Week 2 of the season told us that what we thought we knew about the area teams was mostly accurate. Scanning through Friday’s results – other than Charleston’s loss to Massac County — was there a single result that surprised anyone? There were, however, some developments. Monticello is for real and on its way to a home playoff game to begin the postseason. Tuscola gave Class 3A No. 1 Tolono Unity a game for four quarters a week after winning its opener against Sullivan-Okaw Valley, which struggled again this week but hung on to beat Meridian.
What I saw
Did that just happened?
I really can’t explain why two of the top teams in the Okaw Valley Conference, Argenta-Oreana and Monticello, combined to turn the ball over 11 times in their game. Eight of those turnovers came on fumbles — six by Argenta.
Hitting was hard, for sure, but no harder than I’ve seen in games where the ball-carriers hung on to the ball. Now the question is, what is it a fluke? Or will it continue to be a problem for both teams?
Take away the turnovers, and Argenta was the slightly more effective team. Hupp was a force in moving the ball on the ground, and the Bombers’ run defense was stout. That’s what Argenta coach Chad Eisenmenger said he was focusing on after the game.
What I read
MacArthur has plenty of tough tests ahead, but the Generals appear to be for real if their performances in the first two games are any indication.
MacArthur has difference-makers on defense at every level, and the passing game’s success will open up some much-needed running room for Devon Ingram and Jaquay Owens against future opponents.
You have free articles remaining.
Ahead of schedule
With so many underclassmen starting, Tuscola appeared a year away of returning to playoff contention. But after a Week 1 win and a competitive performance against Unity, those teams counting on Tuscola as a win on their schedule may have to take another look.
Tuscola didn’t have much luck on the ground and couldn’t stop Unity’s ground game (no one will), but sophomore quarterback Nick Bates threw for 286 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and also rushed for a TD in the Warriors’ 35-26 loss. Tuscola led 14-7 after the first quarter, but Unity scored the next 28 points to take control of the game.
St. Teresa shouldn’t be discouraged by its 43-14 loss to Maroa-Forsyth. No, the game was never in doubt. But the Trojans stayed within two touchdowns at half, and did manage to move the ball at times against a nasty Maroa defense. How many teams in the playoffs the last few years have played the Trojans that close? Not many. St. Teresa may not be back to being a dominant team yet, but 5-4 or even 6-3 isn’t out of reach.
We have a while to wait, but the Week 8 game between Casey-Westfield and Robinson is shaping up to be a good one. Nicco Stepina and Casey mowed down Newton, as expected. And it was no shock that Robinson blew out Bridgeport Red Hill, though the efficiency was eye-opening. The Maroons scored two touchdowns in every quarter and Jason Richart, in less than a full night’s work, reached levels few in the H&R area have ever touched. He rushed for 335 yards on only 15 carries (22.3 yards per carry).
Flora is 2-0 for the first time since 2009, which was the last time the Wolves made the playoffs.