By Blake Haas
BLOOMINGTON – Week four of high school football kicks off Friday across Central Illinois.
After falling on short-rest to Illinois Valley Central, Central Catholic (0-3) is looking for their first win over Pontiac (0-3). Saint’s head coach Kevin Braucht said
“We have our full roster available to us this week,” said Saints Head Coach Kevin Braucht. “You know, we are not playing our short weeks, so we’re rested and feel good about where we are at right now. (We) know that we have a Pontiac team that if we don’t play well against, we’re going to have problems with.”
Meanwhile, Bloomington is rolling into the Big 12 tournament against Peoria with momentum after knocking off No. 7 Normal Community 12-6.
“You know, all we asked was to get into the tournament; we wanted to be in the top eight,” said coach Scott Godfrey. “And now the records don’t matter, it’s survive and advance, and we want to go into Peoria Stadium Friday night expecting to win.”
However, Normal Community is looking for revenge in Week four against Danville after falling to Bloomington. Ironmen coach Jason Drengowitz said the Ironment are back at full-steam after having players sit out last week due to COVID-19 protocols.
“Bloomington out-played us; they deserved to win. We were disappointed, but we’re trying to use that for motivation. We had a lot of guys playing offensive line for the first time, but they battled and gave us everything we had, and (I) never questioned their effort anything like that. There were a lot of good things, still disappointing loss, a lot of things we could have done better at all phases as well.”
Across town, after a tough loss to No. 1 Rochester 49-7 last week, University High looks for their second win of the season in a week four matchup with Springfield Lanphier. Pioneers coach John Johnson said he wants to put last week’s loss in the rearview mirror.
“We didn’t watch the film, you know, it’s just one of those games where you just say ‘forget about it.’ And we’re going to play Lanphier this week, who’s a little more style if you will, our speed, and hopefully, we will get a win.”
In Normal, Normal West is looking to carry momentum into a matchup with Champaign Centennial on Saturday after a win in week three over Quincy Notre Dame.
“We still got stuff that we have to work on, they we’re a really good defensive team, but, you know, we were able to do some things to take advantage of what they were doing on defense, and that’s something we really haven’t done up to this point. So, there were definitely some things that I was happy to see there on Saturday,” added coach Nathan Finchim.
In Downs, Tri-Valley looks to end the Heart of Illinois Conference undefeated in their final game against No. 7 Eureka.
“We’ve got a formidable opponent, and we’ve got to continue to focus on stopping the run and being disciplined on defense,” added coach Josh Roop. “We’ve got to limit our mistakes on offense (to make sure); we stop penalizing ourselves and turn the ball over.”
You can hear from seven area coaches on Friday starting at 6 p.m. with play-by-play of Pontiac visiting Central Catholic at 7 p.m. Additionally, live reports from Eureka at Tri-Valley can be heard throughout the evening on AM 1230 WJBC.
Play-by-play of Illinois Valley Central at Prairie Central can be heard on 98.9 FM WJEZ with Marc Strauss on the call at 7 p.m.
Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.