By Greg Halbleib
The top spot in the Big Twelve Conference is on the line as two long-time rivals meet in Week 6 of high school football on Friday night.
Normal Community (4-1, 4-0 Big Twelve) visits Bloomington (4-1, 3-1) in the featured game of the WJBC Friday Night High School Football Extravaganza. The host Purple Raiders are coming off of a 47-12 win over Urbana on Saturday afternoon, a day after the visiting Ironmen defeated Manual 48-14 in Peoria.
Bloomington coach Scott Godfrey knows the Ironmen are led by a solid quarterback in Daylen Boddie.
“We’ve got to do a good job on him of limiting his big plays,” Godfrey said. “Defensively, they pose so many different looks. We’ve just got to stay in control and not turn the ball over, do what we do and not get caught up in the atmosphere of the game.”
Normal Community coach Jason Drengwitz agrees that the game should contain a lot of energy, on and off the field.
“Every game is important, but when you’re playing a crosstown rival it’s a big deal,” Drengwitz said. “We try to tell our guys to just be excited about the opportunity to play in these types of games. This could provide us with some separation (in the conference standings) and make us playoff-eligible. It’s big for both teams. I think both are playing really well. It’s going to be fun.”
The Extravaganza will also feature coverage of Normal West (4-1, 4-1 Big Twelve) in non-conference play at Hampshire (0-5), Central Catholic (0-5) at St. Thomas More (3-2), Springfield Southeast (1-4) at U-High (1-4), Tri-Valley (3-2, 2-0 Heart of Illinois Large) at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (5-0, 2-0) for the conference lead and Fieldcrest (2-3, 0-2 HOIC Large) at Deer Creek-Mackinaw (3-2, 0-2).
The Extravaganza begins at 6:10 p.m. on AM 1230 WJBC with scene-setters, around-the-horn updates from all games every quarter hour and post-game interviews and analysis until 11 p.m. Scores and more can also be found on the WJBC Sports Twitter feed (@SportsWJBC).
Greg Halbleib can be reached at email@example.com.