By Blake Haas
BLOOMINGTON – Normal Community’s High School football game against Quincy Notre Dame last week was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.
However, Ironmen Coach Jason Drengowitz says that the Ironmen will still host Bloomington while eight players remain in quarantine.
“It was a little bit of a whirl-wind; we feel fortunate that our whole program didn’t have to get shut down; we just have some players in quarantine that we’re going to be able to play this week. So it’s been a unique week, a different week unlike anyone we’ve ever had to go through, but our players and our coaching staff have really handled the adversity well.”
Meanwhile, Deer-Creek Mackinaw returns to Mackinaw on Friday after falling to Fieldcrest in Week 2. Dee-Mack first-year coach Cody Meyers said his team is looking for their first victory against Tri-Valley.
“We know them coming to our place is another tough game, but when I took this job, you just smiled because you thought to yourself how fun it would be every week to have another team coming in or going to their place and knowing how well-coached and the tradition and culture these other programs have. So it’s going to be a great atmosphere for our kids to participate in.”
Tri-Valley coach Josh Roop said although Dee-Mack is 0-2, this week will be a tough matchup against the Chiefs.
“Fieldcrest only beat them 17-0 this past week. You know they are physical; watching them, they are big. They’re obviously their new coach Cody (Meyers) done a great job and what he’s trying to do and keeping things simple and teaching fundamentals. I’d say if anything stood out, its how physical they are.”
Thanks to 126 rushing yards from running back Connor Moore, the Heyworth Hornets cruised to a 20-16 win over Cerro Gordo in their first game of the COVID-19 shortened season last week.
“Honestly, I didn’t we’d ever get to this point where we are getting to play,” added Hornets coach Derek Logue. “(I) was unsure at some points if it was even a good idea given the circumstances and squeezing it all in in a short time frame and stuff. But, I’m extremely glad we’re getting to play.”
And down the road, University High returns to Week three action after sailing past Springfield Southeast last week 49-6. Pioneers coach John Johnson said week three would be a measuring stick against Class 4A No. 1 Rochester.
“Well, they’re good. They’re really good. State champions coming back, they’re loaded again, so we’ll have our work cut out for us, but it’s a good measuring stick for us. We got to go up there and play, but our kids will be ready for it, and hopefully, we will show ourselves well and play a good game against a great football team.
You can hear from area coaches starting at 6 p.m. with play-by-play of Bloomington at Normal Community and reports from Tri-Valley at Dee-Mack beginning at 7.
On our sister station Classic Hits 98.9 WJEZ No. 10 Unity visits Pontiac with Marc Strauss on the call starting at 6.50.
Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.