By Greg Halbleib
The second of three regular season Intercity match-ups takes center stage on Friday night in Week 4 of high school football.
The WJBC Friday Night High School Football Extravaganza features Bloomington (3-0) at Normal West (2-1). West coach Nathan Fincham said his Wildcats face a solid Bloomington quarterback in Griffin Moore as part of a solid core.
“I think we have to slow down their athletes,” Fincham said. “They’re probably the most athletic Bloomington has been in a long time. Defensively, they do a great job of running to the ball. They get multiple hats to the ball carrier every time and they seem to know exactly what they’re doing.”
Normal Community (3-0) steps out of Big Twelve Conference play to host perennial Class 8A power Neuqua Valley of Naperville. Ironmen coach Jason Drengwitz cautioned against taking Neuqua Valley’s 1-2 record lightly.
“Their two losses are to 3-0 Stevenson High School, who’s an 8A powerhouse, and 3-0 Waubonsee Valley,” Drengwitz said. “We’re excited about the challenge but know we’re going to have to play some of our best football to date to win the game.”
U-High (0-3) makes the 90-minute trip to Jacksonville (1-2) in Central State Eight Conference play, while in the Illini Prairie, neighbors Central Catholic and Olympia go for their first win of the season in rural Stanford.
A pair of Heart of Illinois Conference Large Division games round out the Extravaganza as El Paso-Gridley (2-1) visits Tri-Valley (1-2) and Eureka travels to Deer Creek-Mackinaw in a game between 2-1 squads.
The Extravaganza begins at 6:10 p.m. Friday with scene-setters, followed by updates every quarter hour and post-game coverage including interviews and analysis until 11 p.m. Updates can be found on the WJBC Sports Twitter feed (@SportsWJBC).
Week 4 high school football schedule:
Bloomington at Normal West
Champaign (Centennial) at Danville (H.S.)
Peoria (Manual) at Peoria (H.S.)
Peoria (Notre Dame) at Peoria (Richwoods)
Urbana (H.S.) at Champaign (Central)
Central Catholic at Olympia
Chillicothe Illinois Valley Central at Champaign St. Thomas More)
Pontiac at Prairie Central (live WJEZ 98.9 and WJEZ.com)
Rantoul at Monticello
Tolono (Unity) at St. Joseph-Ogden
Central State Eight:
Decatur Eisenhower) at Chatham Glenwood
U-High at Jacksonville
Rochester at Decatur MacArthur
Springfield at Springfield Lanphier
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Springfield Southeast
Heart of Illinois Large:
Eureka at Deer Creek-Mackinaw
El Paso-Gridley at Tri-Valley
Fieldcrest at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
Heart of Illinois Small:
Fisher at Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland (at Flanagan)
Heyworth at Ridgeview-Lexington (at Colfax)
LeRoy at Tremont
Effingham at Lincoln
Clifton Central at Dwight
Clinton at Macon Meridian
Neuqua Valley at Normal Community
Milledgeville at Blue Ridge
Greg Halbleib can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.