CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tim Beckman said Monday he has not decided which quarterback will start this week's must-win game at Northwestern. Wes Lunt started Saturday against Penn State, but after struggling through the first quarter he was sent to the bench in favor of Reilly O'Toole. O'Toole completed 18-of-25 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown, leading Illinois to a 16-14 victory. Lunt was still listed No. 1 on the depth chart Monday, but Beckman says it will be a competition this week in practice. He says he could use two or even three quarterbacks against Northwestern.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Big changes could soon be coming to the high school football landscape in Illinois. A new proposal would eliminate football conferences, and instead the IHSA would place teams in regions based on geography and enrollment. This proposal was submitted by Sycamore principal Tim Carlson. It has been approved by the IHSA's Legislative Commission, and it now goes to the member schools for final approval.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Central senior Connor Mapes signed Monday to continue his baseball career at Illinois State next season. Mapes was a big reason why the Maroons had one of the best seasons in school history last year. When he gets to Normal he will be reunited with his former Maroons' teammate Alec Altmyer. "It's a blessing going to play with Altmyer on what I call the best program in the state," Mapes said. "The MVC being the fifth best division to play in, I mean, it's a surreal moment. I'm very grateful for it. It's a lot of hard work that's paid off, but I'm ready to be a Redbird."
High School football state semifinal scores and highlights
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - David Reisner said he had a dream Friday night that he would attempt four field goals against Penn State, but not even in his wildest dreams could he have imagined a moment like this - kicking the game-winning field goal with :08 left to lift Illinois to a 16-14 victory over the Nittany Lions. "I went out there," Reisner said. "Coach Cubit lightened the mood up a little bit. He was making some jokes, and I felt calm. Calmer than I have ever been on a field goal. It was nice that everybody believed in me, and I ended up making the kick."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If there's one thing this Illinois team is proving three games into the season - they can score. Light year's better than last year, and lights out from downtown. Illinois raced past Austin Peay 107-66 behind a balanced scoring effort that saw Illinois surpass 100 points for the second consecutive game. It's first time since 1993 than an Illinois team has accomplished that feat. The Illini are averaging more than 100 points per game this season. "I think the things that stand out the most to me was our unselfishness," said head coach John Groce. "I think sometimes we even passed up some shots to go from a good to great shot. We were very, very unselfish."
GIRLS BASKETBALL St. Thomas More 61 Southeast 22 Schlarman 53 Urbana 25 SJO 57 Iroquois West 44 Washington 46 Centennial 23
GIRLS BASKETBALL Danville 74 Urbana 41 Schlarman 61 Rantoul 27
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Freshman Chatrice White scored 13 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to help lead Illinois to a 60-58 win over Memphis. Sophomore Jacqui Grant scored 14 points for Illinois (3-0).
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois will try to improve to 3-0 when Austin Peay visits State Farm Center Friday night. The Illini are coming off one of the most lopsided wins in school history, a 114-56 victory over Coppin State. The players say they have already put that performance behind them, and they'll be ready for a new challenge Friday. "We still have a lot to improve on, which could make us better for the future," said sophomore Malcolm Hill. "That's just one game. We're worried about games in the future coming in February and March because we know that every game counts to get into the NCAA Tournament." Illinois and Austin Peay tip off Friday at 7:00 pm. You can see it on ESPN 3.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - When Reilly O'Toole is honored before his final game at Memorial Stadium Saturday, it will be bittersweet. "It hasn't hit me," O'Toole said. "I'm sure it will in the next couple of days. Just leaving these guys and all the memories we've made and the good times we've had, it will be emotional for sure."
CHARLESTON, Ill. - Charleston High School will have a new football coach next season. Longtime head coach Brian Halsey was fired at Wednesday night's school board meeting after 15 years as Charleston's head coach. Halsey led the Trojans to the state semifinals in 2011, but the team had fallen on hard times going just 2-16 over the last two seasons. Charleston principal Trevor Doughty told WCIA 3 that Halsey will stay employed as a social studies teacher.
Madison, Wis. (UI Release) - No. 10 Illinois headed to Madison on Wednesday with a shot to knock off the first-place Badgers, ranked No. 2 in the nation, but came up just short, 3-1. After Wisconsin ran away with the first set, 25-13, Illinois claimed the second, 26-24, to even the match at one. The Illini watched an eight-point lead slip away late in the third set to surrender the frame, 27-25, then stormed back on Wisconsin after trailing by as much as seven in the fourth, but could not quite send the match to five, dropping the fourth set, 28-26, and falling 3-1 on the night. The win allows Wisconsin to maintain its hold on first place in the Big Ten at 25-2 (16-1 Big Ten), while Illinois drops to 21-7 (13-4 Big Ten).
MEN'S BASKETBALL Parkland 94 IVCC 53 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL #10 Parkland 90 IVCC 20
TUSCOLA, Ill. - Switching schools just a few weeks before his senior year started wasn't something Jarrett McMasters ever envisioned. He was planning on playing his last year of football at Monticello, where he would have been a starter in the Sages' secondary. But when his mom moved to Tuscola in August, Jarrett went with her - even though there were a lot of unknowns. "When I first came here they took me in and made it easy on me," McMasters said. "Everyone has been very nice and it's a great community too."