NewsTribune Football Notebook: Area QBs show ability to run the ball

Area quarterbacks have shown a knack for running the football this season, with six of eight starting quarterbacks rushing for more than 100 yards through three games.

Princeton quarterback Teegan Davis is second in the area in rushing yards with 359 yards, and he leads the area in rushing touchdowns with seven.

Amboy-LaMoille’s Tucker Lindenmeber (282 yards, four TDs) and La Salle-Peru’s Sean Whitfield (240 yards, four TDs) also are among the area’s top 10 in rushing, while St. Bede’s John Brady (151 yards, two TDs), Mendota’s Ted Landgraf (111 yards, TD) and Bureau Valley’s Adam Johnson (108 yards, four TDs) also have been threats to run the ball.

AIRING IT OUT

While most area quarterbacks have had the bulk of their success on the ground this season, Fieldcrest sophomore Koltin Kearfott used his arm in Friday’s 51-40 loss to Fisher.

Kearfott threw for 386 yards and four touchdowns.

His 386 yards in one game are more than five of the area’s other seven starting QBs have thrown for all season.

Only St. Bede’s John Brady (473 yards) and Princeton’s Teegan Davis (435 yards) have thrown for more yards this season than Kearfott did in Week 3.

EXTENDING THE STREAK

With its 28-0 victory Friday, the La Salle-Peru football team has won seven in a row against rival Ottawa.

The Cavaliers, who own a 67-50-5 advantage in the series, have not lost to the Pirates under coach Jose Medina.

It is the sixth time in the rivalry’s history that one of the teams has won at least seven straight games.

The Cavaliers won 12 straight from 1935-47 and seven in a row from 1981-87, while the Pirates won seven consecutive from 1961-67, eight in a row from 1988-95 and nine straight from 2005-14 excluding Ottawa’s forfeit in 2009.

– Brian Hoxsey contributed to this report

CLEARING THE WAY

While L-P’s starting offensive linemen – Will Daugherty, Aidan VanDuzer, Creed McCormick, Nik Belski and Josue Bustos – played a critical role in the Cavaliers’ racking up 358 rushing yards on 53 carries, several other members of the offense have been key contributors as well.

Ozzy Hernandz and Maalik Madrigal help block on the edge, while Joey Story serves as L-P’s blocking back.

“Ozzy is a little guy who is tough and gets after it. He likes to come down on some crack blocks,” Medina said. “Maalik is also out there to help on those blocks.

“Joey Story doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he does, but he sticks in there and gets positive plays for Matt Carrico and our offense as well.”

SPECIAL TEAMS STRONG FOR MENDOTA

Mendota is 3-0 for the first time since 2011, and special teams have played a key role in each win for the Trojans.

Emilio Perez has booted field goals in all three games, including from 27 and 35 yards, respectively, in Mendota’s 42-22 win over Bureau Valley in Week 3.

Damien Magallanes returned a punt for a score against Riverdale, and the Trojans opened Week 3 by recovering an onside kick.

Mendota also has been on the other side of momentum-changing special teams plays as Erie-Prophetstown returned a punt for a TD in Week 1.

“We have all those guys back,” Mendota coach Keegan Hill said about his special teams unit. “Our holder, punter, kicker and snapper are back. All those guys are seniors. We knew who was going to do it. They knew they were going to be the guy, so when their number is called they’re more confident in those situations as opposed to a first-time guy.

“Special teams are huge. We gave up a punt return against Erie-Prophetstown in Week 1 and gave them a chance to be in the game. We got a punt return touchdown against Riverdale and that helped close the door. All those kicking plays are big. We’ve executed on field goals, so if we need that in a close game we know we can do that in the flow of a game. They’re all weapons at our disposal.”