Western Big 6
Moline (6-1) at Sterling (6-1)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
About the Maroons: Moline boasts the top scoring offense (47.0 points per game) and rushing offense (309.8 yards per game) in the Western Big 6, and also has the best scoring defense (7.0 points per game allowed) and rushing defense (59.2 yards per game allowed) in the league. … RB Riley Fuller is second in the WB6 in rushing (533 yards, 6 TDs). … On the season, Fuller has run for 728 yards and 7 TDs on 107 rushes. Gavin Grace (40 rushes, 233 yards, 9 TDs) and Cranston Wall (14 rushes, 232 yards, 1 TD) also have more than 200 yards rushing, and nine different Maroons have at least nine carries. … QB Alec Ponder is 63-for-125 passing for 1,070 yards, 12 TDs and 7 INTs. His favorite targets are Matthew Bailey (28 catches, 535 yards, 7 TDs), Grant Sibley (10 catches, 126 yards, 1 TD) and Colin Shultz (8 catches, 204 yards, 3 TDs). … Moline is ranked No. 10 in the AP Class 7A poll.
About the Golden Warriors: Sterling has the second-best scoring offense (42.0 points per game) and rushing offense (261.8 yards per game) in the WB6, as well as the second-best scoring defense (16.2 points per game allowed), rush defense (125.2 yards per game allowed) and pass defense (90.0 yards per game allowed). … A win would secure the Warriors a share of their third conference title in as many years since joining the league. … Antonio Tablante leads the WB6 in rushing with 123 carries for 783 yards and 11 TDs. … The QB platoon of Drew Kested, Garrett Polson and Colt Adams is 56-for-91 passing for 639 yards, 6 TDs and 4 INTs. … Carter Ryan (25 catches, 363 yards, 4 TDs) and Tommy Tate (9 catches, 57 yards) lead the Sterling receiving corps. … The Golden Warriors are ranked fifth in the AP Class 5A poll.
FND pick: Sterling
Byron (7-0) at Dixon (5-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
About the Tigers: Byron sits alone atop the Big Northern standings at 7-0, and has scored the most points in the league through seven weeks (291) while allowing the second-fewest (56), behind only Genoa-Kingston’s 49. … The Tigers have scored at least 35 points in all but one game this year, a 7-3 win over G-K in Week 4. Byron has put up 41 or more points five times, while allowing more than one score only twice. … The Tigers have allowed a total of 24 points in the last four weeks, giving up single touchdowns in wins over North Boone, Rock Falls and Oregon, and only the field goal to G-K.
About the Dukes: Dixon has scored the second-most points in the BNC this season (259), and has allowed the third-fewest (94). … The Dukes have scored at least 35 points four times this year. … This will be Dixon’s final game of the season at A.C. Bowers Field, as it goes on the road in Week 9 to face Rock Falls. … Rylan Ramsdell has run for 476 yards and 5 TDs on 71 rushes, while Tyler Shaner has 430 yards and 5 TDs rushing to go with 905 yards and 15 TDs passing, against only three interceptions. … Zavion Johnson has 416 yards and 4 TDs on 32 rushes, an average of 13 yards per carry. … Mason Randick (28-336, 9 TDs), Jacob Gusse (20-264, 4 TDs) and Jath St. Pier (14-225, 2 TDs) have all reached double-digits in receptions. … Senior Jacob Gaither has returned to action after suffering a broken and dislocated pinky finger in the week leading up to the season opener and had surgery to repair it. It is unknown if he will play QB or receiver. … Dixon received a vote in the latest AP Class 4A poll.
FND pick: Byron
Rock Falls (1-6) at Oregon (1-6)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
About the Rockets: Since its only win in Week 1, Rock Falls has been outscored 242-55. … The Rockets scored 22 points in a loss to North Boone last week, the first time since the 50-0 win over Rockford Christian that they have scored more than once in a game. … It will be the final road game of the season for Rock Falls, as it hosts Dixon in Week 9. … In the five games between the opener and Week 7, Booker Cross scored all three of Rock Falls’ touchdowns.
About the Hawks: Oregon has been outscored 235-71 this season, and has scored more than one touchdown in a game just once – in a 45-20 win over Rockford Christian in Week 2. … The Hawks have scored 7, 6, 6, 0 and 7 points in their last five games, while allowing at least 35 in four of them; the only one that was close was a 13-6 loss to Rockford Christian in Week 5. … This will be Oregon’s final home game of the season, as it visits North Boone in Week 9.
FND pick: Oregon
Newman (4-3) at Mendota (5-2)
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
About the Comets: Newman has outscored its opponents 151-114 this season, but needs to win one of its next two games to become eligible for the playoffs; it hosts Kewanee in Week 9. … The Comets have made 19 consecutive playoff appearances, and 26 in the last 27 seasons, winning five state titles in that span. … The Comets have won and lost every other game this season, with wins in Weeks 1, 3, 5 and 7 and losses in Weeks 2, 4 and 6. … The 43 points Newman scored in last week’s shutout win over Hall is the most the Comets have put up in a game this season. … Ethan Van Landuit (307 yards, 3 TDs), Nolan Britt (289 yards, 4 TDs), Marcus Williams (285 yards, 4 TDs), Brennen Cook (257 yards, 4 TDs), Hunter Luyando (134 yards, 1 TD) and Mason Glaudel (101 yards, 2 TDs) have all rushed for over 100 yards this season. … After throwing for 85 yards against Hall, Cody Donna is 22-for-47 passing for 204 yards and a touchdown. … Van Landuit (7 catches, 71 yards) and Owen McBride (6 catches, 122 yards, TD) lead the receiving corps.
About the Trojans: Mendota was short-handed in last week’s 56-7 loss to Kewanee, as three of its four captains missed the game with injury. … The Trojans had four turnovers – three interceptions and one lost fumble – and a failed fake punt on their first five drives against Kewanee, as the Boilermakers build a 28-0 lead after one quarter and a 49-0 lead by halftime. … Mendota was limited to 205 total yards last week, its lowest output of the season. … QB Ted Landgraf has completed 34-of-90 passes for 496 yards and 5 TDs with 7 interceptions, while running for 467 yards and 5 TDs. … RB Uzi Angulo has rushed for 607 yards and 8 TDs on 94 attempts.
FND pick: Newman
Riverdale (0-7) at Morrison (1-6)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
About the Rams: Riverdale has allowed the second-most points in the Three Rivers West this year (319), and has scored the second-fewest (77). … The Rams have scored 12 points or fewer in five of their seven games, and have allowed at least 41 points in six games. … After playing its closest game of the season, a 34-21 loss to St. Bede in Week 5, Riverdale has lost 42-6 to Erie-Prophetstown and 46-6 to Monmouth Roseville the last two weeks.
About the Mustangs: Morrison has been outscored 212-80 this season, having allowed 27 or more points in all six losses. … The Mustangs’ lone win was a 12-6 victory over winless Sherrard in Week 5. … Morrison has scored 20 or more points just twice this season, in losses to Monmouth-Roseville and Hall. … Since the Week 5 win, the Mustangs have losses to Rockridge (27-8) and Orion (30-0).
FND pick: Morrison
Erie-Prophetstown (5-2) at Monmouth-Roseville (6-1)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
About the Panthers: Erie-Prophetstown is on a five-game winning streak after losing its first two games of the season, and can clinch at least a share of the division title with a win. … The Panthers have scored the most points in the Three Rivers West (258), and have allowed the fewest (119). They have allowed more than 15 points in a game only once – and that was in a 50-48 win over Rockridge in Week 4. … Erie-Prophetstown has scored at least 35 points in each of its five wins, and 49 or more in three of them. … QB Kolby Franks and RB Connor Sibley both ran for 127 yards in last week’s 35-12 win over Bureau Valley, with Franks scoring two TDs and Sibley and Jase Grunder also running for scores. … Franks also threw for 126 yards against BV, including a 32-yard TD pass to Mason Misfeldt. … The Panthers receoved votes in the latest AP Class 2A poll.
About the Titans: Monmouth-Roseville’s 237 points are second in the TRAC West, and the 164 points allowed are the third-fewest. … After losing 42-8 to Kewanee in the season opener, the Titans have won six straight, scoring at least 34 points in five games and allowing 28 or fewer five times. … After a pair of close wins in Weeks 5 and 6 against Rockridge (18-15) and Orion (34-28), M-R rolled to a 46-6 win over Riverdale last week.
FND pick: Monmouth-Roseville
Bureau Valley (2-5) at Princeton (6-1)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
About the Storm: Bureau Valley is looking to snap a five-game losing streak after falling 35-12 to Erie-Prophetstown last week. … The Storm allowed 428 yards against E-P, including 302 on the ground. … Bureau Valley finished with 184 rushing yards and 61 passing yards last week. … Jaden Michlig has run for 652 yards and 4 TDs on 90 carries, while Levi Hardy has 312 yards and 7 TDs on 73 attempts, including 50 yards and a score against E-P. … After throwing for 140 yards and no TDs through the first four games, QB Adam Johnson has 241 passing yards and 3 TDs over the last three games.
About the Tigers: Princeton will play its Bureau County rival for the first time in more than two decades. The Tigers won the only two meetings by a combined score of 93-16. … The Tigers fell behind 13-7 last week against St. Bede, but scored the next five touchdowns en route to a 47-20 victory. … Augie Christiansen ran for 117 yards and 4 TDs on 13 carries last week, while QB Teegan Davis rushed for 215 yards and 3 TDs on 14 attempts. Davis also threw for 99 yards. … The Tigers allow 15.7 points per game and have held four opponents to seven points or less. … Princeton has scored 40 points or more five times this season. … The Tigers are ranked No. 6 in Class 3A in the latest AP poll.
FND pick: Princeton
Fulton (5-2) at Eastland-Pearl City (0-7)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
About the Steamers: Fulton became playoff eligible with last week’s 24-14 win over Forreston, and has outscored its opponents 183-153 this season. … The Steamers are 3-0 in games decided by 10 points or less. … Since suffering two losses in a three-week span, Fulton has a 42-14 win over Stockton and the victory over the Cardinals. … Keegan VanKampen leads the Steamers in rushing with 575 yards and 9 TDs, while Jacob Jones has 420 yards and 3 TDs rushing, and 188 yards and 2 TDs receiving. … Jones also threw a touchdown pass to Brock Mason last week. … Mason has 348 receiving yards and 5 TDs, while QB Brayden Dykstra threw for 126 yards and 2 TDs against Forreston. … Fulton is No. 5 in the AP Class 1A poll.
About the Wildcatz: EPC has scored more than 15 points in a game once, while allowing at least 34 five times. … A week after a heartbreaking 41-40 loss to Galena in double overtime, the Wildcatz fell 50-15 to East Dubuque last week. … EPC’s 103 points are second-fewest in the NUIC (Dakota, 58), and the 263 points allowed are the most. … QB Kellen Henze leads EPC in rushing and passing this season.
FND pick: Fulton
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (3-4) at Forreston (5-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
About the Falcons: GCMS plays in the Heart of Illinois Conference’s Small division, and is currently a half-game behind Colfax Ridgeview in the standings. … The Falcons followed up an opening-game loss with three straight wins, all fairly close – 26-13 over Fisher, 7-0 over El Paso-Gridley, and 14-7 over LeRoy. … Since that three-game winning streak, GCMS has scored a total of 15 points in losses to Eureka (29-7), Ridgeview (20-0) and Downs Tri-Valley (35-8). … The Falcons have scored only 68 points this season, fewest in their conference, but have also given up the fewest points in the league (131).
About the Cardinals: A 24-14 loss to Fulton last week snapped Forreston’s four-game winning streak, and ended a streak of three straight games scoring at least 52 points. … The Cardinals have scored at least 34 points in all five wins, and have scored a total of 14 points in their two losses. … Forreston’s 246 points scored are second in the NUIC only to Lena-Winslow (288), and its 125 points allowed is third-fewest. … Matthew Beltran had a touchdown catch and a touchdown run in the loss to Fulton last week. … The Cardinals had nine different ballcarriers in last week’s game. … Forreston is ranked sixth in the AP Class 1A poll.
FND pick: Forreston
Hiawatha (3-4) at Polo (7-0)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
About the Hawks: With last week’s 56-24 loss at Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland, Hiawatha has dropped two straight and four of five. This week’s game will be the Hawks’ last chance to beat a team with a winning record in the regular season. … Hiawatha has allowed at least 50 points in each of its losses this year. … Chris Brantley has been a force on both sides for the Hawks, regularly leading the team in rushing and anchoring a young defense. … “We know we’re playing a tough team,” coach Nick Doolittle said. “We have to play really well. We look forward to the challenge and getting back on track.”
About the Marcos: Polo, the No. 1 team in 8-man according to NUICFootball.com, has outscored opponents 251-72 this season, and that includes a pair of forfeits in Weeks 4 and 5. … Avery Grenoble has rushed for 100 yards in every game this season, adding 114 yards and 3 TDs in last week’s 50-0 win over Peoria Heights. It was the first game Brock Soltow didn’t also have 100 yards rushing; he ran for 52. … Four different Marcos ran for touchdowns in the victory, and QB Tyler Merdian ran for a score and threw for another, giving him either a rushing or passing touchdown in every game. … Grenoble and Soltow have both run for 12 TDs this season. … Polo has scored at least 40 points in four of its five contested wins, the lone outlier being a 36-28 win over Amboy in Week 3.
FND pick: Polo
Amboy (4-3) at Orangeville (6-1)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
About the Clippers: Amboy, ranked ninth in 8-man by NUICFootball.com, has outscored its opponents 259-158 this season, and has scored 52 or more points in all three of its contested wins, but 28 or fewer in two of its three losses. … The Clippers moved over .500 with a forfeit win over AFC last week. … Amboy has scored 60 points in two of its last three games, wins in Week 4 over West Central and in Week 6 against Hiawatha. … QB Tucker Lindenmeyer has completed 24-of-41 passes for 520 yards and 9 TDs, with 2 interceptions, while rushing for 524 yards and 8 TDs. … RB Kye Koch has 333 rushing yards and 3 TDs, while WR Brennan Blaine has 14 catches for 339 yards and 6 TDs.
About the Broncos: Orangeville, ranked No. 3 in 8-man by NUICFootball.com, bounced back from its lone loss in Week 6 with a 70-8 rout of River Ridge last Friday night. It was the fourth game of the season that the Broncos have scored 56 points or more. … Orangeville holds a 336-154 scoring edge this season, with the 336 points the second-most scored behind only Milledgeville’s 338. … RB Gunar Lobdell has rushed for 1,491 yards on 122 attempts, an average of 12.2 yards per carry. He’s also scored 24 TDs on the ground. … QB Carson Rote has completed 19-of-29 passes for 356 yards and 6 TDs with no interceptions, while adding 276 yards and 5 TDs rushing. … WR Nate Anderson has caught eight passes for 202 yards and 4 TDs.
FND pick: Amboy