GREENVILLE — Monticello is headed to the quarterfinals having still yet to be challenged this season.
Like a few teams have, Greenville hung around Monticello (12-0) for a half, but the Sages scored six touchdowns in the second half to cruise to a 63-21 win in Saturday's Class 3A quarterfinal.
"We've had a lot of games like that late in the year," Monticello coach Cully Welter said. "I was frustrated at halftime because some of that was caused by ourselves. But I was happy with the way we responded in the second half."
Up 21-13 at half, Monticello got a touchdown on a QB keeper by Braden Snyder, then a touchdown pass from Snyder to Devin Graham, a 21-yard touchdown run by Alek Bundy and another Bundy touchdown set up by a Graham interception pushed the lead to 49-21 with 4:07 left in the third.
"We have a number of different kids we like to get the ball," Welter said. "Sometimes it takes some time, but at least one of them always seems to bust loose."
The Sages are in the semifinals for the second time under Welter and seventh time in school history. Monticello has never made it past semifinals, but this year's Sages haven't won a game by less than four touchdowns.
"I've been pleased with how we've played," Welter said. "People look at our size and think we're not physical. But the last three weeks, we've held up well despite our size."
For the Sages, Snyder was 17-of-25 passing for 430 yards and Asher Bradd caught seven passes for 180 yards.
Monticello will host Carlinville (12-0) at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Kankakee Bishop McNamara 42, Effingham 35
EFFINGHAM — The Hearts put a scare into one of Class 4A's most powerful programs, but couldn't quite pull the quarterfinals upset.
Effingham (9-3) led Bishop Mac 14-6 at half, but a 28-point third quarter pushed the Fightin' Irsh ahead, and they held off several Effingham comeback attempts to secure the win.
Trailing by one touchdown, the Hearts tried an onside kick with two minutes left, but Bishop Mac (11-1) recovered.
"We battled and fought," Effingham coach Brett Hefner said. "They're a very good team. It wouldhave been easy to quit down two scores in the second half, but we kept fighting. We just kind of ran out of time."
Effingham got on the board first with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Landon Wolfe to Tristin Duncan, who returned from injury to make a huge impact. He had seven catches for 160 yards and three touchdowns. Wolfe threw for 256 yards and five touchdowns on 15-of-20 passing.
"It was nice to have Tristin back and we were able to make some plays early, which was important for our confidence," Hefner said. "We were so close to getting over the hump. It's tough to take right now, but we'll use it going forward as motivation."
Also for Effingham, Kendall Ballman rushed for 98 yards on 20 carries.
Rochester 64, Taylorville 26
TAYLORVILLE — A slow start put the Tornadoes in a hole against Rochester they couldn't climb out of.
Rochester (11-1) scored the game's first five touchdowns, and though Taylorville mounted some offense in the second half, it wasn't near enough in the Class 4A quarterfinals.
In the final game of one of the best quarterbacks in IHSA history, Brandon Odam threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-33 passing. Receiver Justin Wright had 13 catches for 146 yards and two scores, and Yemi Odugbesen caught four passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.