The Normal Community Ironmen host Normal West tonight. (Photo by You Name It Sports)
By Eric Stock
Normal Community and Normal West will have more at stake than just a bowl of chili when they meet at NCHS tonight.
The Ironmen (3-0, 3-1 overall) and Wildcats (4-0, 4-0) are the only two remaining unbeaten teams in the Big 12 Conference as they prepare for the Unit 5 battle at Ironmen Field. That is the feature matchup on the WJBC Friday Night High School Football Extravaganza powered by Frontier Communications.
NCHS coach Wes Temples says knows what his team is up against.
"Normal West is a great football team. They've won some close games, they've won some blowouts. From our standpoint, we have to make sure to keep them contained because they are pretty explosive," Temples said.
West coach Darren Hess believes the line of scrimmage will determine the winner.
"I think it always comes down to up-front on both sides of the football. They have a tremendous size and ability on both sides," Hess said.
Central Catholic takes a two-game winning streak to Pontiac. The full play-by-play for that game will be on WJEZ 98.9 FM and WJEZ.com.
CCHS coach Mike Moews says the Saints are starting to benefit from a stable offensive line.
"We've had the same line now for two games straight and I think they are starting to understand each other and picking things up," Moews said.
University High School coach Dusty Burk says forcing turnovers is an emphasis on practice every day as the Pioneers prepare to play at Eureka.
"We talk about it a lot in practice and we expect the kids to fly around the football and we want guys to work on getting the ball loose and getting our hands on it," Burk said.
There will be a battle of 4-0 teams in Downs as Tri-Valley hosts Fisher, while Heyworth visits LeRoy.
The Extravaganza begins at 6 p.m. on WJBC 1230 AM and has reports from every game every quarter hour and postgame until 11 p.m. You can also listen live on WJBC.com and on iHeartRadio.
You can follow scores at Twitter.com/WJBCHSFootball and on www.Facebook.com/WJBCAMFM.
The Bloomington Purple Raiders will play Chicago St. Patrick at Hanson Stadium in Chicago at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday. WJBC.com will have the play-by-play at 1 p.m.
Bloomington coach Rigo Schmelzer says his team will be facing a stiff test in the Shamrocks.
"They have great discipline. They have all the facets of the game covered: special teams, offense and defense," Schmelzer said, adding that St. Patrick's closest comparison to a Big 12 opponent would be Normal Community.
Cardinals vs. Cubs
The St. Louis Cardinals can clinch the National League Central Division title with a win or a Pittsburgh Pirates' loss. The Cardinals closed out the regular season with a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium.
Lance Lynn (14-10) pitches for the Cardinals against Travis Wood (9-11).
The game will be on WJBC 93.7 FM at 6:20 p.m. for the 7;15 p.m. scheduled first pitch. 'Live at Shannon's' comes after the game.
Redbird soccer, volleyball
The Illinois State women's soccer team hosts the Mastadons from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) at 4 p.m. in the Redbirds' final non-conference match.
The Redbird volleyball team returns to Missouri Valley Conference play to host Indiana State at Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. You can listen to both live at WJBC.com.
Eric Stock can be reached at email@example.com.