Even after going 13-1 and winning a Class 2A state title last season, something still bothered Maroa-Forsyth coach Josh Jostes.
In the Trojans’ only defeat last season, Maroa-Forsyth managed just six points in a 7-6 rain-soaked loss to Okaw Valley Conference rival Tolono Unity.
“We felt like we left a lot of plays on the table last year, and that kind of thing drives me,” Jostes told the Decatur Herald & Review. “I’ve spent a year trying to figure out how we got held to six points.”
In Friday’s battle of unbeaten No. 1 state-ranked teams, the Trojans got their revenge.
Class 2A’s No. 1-ranked Maroa-Forsyth flexed its offensive muscles as it rolled to a 48-7 running-clock win over former 3A No. 1 Tolono Unity Friday in Tolono.
M-F quarterback Jack Hockaday led the onslaught as he finished 15-for-21 for 224 yards and three passing touchdowns and also ran for two more scores to hand Unity its worst loss since joining the Okaw Valley in 2008.
‘We’re good, too’
Heading into Friday’s Big Northern Conference West Division game, Winnebago was well aware of how good Rockford Lutheran and sophomore running back James Robinson have been this season.
The Indians, however, wanted to remind everyone how good they can be, too.
Robinson — the Crusaders’ sophomore sensation — ran for 113 yards, but the Indians rushed for 401 yards as a team and had three running backs run for 74 yards or more as Winnebago — now Class 3A’s No. 6-ranked team — rallied to beat former 4A No. 2 Rockford Lutheran 28-22.
“We weren’t intimidated by (Robinson), or anybody. He’s good, but we’re good, too,” running back Michael Pate, who also helped spark the Indian defense from his middle linebacker spot, told the Rockford Register-Star. “No one’s been taking us seriously, but we made the statement tonight that we’re for real. We can dish it out, too.”
A quick start
Mike Ivlow made a quick introduction Saturday.
The Joliet Catholic senior running back broke loose for a 58-yard touchdown run on the game’s first possession and ran for a 63-yard score on Joliet Catholic’s second possession as he finished with a career-high 353 yards rushing to go with three touchdowns as the Hilltoppers — ranked No. 2 in Class 5A — rolled past Nazareth 42-0 in LaGrange Park.
“I don’t think anybody in the state of Illinois expected us to be 4-0 except us,” Ivlow told the Chicago Tribune. “This has just been a fun ride and we don’t want it to stop. This is a huge win for us.”
Ivlow, who added a 67-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter, has rushed for 1,039 yards and 10 TDs this season.
BCC overcomes adversity
After former Bloomington Central Catholic coach Bobby Moews received a one-game suspension for language he used Sept. 6 following his team’s 54-12 loss to rival Normal U-High, Moews returned to practice Sept. 16 but “retired” the next day following a meeting with school’s administration.
It left the team in a bind, but BCC overcame the adversity Friday against Eureka as BCC junior quarterback Grant Glowacki threw four first-half touchdowns as the Saints rolled to a 47-7 win over the Hornets.
“They were so jazzed up; (the win) kind of helped them focus,” interim coach Mike Moews — Bobby’s brother — told the Bloomington Pantagraph. “That was my concern this week with everything going on. All we stressed was ‘Block out everything else, rely on yourself and your teammates.’ The team did a tremendous job in that regard.”
Week 5 Games to Watch
It’s a loaded week around the state as there are at least 12 matchups between state-ranked squads.
The slate is highlighted by Class 8A No. 4 Marist traveling to 5A No. 2 Joliet Catholic, while 7A No. 1 Mt. Carmel travels to 7A No. 6 St. Rita.
Class 7A No. 2 Lake Zurich plays host to 6A No. 4 Lake Forest, while locally, 4A No. 4 Rochelle travels to 5A No. 3 Kaneland.
Another top-5 matchup is 8A No. 5 Homewood-Flossmoor playing host to 7A No. 3 Lincoln -Way East.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.