finished 7-0 as the outright Central Illinois Conference Champions … The Purple Riders are 9-2, and finished 6-1 in second place of the Lincoln Prairie Conference
Coaches – Brent Weakly (CAM) is in his fifth season as head coach of the Raiders with a 31-20 record … Nick Lindsey (ARC) is in his third season as head coach of the Purple Riders with a 24-8 record
Scoring – The Raiders have scored 520 points this season and given up 165 … The Purple Riders have outscored their opponents 361-242
Best Wins – Raiders 69-34 in second round over Fisher, 55-20 in opening round over Havana, 49-14 at Tuscola, and 28-26 at St. Teresa … Purple Riders 23-14 in second round over Greenfield-Northwestern, 42-19 in opening round over Oakland Tri-County, 43-6 at Argenta-Oreana, 36-7 vs. ALAH, 41-6 at Villa Grove-Heritage, and 62-20 in regular season vs. Oakland Tri-County
The Winner’s Next Game – (7) Carrollton (9-2) at (6) Athens (9-2) … if the Raiders advance, they will travel to the winner of Carrollton/Athens in the state semifinals
(3) The St. Teresa Bulldogs @ (10) The Auburn Trojans
Game Information – Kickoff time is 3 pm at Michael J. Potts Memorial Field in Auburn
Records – The Bulldogs are 10-1, and finished 6-1 in second place of the Central Illinois Conference … The Auburn Trojans are 8-3, and finished 6-3 in fourth place of the Sangamo Conference
Coaches – Mark Ramsey (STT) is in his fourth season as head coach of the Bulldogs with a 43-6 record … Dave Bates (AUB) is in his 34th season as head coach of the Trojans with a 232-115 record
Scoring – The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents, 475-101 … The Auburn Trojans have outscored their opponents, 341-193
Best Wins – Bulldogs 63-20 in second round over Tuscola, 52-7 in the opening round over Hamilton County, 28-12 over Tuscola, & 42-0 at Clinton … Auburn 16-14 in second round over Maroa-Forsyth, 19-0 in the opening round at Chester, 27-7 vs. North Mac, & 35-6 vs. New Berlin
The Winner’s Next Game – (1) Pana (10-1) at (5) Nashville (10-1) … if the Bulldogs advance they will either travel to Pana, or host Nashville, in the Semifinals
Class 3A NowDecatur.com Area Match-ups
(3) Vandalia (11-0) @ (2) Williamsville (11-0), SAT @ 2 p.m.
Class 4A NowDecatur.com Area Match-ups
(3) Effingham (10-1) @ (10) Fairbury Prairie Central, SAT. @ 2 p.m.
Class 5A NowDecatur.com Area Match-ups
(11) Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (8-3) @ (2) Rochester (10-1), SAT. @ 3:30 p.m.
Class 6A NowDecatur.com Area Match-up
(2) Chatham Glenwood (11-0) @ New Lenox Providence Catholic (8-3), SAT. @ 2 p.m.