Last weekend saw the Peoria schools looking good in their respective season openers. Only Manual went down to defeat. The Pekin Dragons, behind Clage Dodson’s 200 yards rushing and the passing combination of Chase Poole to Cole Henderson, dominated the Rams by the score of 42-0. Pekin seems headed on the upward swing once again, having made the playoffs last year, so the Rams need not hang their heads over this one. Central, behind its leaders Josh Augusta and Eric Baird, rolled over Chicago Hope so badly that Hope wound up forfeiting before the game was over in the interest of safety and realism. Notre Dame showed a strong ground game in defeating Limestone at Bartonville, 27-12. Richwoods had a very nice season opening win at Metamora, 18-14.
This coming weekend sees Richwoods once again taking on the top of the Mid-Illini Conference as Washington visits Endres Field. The Panthers knocked off the Knights in game two last year and the hosts will surely be looking to exact some revenge this time around. It won’t be easy as Washington has many threats, perhaps the most dangerous of which is senior Brent Brown at receiver. Brown ran back last week’s opening kickoff of the season 90 plus yards to set the stage for what will likely be a big year. Richwoods will rely heavily on Kendrick Foster as usual, but senior QB Mikail Davis seemed to gain confidence at the position as the Metamora game progressed and looks to be a big threat as well, both on the ground and in the air. Jeremye Johnson was somewhat quiet in week one and may well be ready to break out. The weather could be a factor in this one as temperatures are forecast to be in the high 90’s on Friday with the possibility of torrential rain from Isaac moving in during the early evening.
Central travels to East St. Louis on Sunday to face always strong Chicago Simeon in the City of Champions Football Classic at Jordan Stadium. This is one of three games on the bill for the Classic. Manual hosts Charleston at Peoria Stadium on Saturday and looks to rebound from their week one loss. In another interesting Mid State 6 vs. Mid Illini Conference match-up, Pekin travels to Peoria Stadium to play Notre Dame Friday night. This could be an interesting one as both teams appear to be on the rise after surprising playoff appearances one year ago. (www.pjstar.com).
In other news from around the State, Joliet Catholic was somewhat surprised last week in losing to neighborhood rival Providence Catholic of New Lenox, 40-34. The Hilltoppers didn’t just lose the game, as star Ty Isaac went out in the first half with a severe shoulder injury. Many were worried about the extent of the injury, but Isaac has told the Chicago Tribune he will be out “two weeks at most”. X-rays and an MRI showed no major damage to the shoulder and Isaac’s toughness should have him back soon. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/highschool/football/ct-spt-0828-pre…) Lastly, Richwoods moved up to the number two ranking in the AP Class 6A poll with Lemont falling back to third. Crete-Monee remains on top. Washington is ranked ninth in Class 5A. (www.pjstar.com)