Tuscola at Central A&M
RECORDS: Tuscola is 2-0; Central A&M is 2-0
LAST WEEK: Tuscola beat Arcola 34-0; Central A&M beat Nokomis 49-7
LAST MEETING: Tuscola beat Central A&M 50-0 last season.
KEY PLAYERS: For Tuscola, Luke Sluder, Sr., QB; Brayden VonLanken, Sr., OL/DL; Matthew Cantu, Jr., RB, Tuscola
For Central A&M, Connor Heaton, Jr., QB; Jacob Paradee, Jr., RB.WR; Jeske Maples, Jr., OL/DL
OUTLOOK: Central A&M has been one of the area's pleasant surprises, winning its first two games by the combined score of 82-7. Heaton has proved his skills on the basketball court translate to the football field, and Paradee is a threat to score however the Raiders get the ball to him. But Tuscola remains the team to beat in the CIC after outscoring its opponents 91-0 in its first two games. Sluder has been the constant on offense, and the defense last week stifled a strong Arcola attack.
Shelbyville at Clinton
RECORDS: Shelbyville is 1-1; Clinton is 2-0
LAST WEEK: Shelbyville lost to Cerro Gordo-Bement 45-22; Clinton beat Pawnee 54-6
LAST MEETING: Shelbyville won 40-0 last season.
KEY PLAYERS: For Shelbyville, Cade Helton, Sr., RB; Emric Messado, Sr., QB; Hunter Reed, So., WR
For Clinton, Tyrese Petty, Jr., RB; Ty Berter, Jr., QB; Kolby Winter, Sr., RB
OUTLOOK: Clinton hasn't had a tough schedule in starting the season 2-0, but the Maroons have been impressive. Petty rushed for 201 yards against Pawnee on just nine carries, and Winter had 103 yards on eight carries. Shelbyville suffered a humbling loss last week, but Helton was impressive — racking up 204 yards and three touchdowns running and receiving.
Mount Zion at Effingham
RECORDS: Mount Zion is 2-0, 1-0 Apollo; Effingham is 0-2, 0-1 Apollo
LAST WEEK: Mount Zion beat Lincoln 13-3; Effingham lost to Taylorville 64-20
LAST MEETING: Effingham won 37-19 last season.
KEY PLAYERS: For Effingham, Landon Wolfe, Sr., QB; Tristin Duncan, So., WR; Logan Brown, Jr., RB
For Mount Zion, Sage Davis, Jr., RB; Ashton Summers, So., QB; Drew London, So., WR
OUTLOOK: Mount Zion's offense continued to struggle getting into the end zone, but looked like it was beginning to come together in Week 2 against Lincoln. Davis rushed for more than 200 yards — he might be the top running back in the Apollo — and Summers to London has potential as their chemistry develops. Effingham's young offense will face a tough challenge in a Braves defense that has allowed nine points in two games.
MacArthur at Normal U-High
RECORDS: MacArthur is 2-0, 2-0 Central State 8; U-High is 0-2, 0-2 CS8
LAST WEEK: MacArthur beat Jacksonville 20-14; Rochester beat U-High 42-7
LAST MEETING: MacArthur won 21-7 last season.
KEY PLAYERS: For MacArthur, Jeffery Wells, Jr., RB/LB; Deyon Jackson, Jr., QB; Derrick Taylor, Sr., RB/LB
For U-High, Dawson Brooks, QB; Harris Carr, QB; Zane Sorensen, WR
OUTLOOK: U-High was this year's victim of unfortunate CS8 scheduling, playing SHG in Week 1 and Rochester in Week 2. Pioneers running back Savion Jackson, who was knocked out on a play in Week 1, isn't expected to return against MacArthur, but could play in Week 4. The Generals are still figuring things out offensively, but have shown their defense, behind Wells, Taylor, Brylon Young, Malik Barbee and Tylan Jackson, will keep them in any game.
Arcola at Cumberland
RECORDS: Arcola is 1-1; Cumberland is 2-0
LAST WEEK: Arcola lost to Tuscola 34-0; Cumberland beat Fithian Oakwood 49-46
LAST MEETING: Arcola won 42-0 in 2015.
KEY PLAYERS: For Arcola, Austin Hopkins, Jr., RB; Hugo Garza, Jr., OL; Ivan Franco, So., WR
For Cumberland, Gabe Hatfill, Sr., QB; Connor Butler, Sr., WR/LB; Zach Wolke, Sr., TE/LB
OUTLOOK: Arcola was shut out by Tuscola last week, but has a bruising offense led by Hopkins at running back and Garza up front. Cumberland has shown a penchant for big plays, racking up 97 points in two games behind Hatfill.
Other games to watch
Bridgeport Red Hill at Olney: Two of the three undefeated Little Illini teams will clash.
LSA at Villa Grove-Heritage: The Lions need a bounce-back win, but it won't be easy in a long trip to Villa Grove.
Vandalia at Greenville: The Vandals have looked good to start the season, but face their first real test at Greenville.
Springfield Southeast at Eisenhower: The Panthers will play in Decatur for the first time this year, at Millikin on Saturday.