EFFINGHAM — Effingham began the season 0-2 with a young team, and needed a win badly to keep its season from slipping away.
Thanks to a big night from junior running back Logan Brown and two big plays late by their defense and special teams, the Hearts are back on track. They beat Mount Zion 41-14 on Friday behind 151 yards and two rushing touchdowns from Brown.
"It was an outstanding win for our guys," said Effingham coach Brett Hefner, whose team improved to 1-2, 1-1 in the Apollo Conference. "We had a rough early start to the season, and we played very well against a very good football team tonight and got a nice win."
Mount Zion (2-1, 1-1 Apollo), entered the game with a defense that had allowed just nine points in two games. The Braves got 96 yards, including a 61-yard TD run, from Sage Davis, and trailed just 20-14 at half. But a blocked punt that Effingham recovered for a touchdown, and an interception return for a TD by Cameron Kalber — both in the fourth quarter — sealed Effingham's win.
LSA 30, Villa Grove-Heritage 6
VILLA GROVE — Lions quarterback Mike Fiala threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another to lead the win.
Kyler Walcher, playing in place of the injured Coby Crafton, rushed for 87 yards on 18 carries for LSA (2-1).
"I'm thrilled with how Walcher stepped up in place of Crafton," LSA coach Craig Bundy said. "We made a concerted effort to control the ball, and a lot of guys and their backups played great."
Maroa-Forsyth 76, Pittsfield 0
MAROA — Maroa took advantage of seven Pittsfield turnovers and gave its starters a short night.
The Trojans (3-0, 3-0 Sangamo Conference) led 42-0 after the first quarter and 63-0 at half.
"I thought defensively, we were very good," Maroa coach Josh Jostes said. "We caught a lot of turnovers, and we were able to take care of the ball and were efficient when we had it."
Maroa quarterback Ian Benner threw six passes and he completed all six — five for touchdowns. Wade Jostes came in later in relief and had a 52-yard TD run.
"We were able to get all of our kids in and get a lot of plays," Jostes said.
Things get tougher for the Trojans next week — a matchup with fellow Sangamo unbeaten Williamsville.
Arcola 54, Cumberland 35
TOLEDO — The Purple Riders piled up 527 yards of offense, with junior Austin Hopkins rushing 24 times for 227 yards and four touchdowns.
In all, Arcola (2-1) rushed for 403 yards.
"I am happy to get out of here with a win," said Arcola head coach Nick Lindsey. "That is a good team and they present some big challenges with their skill kids."
The Pirates (2-1) got a 21-for-37 passing performance from senior quarterback Gabe Hatfill, who passed for 217 yards. Conner Butler caught 10 of those passes, while Michael Flier caught four. Both had 78 receiving yards. Sophomore back Wyatt Brandt had 20 carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
The Pirates scored once in the second half, in the final 20 seconds of the contest, but were close to scoring earlier in the game when a snap sailed over Hatfill's head and resulted in a fumble on the Arcola 6-yard line. Pedro Guana recovered for the Riders to turn the momentum.
"That fumble hurt us," said Pirate head coach Lucas Watkins. "The first half the weather was not that big of a deal, but in the second half it was a big factor. Arcola has to play in it as well, but it definitely was a factor for us and may have contributed to that snap going over Hatfill's head. Our running game did well tonight and at times our lines played well. It just needed to be more consistent."
Also for Arcola, receivers Diego Perez caught three passes for 85 yards and Ivan Franco caught two passes for 79 yards. Both of Franco's catches were touchdown grabs, while Perez entered the end zone once.
ALAH 33, Martinsville 0
MARTINSVILLE — Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond held Martinsville to just 20 yards in the first half and scored on a 19-yard pass play with 17.5 seconds left in the half for a 20-0 advantage.
Brady Borntreger finished with 10 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns rushing, while Fifer had 11 carries for 61 yards. The defense held the Bluestreaks to 19 total yards of offense.
"Borntreger had a big night," said Jefferson. "Week 1 we were switching in and out with him and last week he had some long runs and I think he is just starting to get more experienced at the varsity level. He is such a fast kid and he is getting better at reading block and cuts."
It was the first win for first-year coach Jefferson.
"It feels good," said Jefferson. "The kids all wanted it for me, too. They have bought into this program and I am just really happy for them."
Martinsville entered the game with just 13 players dressed for the game, but was down to 10 by the second half. Martinsville coach Shane McDearmon was grateful ALAH put in 10 players when the Bluestreaks were down to that number.
"We had to play in the same conditions," said McDearmon. "It boils down to numbers. We have heart and talent, but are just short on numbers."