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BRIDGEPORT — Memories of last year's double-overtime win against Argenta-Oreana came to Central A&M coach Brent Weakly's mind on Saturday.

Central A&M left Bridgeport with a wild 48-40 win over Bridgeport Red Hill on Saturday in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs.

The Raiders had three possessions — two turnovers and a punt — that didn't result in touchdowns, and got big plays from players like Connor Heaton, Jacob Paradee, Cord Fenton, Brycen Burgener and Jerit Medler.

Heaton combined for six touchdowns, four running and two passing. 

"It was a whirlwind," Weakly said. “We were able to move the ball and come up with enough plays defensively to seal the deal."

A&M hits the road again next week, playing at Albion Edwards County at 2 p.m. Saturday.


Maroa-Forsyth 55, Jacksonville Routt 13

MAROA — The Trojans got back to their style of football.

It two two minutes to take a 14-0 lead on Jacksonville Routt in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs on the way to a commanding win.

Maroa-Forsyth (10-0) quarterback Ian Benner ran for 140 yards and passed for 219 yards, accounting for three touchdowns.

“I thought we played Trojan football today," Maroa coach Josh Jostes said. "Our kids played hard. We got off to a great start. We took advantage of what they were giving us. We were well-balanced on running and passing. 

Maroa rolled up 544 yards to Routt's 293.

"Our goal was to make them one-dimensional and take away their running game, and we were able to do that," Jostes said.

Maroa plays at Chester at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Tuscola 42, Villa Grove-Heritage 6

TUSCOLA — Efficient was the best way Tuscola coach Andy Romine could describe Saturday's win over Villa Grove-Heritage.

Tuscola quarterback Luke Sluder was 6-of-7 passing for 164 yards and three touchdowns while running for 56 yards. Brandon Douglas had 98 receiving yards and two touchdowns on three receptions.

“I was pretty happy with out efficiency, really," Romine said. "We didn't punt and they had one drive that was sustained by a couple penalties. Other than that it was really pretty efficient."

The Warriors (9-1) also got a boost in the returns of senior linebacker Will Little and senior lineman Brayden VonLanken.

"I think we looked like a totally different team," Romine said. "I don't know if it has to do with the fact that they're going to perform that much better, I just think the edge they bring as seniors who have played in huge games, it’s a difference maker. You could tell the focus is where it should be. Were not at our ceiling yet. There is growing to do which is a good thing for us."

Tuscola hosts Bismarck-Henning-Rosville-Alvin at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Pana 28, Fithian Oakwood 21

PANA — Jack Armstrong didn't need to use his best passing attack in Pana's first-round playoff win against Fithian Oakwood on Saturday.

Instead Armstrong, Pana's quarterback, rushed 11 times for 75 yards and three touchdowns to go with 65 passing yards.

Pana (9-1) overcame three turnovers with a strong defensive performance that included seven tackles for a loss, an interception and a fumble recovery.

"Those were key turning points in the game for us," Pana coach Trevor Higgins said.

But Higgins said the team has to play better than turning the ball over three times.

"We need to focus in on our plays and what the defense has given us and just having our guys more prepared than we did today," he said.

St. Teresa 45, Staunton 0

DECATUR — St. Teresa struggled to get going in the first half, but Staunton couldn't keep the highest-scoring offense in the state in check for long.

St. Teresa scored 24 second-half points on the way to a first-round playoff win on Saturday over Staunton.

After scoring seven points in the first quarter, St. Teresa found its offense behind quarterback Jack Hogan and running back Jacardia Wright.

Hogan threw for 142 yards, ran for 83 and accounted for four touchdowns and Wright ran for 238 and two touchdowns (27 and 92 yards).

"Jack Hogan had a really good game," St. Teresa coach Mark Ramsey said. "He had a 74 yard touchdown run and three touchdown passes. I thought the defense really played well and kept them out of the end zone a couple times when they had it down in scoring position. We had a couple of interceptions.

"We were a little sloppy in the first half, but I thought we kind of took care of business in the second half. Jacardia ended up with a couple big runs in the second half, which kind of put them away. Overall, it was a good first round win, and we’re looking forward to the second round.”


Monticello 50, St. Joseph-Ogden 7

MONTICELLO — It didn't matter that St. Joseph-Ogden ran nearly twice as many plays as Monticello.

The Sages took advantage of their opportunities for their second win over the Spartans in as many weeks in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Monticello quarterback Braden Snyder threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns and Alek Bundy had a receiving touchdown, rushing touchdown and an interception return for a touchdown.

“They had the ball twice as much as us. I think they had 67 plays to our 36," Monticello coach Cully Welter said. "Our defense was on the field a lot. I was pleased with how our offense performed during limited playing time. I think we’re going to see a fairly similar offense next week, so we want to be sure to work on defending them.”

Devin Graham had 198 receiving yards and a touchdown for the Sages.


Effingham 21, Breese Mater Dei 7

BREESE — The Hearts picked the perfect time to turn in their best defensive effort of the season. 

After allowing 26 points to Breese Mater Dei in a Week 1 loss, Effingham allowed just seven points in Saturday's win over Mater Dei in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Effingham (8-2) has won eight games in a row.

Mason Hasty had three interceptions for Effingham, including a big interception before halftime.

“We played very very well defensively, probably the best defensive effort that we’ve had all year," Effingham coach Brett Hefner said. "I think that was the biggest key today and we were able to do just enough offensively to get the win."


Cahokia 22, Mount Zion 6

CAHOKIA — It took Cahokia everything to finally escape a pesky Mount Zion defense.

The Braves trailed 14-6 entering the fourth quarter of Saturday's Class 5A first round before Cahokia added another score to end Mount Zion's season.

“I’m very proud of our kids’ effort," Mount Zion coach Patrick Etherton said. "Our kids did a great job of battling and competing against a very, very good Cahokia football team.

"They’re probably one of the fastest and most physical teams I’ve ever seen at the high school level. Our kids held them to a one-score game until late in the game. Our kids played hard and played like they had all year. We played one heck of a football game today.”

Ashton Summers threw for 87 yards and Sage Davis ran for 56 for Mount Zion.

Mattoon 28, Mascoutah 24

MATTOON — The outlook for Mattoon was a bit bleak with 6:49 left in the Green Wave's Class 5A first-round playoff game against Mascoutah. Mattoon, down 10 points, had just thrown an interception deep in Mascoutah territory. All the Indians had to do was burn some time off the clock. 

Mascoutah seemed to be just that as Devon Ross took off for a 16-yard quarterback keeper but he refused to go down as he tried to get a couple of extra yards. Mattoon stripped the ball out of his hands and jumped on it at the Indians 40-yard line with 5:56 remaining.

The Green Wave had new life.

A 35-yard swing pass to Abe Baker on the first play of the drive set up Jack Pilson's 3-yard touchdown pass to Brock Smith and Mattoon was within three points with 5:17 left.

Mattoon defense forced a three-and-out and the Green Wave took over at their own 33-yard line with 3:46 remaining. Mattoon went 67 yards in 13 points, converting a fourth-and-1 during the drive, and Pilson scored on a 5-yard run to give the Green Wave a 28-24 lead with 54 seconds left. It was a 14-point swing for the Green Wave over a 5-minute span.

Mascoutah had one last drive left in them as the Indians drove to the Green Wave 24-yard line when Cam Knierim intercepted a pass in the end zone, sealing the first home playoff victory for the Green Wave since 2007.

"We knew we had to come back and we just went out there and did it. That fumble was the turning point," Mattoon linebacker Gunner Runyon said. "I knew we could win. We had it. I have full confidence in my teammates and I knew we could push through and preserve."

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