To the football programs of Bradley-Bourbonnais and Bishop McNamara, I apologize. I’m not sure what it is that I did to bring such bad luck, but during the course of the past three weeks, I have brought these two teams a combined three losses, by a combined 11 points, with the final scores coming with a combined 31 seconds left to play.
When the Irish took on defending IHSA Class 4A state champions Immaculate Conception, I was there calling the game on X-Country 106.5 and 105.5 The Ticket (I feel so dirty for shamelessly plugging two weeks in a row, but catch us at Central this Friday). Until the final 30 seconds, it looked as though I was going to be on hand for an upset to catch the attention of football fans across the state before the Knights pulled out a 31-27 win with 28 seconds on the clock.
The next week, after inclement weather moved the Irish’s contest against St. Francis to Saturday morning, I again was present for heartbreak, as the Spartans scored a touchdown as time expired for a 46-43 win.
I don’t think I ever will see as tough a loss as I did Friday at Bradley-Bourbonnais’ homecoming matchup with Andrew — a personal foul penalty that could have gone either way on what seemed to be an accidental collision; an interception that somehow became a catch as tangling players went to the ground; a Hail Mary to a fullback to the 1-yard line that somehow left enough time for a fake spike touchdown run.
If there’s a tougher way to lose a football game than that, I would be highly interested in seeing it. So, Boiler and Irish fans, again, I am sorry for bringing the worst of luck. And to the local schools I’ll be seeing down the stretch, hopefully the last three weeks sucked out whatever bad juju I had stashed subliminally.
Here are the area’s scores for week 6:
- Bishop McNamara 28, Wheaton Academy 7
- Andrew 14, Bradley-Bourbonnais 10
- Kankakee 62, Thornridge 0
- Coal City 41, Manteno 7
- Wilmington 49, Herscher 7
- Lisle 49, Reed-Custer 6
- Peotone 33, Streator 14
- Central 33, Watseka 7
- Dwight 52, Momence 28
- Seneca 47, Iroquois West 14
- Milford-Cissna Park 78, Flanagan-Cornel-Woodland 36
Turning defense into offense
Kankakee looked well-rested when the Kays came out after a week off and laid an absolute thumping on Thornridge with a 62-0 victory. The offense obviously had to ball out to put up that many points, but it was the defense that got the Kays out to a 28-0 lead within the game’s first 15 minutes.
Charles Weathersby had a fumble return for a touchdown and an interception return for a score, and E.J. Robertson had a pick six of his own, all in the first two minutes of the second quarter.
It was also the second shutout in a row for a unit that continues to improve as the season goes on. The Kays are a point away from a 6-0 record and a signature win against Crete-Monee on their resume; other teams, in what promises to be a loaded Class 5A, should be aware the Kays are coming.
Shoutout of the week
This week’s shoutout is split between a couple teams sporting blue and white. Peotone became the latest team to become playoff eligible after bouncing back from a sluggish first half to down Streator 33-14 to get to 5-1.
In Clifton, the Central Comets had a tough test from a surging Watseka squad, but the Comets’ defense had their best performance of the season and forced six turnovers on their way to a 33-7 blowout. If that defense shows up for the rest of the season, the Comets might not see much resistance on their journey to Dekalb.
After the Comets handed Watseka its first loss of the season, the area is down to four remaining undefeated teams — Central, Coal City, Milford-Cissna Park and Wilmington.
The Coalers and Wildcats will meet in Week 8, but the Coalers can’t look too far ahead, as a road trip to Lisle, one of the toughest places to play in the Illinois Central Eight, looms Friday.
Wilmington might come into Friday’s home meeting with Reed-Custer with plenty of confidence, but as the Comets showed last year, with a late rally to scare a Herscher team that reached the Class 3A semifinals, they aren’t going to go down without a fight.
The Comets will be tested for the third-straight week as they host a 5-1 Paxton-Buckley-Loda squad that will look to spoil the Comets’ homecoming plans. The Panthers have won their last five since a season-opening loss to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley in a clash of red-hot Sangamon Valley Conference teams.
Milford-Cissna Park is coming off a 78-point outburst and has to be considered a sizeable favorite to repeat as Illinois 8-Man Football Association champs. Pawnee-Lincolnwood is probably one of the most competitive teams on M-CP’s schedule this season, especially in the midst of a four game-winning streak, but the last team to top the Indians was the same Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland team the Bearcats just toasted for 11 touchdowns.