TUSCOLA -- There was one message, the only message needed Friday night, and it came from Tuscola athletic director Ryan Hornaday.
Prior to Tuscola's win against Warrensburg-Latham, Hornaday got on the microphone to announce the game would be without a public address announcer in the memory of longtime public address announcer Doug McCumber, who passed away Tuesday after 43 years as the Warriors' PA announcer.
"Overall, it was a nice way to give him the tribute that he deserved," Tuscola coach Andy Romine said Saturday. "You know, 43 years is a long, long time. We've had some other guys up there in the press box for nearly as long. It's pretty remarkable what our town is able to get out of some people. We had some chain guys last year who did it for an unbelievable amount of time as well. I think all of those things added up is, in my mind, what makes Tuscola football a pretty special deal."
Hornaday talked about McCumber's life and his contributions to not only the school, but the entire town.
The coaching staff admitted the game, though emotional, was a little flat without McCumber, who Romine remembers as non-partisan, calling the game fair on both sides.
But McCumber's contributions were about more than football.
“He was just a great Tuscolian," Romine said. "He had done a lot of things for the town.
“It wasn't just about football, it was about his life and the life of a great Tuscola guy who just happened to really like high school football as well.”
Romine never has to amp his players up, they do that themselves, but he did have a message before they took the field to extend their regular-season win streak to 26.
"I did mention, I said, 'Hey, listen, the only thing our town ever asks is that you play as hard as you can possibly play, it's the only thing people expect when they come and pay attention to watch you play,'" Romine said.
"I had mentioned before the game, I said, 'You know what, if there was ever a time to play hard and complete a mission like that, tonight's the night. Our town is hurting a little bit and football is important in our town.'"
Railers run to win
For the first time since 2012, Lincoln has won two football games in a season.
The Railers (2-4, 1-4) have won a combined two games since that season, but picked up a 40-14 Apollo Conference win over Charleston Friday.
A big part of that was senior back Titus Cannon.
He ran for 291 yards and five touchdowns on 40 carries, taking a bulk of the workload.
Cannon is up to 635 yards and 11 touchdowns for the season.
Before Friday night, Mahomet-Seymour was still in striking distance of Effingham in the Apollo Conference.
Not so much after Friday night.
The Hearts (5-1, 4-0) romped the Bulldogs 41-6 behind the efforts of workhorse running back Terrance Hill.
Hill ran for 266 yards and five touchdowns on 37 carries to help the Hearts stay perfect in Apollo Conference play.
Eagles keep soaring
Offense has been no problem for Newton this season. On Friday, the Eagles (5-1) continued their high-scoring ways with a 50-7 win over Flora.
Newton is scoring 47.5 points per game this season, largely behind a mammoth offensive line to block for running back Peyton Doughty and quarterback Connor Bierman.
On Friday, Doughty ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns while Bierman completed 3 of 11 passes for 130 yards and touchdowns, both coming in the first quarter.
Eye-popping offensive numbers came in droves again in Week 6.
Pana quarterback Jacob Beeson rushed for 142 yards and a TD and threw for 148 yards and a score in a 48-34 win over Hillsboro.
Brandon Odam to Jacob Wright continues to be among the greatest threat to defenses in the Apollo Conference. Things were no different Friday when the two connected four times for 107 yards, including a 99-yard touchdown in the second quarter of a 28-7 win over Alton Marquette Catholic.
Cumberland receiver Tyson McGee stayed hot with three catches for 60 yards Friday, but the key is all of his catches went for touchdowns in Cumberland's 41-6 win over Oblong.
Turner Pullen accounted for five of Shelbyville's six touchdowns in a 44-7 win over Meridian. The senior threw for 163 yards and 4 TD passes while rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown.
The Little Okaw Valley Northwest Conference opened up for Argenta-Oreana after LSA's loss to Arcola Friday. The Bombers beat Cerro Gordo-Bement 54-14 behind the Josh Williams to Braxton Norman connection. Noman cought five of Williams' 10 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Luke Sluder came up big again in a massive Central Illinois Conference win over Warrensburg-Latham. Sluder threw for 111 yards and rushed for 125, but didn't find the end zone. That's because Andrew Erickson punched it in when the Warriors hit the red zone, accounting for three rushing TDs.