ST. JOSEPH, Ill. - Just a week before football practice started last year, SJO junior Ty Brown was working out with a few of his teammates running around the school track when he suddenly fell down. "Our last sprint we were doing, about halfway through I just felt something," Brown said. "It felt like someone kicked me in the back of the knee and I just fell down. It was probably the worst pain of my life."
Sullivan-Okaw Valley has already qualified for the playoffs this season, the Redskins could clinch a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2001 with one more victory this season.
Vote on the Friday Football Fever Plays of the Week 6 between Maroa-Forsyth's Jack Hockaday, Cerro Gordo-Bement's Gage Fowler or Tuscola's Nick and Zach Bates.
HIGHLIGHTS & SCORES from Week 6 of Friday Football Fever
Re-live the best moments from Week 6 of Friday Football Fever - in 90 seconds
CLINTON, Ill. - You may not find a player more excited to be at practice than Jacob Pourchot. Pourchot has cerebral palsy. He may not be the biggest or fastest, but his passion and determination are second to none. "People at school and on the team treat me like a normal person, like I should be treated," Pourchot said. "I just love it. It's not something that's going to stop me. I wrestle. I started wrestling last year. I said 'This isn't going to stop me.' I'm going to do whatever I want. It isn't going to stop me. I'm not going to let it."
TUSCOLA, Ill. - Tuscola coach Rick Reinhart usually doesn't take time to reflect on his teams wins. But last Friday's victory over Central A&M was different. After the final whistle blew and dozens of his former players congratulated him on his 200th career win -- the reality of becoming one of less than 75 coaches in Illinois history to accomplish the feat finally set in. "That did kind of make me sit back and say, 'Wow, that's a long time,'" he said. "And also just something that every kid I've ever coached, that's ours, not mine. It was special, it really was."
Vote for the top high school play of the week.
All the best moments from Week 5 of Friday Football Fever - in 90 seconds.
Highlights and scores from Week 5 of Friday Football Fever.
COLES COUNTY - Charleston's season-opening kickoff was an unfortunate sign of things to come for the Trojans. Senior running back Myles Decker, the team's best player, dislocated his kneecap making a tackle - tearing his ACL and MCL. Injuries and inexperience have plagued Charleston (1-3) this season. Longtime head coach Brian Halsey is starting six sophomores, including quarterback Ridge Boyer, who played a freshman last year. It was the only time Halsey has started a freshman quarterback in his 15 years with the Trojans.
Friday Football Fever plays of the week nominees for week four.
Friday Football Fever in 90 seconds from week four.
High School football scores and highlights.
MONTICELLO, Ill. - When Monticello's Clay Becker gets to a game Friday night, he's there to play. He rarely ever sits. In fact, he had to think long and hard about the only time he's on the bench "Sit? Kick-off," Becker said. "Yeah that's pretty much it." He wouldn't have it any other way. He's been a standout for the Sages this season. On defense, he recorded 25 tackles in a game earlier this year. He's also scored four offensive touchdowns through three contests this year.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Early season bragging rights will be on the line between Central and Centennial Friday night, but this game will mean a lot more than that to both schools. Central and Centennial are each undefeated, 3-0, heading into Friday's showdown. The Maroons are trying to start 4-0 for the first time in more than a decade. Centennial, meanwhile, is trying to keep its season on track after losing quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald for the season with a torn ACL. Both teams have struggled the last few years, but this weekend one of them will be 4-0 and in prime position to qualify for the playoffs.
TOLONO, Ill. - A sign outside the Unity football field says it all. A new beginning. The Rockets have a different look and feel on offense this season. They're passing the ball almost as much as they're running it. It's a new approach for head coach Scott Hamilton, whose run-first philosophy has won him nearly 200 games the last two decades.
Friday Football Fever play of the week nominees:
Friday Football Fever in 90 seconds for week 3 (9/12/14)
Highlights and scores from week 3 of Friday Football Fever.
When Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman isn't coaching the Illini, you'll most likely find him cheering on his son, Alex, Urbana's starting quarterback.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - As Central prepares for Urbana this week, one of the players the Maroons will be leaning on is defensive standout Brandon Klein. He plays both ways for Central but really shines as a linebacker. He has actually torn both of his labrums and a rotator cuff, but he has fought through it. Klein even had 21 tackles in a game earlier this season. He is a two-time state wrestling qualifier as well and leans on that experience on the football field.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Centennial football team received some bad news on Wednesday as senior quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald announced he tore his ACL in Saturday's win over Marion. Fitzgerald, who has verbally committed to play at Illinois, will miss the rest of the season.
Villa grove-Heritage defeated Argenta-Oreana 8-6 Monday night. They had to resume the game after it was postponed Friday night at halftime because of the weather.
Friday Football Fever play of the week nominees.
High School Football scores and highlights
SCORES Central 41 Dunlap 14 Danville 19 Lemont 43 Meridian 23 Bunker Hill 22 GCMS 27 Tremont 6 Tri-County 33 Decatur LSA 3
BISMARCK, Ill. - Mo Abbed doesn't have to look far for motivation. His brother Murad is his idol and coach. "He is my biggest role model to this day," Abbed said. "I always looked up to him." Mo grew up watching his brother play for the Blue Devils. Now six years later Murad is doing the same thing. "It's weird to see it come full circle as far as being a player, and now I'm coaching these players," Murad said. "But it is a good feeling."
PAXTON, Ill. - You won't find many players who go harder and are more passionate about football than PBL's Tyson Snyder. "I love football," he said. "I've been playing since third grade." And he's been playing with a birth defect that left him with two fingers on his right hand, and a right arm that is several inches shorter than his left. "[My arm] is a little bit longer than it was," he said. "Two surgeries have gotten it about five or six inches to make it about as close to even as they can make it."
Friday Football fever play of the week nominees from week one.
All the best highlights from week one of the high school football season set to music, known as the Fever in 90.
Week one high school football scores and highlights
DANVILLE, Ill. - Danville will have a new look this season. The Vikings plan to start nine sophomores. Tavion Boyd will replace Trent Sherfield at quarterback, and junior running back Kaleb McLain will be the go-to guy offensively. Even though they're one of the youngest teams in the Big 12, Danville head coach B.J. Luke says youth isn't always a bad thing.
MAHOMET, Ill. - Around Mahomet they call it the "Kenney Connection." You've probably heard it over the loud speaker if you've been to a Bulldogs' game recently. "When he first announced he said, "Kenny to Kenny" and then he said, "The Kenny Connection" and from then on it just became a moniker," said head coach Keith Pogue.
MT. ZION, Ill. - Payton Grinestaff's first year at quarterback didn't start well. "I think he had like seven picks in the first four games," said Mt. Zion head coach Mike Popovich. But it finished great. "[He] didn't throw another one the last five games and got better every week," Popovich said. "You can't say that about a lot of kids, and he is definitely not satisfied."
MAHOMET, Ill. - Mahomet-Seymour hit the practice field at 6:00 a.m. Tuesday to beat the heat as they get ready for their season opener against Mt. Zion. Seventh-year head coach Keith Pogue left it up to the seniors to decide whether to practice before or after school. They said it was worth waking up early. "I'm actually a big morning guy," said senior Joe Kenney. "So I don't mind coming out here and getting down and doing some work. It does beat getting in the heat though."
WCIA 3 Sports brings you a preseason look at the Illinois football team and some of the top storylines we'll be watching this high school football season.
URBANA, Ill. - The Urbana Tigers are two seasons removed from the best year in program history. They won the Big 12 title and won a playoff game for the first time in school history. So last season's 2-7 finish isn't sitting well with them. "I think the issue last year in 2013 was we just didn't know how to handle success," said head coach Nathan Watson. "With that being said we were right there 14 points approximately from the playoffs and a lot of fourth quarter losses."
Central's Montrel Moore is healthy this season and looking to have a big year playing on both sides of the ball.
GIBSON CITY, Ill. - The high school football regular season begins one week from tonight, and if GCMS wants to get back to the playoffs again this year, youth will be the name of the game. GCMS is working hard in camp to replace 17 seniors. They have only five seniors this year, but those leaders are helping the younger players come along.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - SHG won the state title last season - the fourth in program history - and this year the Cyclones are once again primed for another deep playoff run. They return quarterback Gabe Green, a Southern Miss. commit - and Minnesota commit Quinn Oseland is back to protect him. Star receiver Malik Turner is gone - he's now a freshman at Illinois - but head coach Ken Leonard says they should have plenty of talent to fill his shoes.
St. Joseph-Ogden football coach Dick Duval said Thursday he is coming back for a 27th season as head coach of the Spartans. Duval is retiring from teaching at the end of this school year, but he will remain as head coach and athletic director on what he called a "year-by-year" basis.
The numbers speak for themselves. More than 2,000 yards of total offense, 34 touchdowns (5 of those were defensive scores) - all while leading his team to it's best finish in a decade. We are proud to announce Cerro Gordo-Bement senior running back Steve Isbell is our WCIA 3 High School Football Player of the Year.
It took overtime for someone to end St. Joseph-Ogden's magical playoff run, but the Spartans ran out of magic in the state title game as they fall 43-41 in overtime to the Stillman Valley Cardinals. The game went back and forth all night long, and it came down to the final possessions in overtime. Stillman Valley scored a touchdown and completed the two-point conversion to take a 43-35 lead. SJ-O (11-3) responded with a touchdown of their own, but quarterback Dalton Walsh was sacked on his two-point conversion attempt ending the game. The Spartans fall one win short of the state title, earning their fifth runner-up finish - all under head coach Dick Duval. In Class 4A, the Rochester Rockets were held to a season-low 16 points, but they still found a way to win their fourth consecutive state title 16-8 over Geneseo. Rochester becomes the first public school in IHSA history to win four state football championships in a row.
St. Joseph-Ogden junior running back Orion Ciota stepped in after Austin Hedrick got hurt earlier this season. Now he's one of the biggest reasons the Spartans are in the state finals.
St. Joseph-Ogden will have a chance to win it's first state football championship on Friday when the Spartans take on Stillman Valley in the Class 3A state title game in DeKalb. SJ-O started the year 2-and-2, but they have won nine games in a row, and they're feeling confident heading in after a major turnaround.
St. Joseph-Ogden is heading to the Class 3A state football finals after beating Greenville 44-21 Saturday afternoon.
St. Joseph-Ogden is holding opponents to less than 20 points per game this season, but the Spartans' defense will be put to the test in Saturday's state semifinal game at Greenville. The Comets are averaging more than 50 points per game, including last week's 71-point performance.
Full list of local athletes who earned all-state honors
Playoff football scores and highlights.