A topsy-turvy night on the Tri-State gridiron. Sometimes what you expect to happen doesn't. That's why it's always best to see how it all plays out. WGEM Sports Director Ben Marth takes a backward glance at the fourth week of the high school football season with quick hitters from near and far.
-- Welcome back, Jirehl Brock. And welcome back to the Quincy High School defense. And welcome back the Blue Devils to the win column. A team without a win in the first two weeks of the season for the first time in nearly a decade finally played with a sense of urgency and walked off Bob Reade Field with a 21-17 much needed win at state ranked Geneseo. Brock used his arms and then his feet to set up the go-ahead Logan Ross touchdown in the final minute to avoid an 0-3 start. But it was the defense that head coach Rick Little pointed out on The 5th Quarter as the key to victory. Quincy's biggest question mark coming into the season answered the call.
-- The Joe Hendricker to Tanner Sussenbach quarterback/receiver combination has become one of my favorite connections. Brown County's dynamic duo came through in the clutch to help guide the Hornets past Beardstown in overtime to take early control of the WIVC North. Devin Tynan once again showed off his lethal speed with 110 receiving yards, including a 77-yard TD strike from Hendricker. The visitors may have forced OT with a TD with no time left but credit the Jared Hoots-led defense for taming the Tigers for most of the game. The Hornets finish with four out of their final six games on the road but certainly gave their home crowd plenty to cheer for in improving to 3-0.
-- Palmyra has won three straight games since struggling in the season opener at Macon. Jacob Kroeger and Peyton Plunkett combined for 230 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the Panthers scored 37 unanswered points to beat South Shelby on Homecoming. The offensive line has found its groove and the defense has too, in limiting the Cardinals to 195 yards of offense. Next week at Clark County should be fun.
-- West Hancock continues to take care of business. Clark County gave the Titans a scare but the No. 4 squad in Class 2A made it three consecutive victories in their journey across the state of Missouri. The Bryce Buckert/Bryce Wilson/Riley Langford/Chase Hartweg train is tough to slow down, thanks in large part to a group up front that deserves a lot more credit than they receive. Travis Cook's team finally gets a home game next week when Schuyler County comes to Warsaw in the finale of four straight games against Show Me State squads. West Hancock will play four out of its final six games at home.
-- Unfortunately no James Vandenberg but there was James Hurt, Cole Lockwood, and others, as Keokuk welcomed home its 2007 state championship team on Friday night. We're told Vandenberg was on a hunting trip and couldn't make the reunion. Still, a great gesture by the Chiefs to honor a team that's arguably the best I've covered in my more than 15 years in the region. Programming note - my cohort Sean Barie breaks down the Calvert Stadium celebration Sunday on WGEM News at 10.
-- Central Lee bounced back in a big way with a 53-14 victory over Davis County. Jared Brisby was a monster on defense with 11.5 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery, and Adam Rooney rushed for 116 yards and three TD's.
-- Wins can be hard to come by, no matter the sport. Good to see Macomb take care of business in beating Blue Ridge to hand head coach Tony Westen his first win with the Bombers.
-- I walked out of Porter Stadium scratching my head. You just don't see teams come to America's Hometown and roll up 339 rushing yards against the Pirates. Mexico did just that. Hannibal has to tackle better. Simple as that.
-- Bowling Green has quickly erased back-to-back losses to start the season with consecutive victories. Quality road win for the Bobcats at Van-Far especially when you consider they needed a big drive late to prevail and they did. A young Bobcats team is growing up in front of our eyes.
-- Two area teams posted shutouts in week four and they both accomplished the difficult feat on the road. Props to Monroe City and Pleasant Hill for properly handling their business trips.
-- Don't sleep on Central's ability to share the wealth. Our area's version of the fearsome foursome - Cole Williams, Wilson Stotts, Noah Strohkirch, and Chase Norfolk, has really come together and running roughshod on Jacksonville Routt was proof. The schedule offers true tests with a four-week WIVC North gauntlet ahead. The Panthers have Triopia, Beardstown, Unity-Payson, and Brown County coming up.
-- Maybe there is some truth to what one victory can do for a team. Scotland County has won two straight after being left off the radar following back-to-back losses. Will Fromm and Gage Dodge proved their undeniable worth in the 31-8 victory at Schuyler County.
-- After two consecutive losses to state ranked teams in Alleman and Morris, Quincy Notre Dame is halfway through its quirky four-game home stand and hasn't looked good in the start to it. Captain Motivator, Bill Connell, will have his team ready for Lutheran-St. Charles (Mo.) next week. Trust me.
-- Bushnell/WP made quick work of Havana to improve to 3-0. More impressively the Sparclones didn't punt once and didn't commit a penalty. There's even more to like about a veteran-led and disciplined team. Now, the schedule turns an entirely different direction. BWP's first three opponents have yet to win a game. Its next three foes are a combined 8-1 - Illini West, Elmwood-Brimfield, and Farmington.
I'm all out of time. Time for me to be a dad for a few days. Thanks, as always, for reading and watching.