OCTOBER 25 – The High School Football regular season closes on Friday night, signaling an end of season for seven of our coverage-area squads, uncountable careers of outgoing seniors, and likely the end of night football for 2019, with the postseason on deck.
Seven local teams are primed to make postseason trips, as Central A&M (8-0), Mt. Zion (8-0), Maroa-Forsyth (7-1), St. Teresa (7-1), and Argenta-Oreana (7-1) have postseason berths locked-up, while MacArthur (5-3) and Clinton (5-3) can officially punch their ticket with wins, although each should have enough Opponent Wins to enter the postseason at 5-4.
The NowDecatur broadcasts will keep all 20 Central Illinois match-ups well updated throughout the night, as the Earthmover Credit Union Game of the Week ventures to the west side of Decatur, where the Generals and coach Derek Spates battle the Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin Cyclones (5-3). Aric Lee and ‘T-Mac’ Tony McClain go live at 6:45 p.m. with the Dale’s Southlake Pharmacy Pregame Show, ahead of the 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPNDecatur 1050 AM.
The St. Teresa Bulldogs (7-1) aim to lock up a postseason opening round home game, and a top three seed in the 2A playoffs, when they travel to Shelbyville, to clash with a desperate 4-4 Rams squad, who need a win for a playoff trip. Scott Harrelson and Blake Allison return to the booth for the broadcast on WSOY 1340 AM/103.3 FM for the 6:45 p.m. pregame.
Scott Chapman returns to the road, courtesy of McLeod Trucking, with live updates from Troy (6-2) @ Mt. Zion (8-0), Auburn (6-2) @ Maroa-Forsyth (7-1), and possibly Clinton (5-3) @ Warrensburg-Latham (3-5).
The Extended Pregame Show fires at 6:05 p.m. on both stations, featuring Morgan Vogels, Chapman, Dominique Bates-Smith, and Cassie Meyer. All broadcasts will also be available live on NowDecatur.com and on the free NowDecatur App.
Lee and McClain return to the Millikin University booth on Saturday afternoon, as the Big Blue (3-3, 2-3 in CCIW) host the Elmhurst Bluejays (1-5, 1-4). Pregame begins on ESPNDecatur 1050 AM and NowDecatur.com at 12:30 p.m., with an interview with head coach Dan Gritti. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.
The University of Illinois (3-4, 1-3 in Big Ten) returns to action for the first time since last week’s monumental upset of 6th-ranked Wisconsin. Coach Lovie Smith’s Fighting Illini travel to West Lafayette (IN) to play the Boilermakers of Purdue (2-5, 1-3). Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. after the 10 a.m. pregame show on WSOY.
Finally, the NFL schedule fills Sunday and Monday on ESPNDecatur, starting with the Chicago Bears (3-3) fighting to get back on the winning track against the Los Angeles Chargers (2-5). Pregame begins at 11:30 a.m., with a noon kickoff.
The Westwood One Prime Time slate continues on Sunday and Monday nights, starting with the Green Bay Packers (6-1) traveling to play the Kansas City Chiefs (5-2), pregame at 6:30 p.m., kickoff at 7:20 p.m. And Monday Night Football offers the Miami Dolphins (0-6) at the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4), pregame at 6:30 p.m., kickoff at 7:15 p.m.