Illinois High School Football News

Sauk Valley Media area football preview capsules for Week 3

Rock Falls QB Easton Canales runs the ball Friday, Sept. 2, 2022 against Stillman Valley.


Sterling (1-1) at Galesburg (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Sterling 24-21 (2021 Week 3)

About the Golden Warriors: Sterling suffered just its fifth regular-season loss since the start of 2016 last week against Wheaton St. Francis. … The Warriors have outscored their two opponents 67-42 through two weeks. … JP Schilling ran for 53 yards and two touchdowns last week, while Kael Ryan had 43 rushing yards and two TDs. … Ryan ran for 138 yards and two scores on just five carries in Week 1. … Sterling scored two of the final three touchdowns last week against St. Francis.

About the Silver Streaks: Galesburg won 52-12 over Thornton last week, bouncing back from a 27-13 loss to Dunlap in the opener. … The Streaks haven’t had a winning season since an 8-3 record in 2016 – and that was their only season finishing above .500 since 2008, when they went 5-4 and missed the playoffs. … Galesburg won four of its final five games last season after an 0-4 start.

FND pick: Sterling


Rockford Christian (1-1, 1-1) at Dixon (2-0, 2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Dixon 62-0 (2021 Week 3)

About the Royal Lions: Rockford Christian notched its first win since the 2019 season with a 14-0 Week 1 victory over Rock Falls. … The Royal Lions led Oregon 8-0 early in the fourth quarter last week before the Hawks rallied to win 14-8 in overtime. … The eight-point scoring differential through two weeks is the closest of any BNC team. … Rockford Christian has never beaten Dixon when the two were both members of the Big Northern Conference.

About the Dukes: Dixon had a pair of players rush for 122 yards last week: Aiden Wiseman did it on 21 rushes, and had two touchdowns, while Tyler Shaner did it on 18 carries, with one TD. … Wiseman has run for 100 yards in each of the first two games, and has 256 yards and three TDs on 33 rushes. … Shaner has run for 175 yards and two scores, and thrown for 160 yards and three TDs. … Eli Davidson (6 catches, 92 yards, 1 TD) and Ethan Hays (7 catches, 63 yards, 2 TDs) lead the receiving corps. … After 14 penalties for 140 yards in their opener, the Dukes were flagged only twice for 20 yards last week. … Dixon has outscored Oregon and North Boone 55-20 in its two wins.

FND pick: Dixon

Winnebago (0-2, 0-2) at Rock Falls (0-2, 0-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Winnebago 45-8 (2021 Week 3)

About the Indians: Winnebago has lost its first two games by a combined 77-27, and come in off a 42-7 loss to defending 3A state champ Byron. … The Indians have never lost to Rock Falls since the Rockets joined the BNC in 2011, outscoring them 514-185 in 10 meetings. ‘Bago has never scored fewer than 43 points in a game, and has scored 60 or more three times. … Logan Olson leads the Indians with 27 rushes for 109 yards, and Supreme Muhammad has 55 yards on 19 carries. QB Alec Weavel is 21 for 36 passing for 247 yards and a touchdown, while Will Speltz leads the way with 4 catches for 77 yards and a TD.

About the Rockets: Rock Falls is looking for its first win of the season, after winning only one game in each of the last three full seasons. … The Rockets haven’t scored more than once in a game against ‘Bago since 2018. … Kohle Bradley’s touchdown in last week’s loss to Stillman Valley was Rock Falls’ first points of the season; it lost in a shutout in Week 1.

FND pick: Winnebago

Oregon (1-1, 1-1) at Stillman Valley (2-0, 2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Stillman Valley 36-7 (2021 Week 3)

About the Hawks: Gabe Eckerd scored both touchdowns for Oregon last week, on runs in the fourth quarter and in overtime to beat Rockford Christian.… Sophomore QB Jack Wahsburn threw for 182 yards in Week 1. … The Hawks haven’t beaten Stillman since a 14-7 victory in 2014.

About the Cardinals: Stillman has the BNC’s top three rushers through two weeks in Porter Needs (16 rushes, 179 yards, 2 TDs), Jory Spain (40-169, 3 TDs) and Braden Engel (13-125, TD). … The Cardinals defeated defending 3A state champ Byron 15-7 in overtime in Week 1, then downed Rock Falls 39-7 last Friday. … Stillman has a six-game winning streak against Oregon.

FND pick: Stillman Valley


Newman (1-1) at Orion (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Newman 27-13 (2021 Week 3)

About the Comets: Newman holds a 3-1 edge in the series since Orion joined the Three Rivers in 2013; the two teams didn’t play the first four years the Chargers were in the league. … The Comets’ defense has been their strength through the first two games, while their offense is still trying to get on track. … Newman has been outscored 39-36 this season. … The Comets have scored at least 27 points in their three wins over Orion in the last four full seasons.

About the Chargers: Orion’s last win against Newman was a 20-17 victory in 2017. … The Chargers have been outscored 72-62 in two games this season. They beat Hall 42-12 in the opener, then fell to Princeton 60-20 last week. … Orion trailed 37-7 at halftime last Friday, and fell behind 50-7 before scoring two late TDs.

FND pick: Newman

Mendota (1-1) at Bureau Valley (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Mendota 42-22 (2021 Week 3)

About the Trojans: Mendota had a win by forfeit last week due to Riverdale canceling its varsity season. The Trojans lost 54-34 to Erie-Prophetstown in Week 1. … Mendota allowed 501 rushing yards in its season opener. … Anthony Childs rushed for 278 yards and three touchdowns against E-P. … The Trojans beat the Storm last fall in Mendota’s first Three Rivers Conference Mississippi Division game.

About the Storm: Mason Goossens has scored all five of the Storm’s touchdowns this season, including three scores in BV’s 20-14 win over Sherrard last week. Bureau Valley fell behind 14-0 against Sherrard before scoring the final three TDs, including a 20-yard run by Goossens with 2:49 left. … Bryce Helms completed 2 of 4 passes for 24 yards against Sherrard after not completing a pass in six attempts in Week 1. … The Storm allowed 77 passing yards and 64 rushing yards last week. … Ayize Martin blocked a punt to set up a Storm TD last week.

FND pick: Mendota


Morrison (0-2) at Monmouth-Roseville (1-1)

When: 5 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: Monmouth-Roseville 43-28 (2021 Week 3)

About the Mustangs: Last year was the first meeting between the two teams since Mon-Rose joined the Three Rivers in 2017. … The Mustangs have been outscored 44-20 this season. … Morrison had a chance to tie last week’s game in the final four minutes, but had a bad snap on a two-point conversion after Danny Mouw connected with Chase Newman on a 40-yard TD pass with 3:59 to play. … Daeshaun McQueen scored the Mustangs’ lone TD against Newman in Week 1.

About the Titans: Mon-Rose has been outscored 50-46 this season, after a 22-16 Week 1 win over Kewanee and a 34-24 Week 2 loss to Hall. … The Titans gave up 215 yards rushing to Hall’s Mac Resetich last Friday. … Mon-Rose trailed 22-16 at halftime last week.

FND pick: Monmouth-Roseville

Sherrard (0-2) at Erie-Prophetstown (1-1)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: Erie-Prophetstown 55-0 (2021 Week 3)

About the Tigers: Sherrard has been outscored 48-28 through the first two games, and come in off a 20-14 loss to Bureau Valley after a 28-14 loss to St. Bede in Week 1. … The is the TRAC Rock opener for both teams. … The Tigers’ lone win against E-P since joining the league was a 28-6 victory in 2018. … Sherrard led 14-0 early in the second quarter last week, and still led 14-12 midway through the fourth, but BV scored with 2:49 left to win it.

About the Panthers: Jase Grunder has scored seven touchdowns in two games, following a five-TD performance in Week 1 with a 215-yard rushing game in Week 2; he had two TDs in that one, including a 91-yarder. … Tyler Ballard had two rushing TDs in Week 1, and caught a scoring strike from Jack Minssen last week. … E-P has been outscored by one point, 75-74, through the first two weeks. … The Panthers are 5-1 against Sherrard since the Tigers joined the Three Rivers in 2013.

FND pick: Erie-Prophetstown


Eastland-Pearl City (0-2) at Forreston (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Forreston 34-13 (2021 Week 3)

About the Wildcatz: EPC has been outscored 86-12 through two games, with losses to Lena-Winslow and Stockton. … Carsen Heeren was 2 for 14 passing for 32 yards last week, while Maddux Hayden (10 carries, 34 yards) and Ethan Petta (5-40) led the ground game. … Heeren threw for 91 yards in Week 1, while Hayden ran for 29 to lead the ‘Catz against Le-Win.

About the Cardinals: Forreston has had 11 different players with rushing attempts through the first two games. Johnny Kobler leads the way with 239 yards after back-to-back 100-yard games. … Kaleb Sanders has run for 201 yards, while Micah Nelson has 130 yards through two games. … Brock Smith is 2 for 9 passing. … The Cardinals hold a 70-50 scoring edge through two games.

FND pick: Forreston

Fulton (2-0) at Durand-Pecatonica (2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Du-Pec 38-24 (2021 Week 3)

About the Steamers: Fulton has allowed the fewest points of any NUIC team through the first two weeks with 12, while scoring the second-most with 94. … Lukas Schroeder leads Fulton with 248 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while Ryan Eads has 188 yards and two TDs on the ground, and six catches for 54 yards and one score receiving. … Brayden Dykstra is 16 for 26 for 194 yards and three TDs. Baylen Damhoff has six catches for 89 yards. … Endi Qunaj has made all 13 extra-point kicks this season, and has also hit a field goal.

About the Rivermen: Du-Pec holds an 89-32 scoring edge so far this season, and hasn’t lost an NUIC game since the spring 2021 season. … The Rivermen have had three straight winning seasons, and their consecutive trips to the playoffs in 2019 and 2021 were the first postseason berths since 2011. … AJ Mulcahy ran for 235 yards and five touchdowns in a Week 1 win over West Carroll, then followed that up with 141 yards and two scores – plus a receiving TD – in a Week 2 win over Forreston.

FND pick: Du-Pec

Abingdon-Avon (0-2) at West Carroll (0-2)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Tornadoes: A-Town has been outscored 62-12 in its first two games, and comes in off a 21-0 shutout loss to Stark County. … This is the Tornadoes’ first nonconference game this season; the other is in Week 6 against Havana. … Abingdon-Avon is a member of the Lincoln Trail Conference, where it won the league title last season before advancing to the Class 1A quarterfinals.

About the Thunder: Playing its first varsity schedule since the 2021 spring season, West Carroll has been outscored 116-6 by Durand-Pecatonica and Fulton. … This is the third game to start the season for the Thunder against teams that finished in the top two of their conference standings last season. … AJ Boardman has been West Carroll’s leading rusher and passer through the first two games.

FND pick: Abingdon-Avon


Milledgeville (2-0) at Amboy-LaMoille-Ohio (2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Milledgeville 24-12 (2021 Week 2)

About the Missiles: Milledgeville has racked up 112 points through two games. The Missiles rolled to a 66-24 win over Aquin in Week 2. … Milledgeville led 42-12 at halftime. … Connor Nye threw for two touchdowns and ran for two scores, including an 80-yard touchdown run. … Kolton Wilk scored four TDs – runs of 22 and 27 yards, a 25-yard reception and a 75-yard kick return. … Kacen Johnson had three return TDs (1 kickoff, 2 punt) in Week 1.

About the Clippers: Amboy can take control of the Illinois 8-Man Football Association North 2 Division with a win in Week 3, as the Clippers and Missiles are the only 2-0 teams in the division. … Amboy QB Tucker Lindenmeyer has completed 7 of 10 passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns, and has rushed for 130 yards and two TDs. … Brennan Blaine has caught six passes for 191 yards and four scores. … Quinn Leffelman ran for two scores last week, while Landon Whelchel, Geo Gatz, Ed Fry, Braden Klein and Eddie Jones each added a rushing score for the Clippers, who led 52-0 at halftime.

FND pick: Amboy co-op

St. Thomas More (1-1) at Polo (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Sabers: St. Thomas More lost 30-14 to Decatur Lutheran in Week 1, but bounced back with a 50-18 win over Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland last week. … The Sabers were 5-5 last season, losing in the first round of the I8FA playoffs by one point, 29-28, to Martinsville.

About the Marcos: Polo bounced back from its opening loss to Amboy with a 40-8 victory over Orangeville last Saturday in a rematch of the 2021 I8FA state title game, a 12-7 Marcos victory. … Brock Soltow ran for 163 yards and three touchdowns, while Avery Grenoble had 120 yards and two scores. Neither rushed for 100 yards in Week 1 after both cracked the 1,400-yard mark last season. … Cayden Webster completed 4 of 5 passes for 80 yards against Orangeville, after throwing for 74 yards in Week 1.

FND pick: Polo

Alden-Hebron (2-0) at AFC (0-2)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: Alden-Hebron 36-26 (Week 1)

About the Giants: Alden-Hebron comes in off a 46-0 win over Rockford Christian Life, and has now outscored opponents 82-26 through the first two games while matching its win total from last year. … The Giants went 2-7 last season, with a win over West Prairie in Week 4 before picking up a forfeit win over AFC in Week 6.

About the Raiders: AFC lost the Week 1 matchup between these two teams in Hebron, after adding the Giants when Harvest Christian Academy was forced to cancel due to low numbers. … Carson Rueff threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1, and followed that up with 400 yards and five TDs through the air in Week 2. … Lane Koning caught 14 passes for 277 yards and five TDs last week, after Auden Polk and Logan Mershon both had more than 100 yards receiving in Week 1.

FND pick: Alden-Hebron