Week 7 football previews

Rantoul Eagles (2-4) vs. Bloomington Central Catholic Saints (5-1)

Storyline

Eagles

It’s time to see what these Eagles are really made of now. They have had to come back after losses, of course, but most of them have been blowouts when the game was decided by mid-third quarter. Now, Rantoul has a chance to show what it’s made of following a heartbreaking defeat in which the Eagles fought back from a 20-point deficit.

Saints

Central Catholic did what it was supposed to do and rolled through St. Thomas More, 55-7. Curiously, the Eagles defeated STM 54-7. So, that means we should be in for a one-point thriller on Friday, right? Right? Guys?

Keys to Win

Eagles

Maybe run 1,000 counter plays for Eric Cole? Obviously kidding, but, man, that was an exciting 76-yard touchdown run by the sophomore on Friday. The long jaunt helped pull the Eagles to within five points and gave them a shot at what would have been a dramatic comeback victory.

Saints

Again, air it out. I didn’t think Illinois Valley Central put the ball in the air enough against the Eagles secondary, but I won’t expect a repeat of that in Week 7 when the Saints come marching in (I’m really sorry, you guys).

Players to Watch

Eagles

On second thought, maybe passing on the Eagles won’t be as easy this week now that Eric Cole seems to be locked in. The safety/running back Cole made some big plays on defense, housed the 76-yarder and barely got stripped on the second half’s opening kick or he would’ve been gone for a 90-yarder. Cole could be a game-changer. Maybe this is the week he gets fully unleashed.

Saints

It’s truly going to be pick your poison here for Rantoul defensive coordinator Ben Hankes. The Eagles still have to face Unity, but the one-two punch of QB Max Moews and RB Sa’Mond Davis might be the best duo they face this year.

Fisher Bunnies (4-2) at Tri-Valley Vikings (5-1)

Storyline

Bunnies

No surprise that the Bunnies took care of business last week. What was mildly surprising was the 47-29 score, but it doesn’t really matter. A win is a win, especially when it comes to trying to make it into the playoffs. If Fisher gets to five wins, it will be right on the border of the cutoff for playoff points (as projected by yours truly).

Vikings

Fisher already knocked off 2A’s No. 2 ranked Dee-Mack, so knocking off No. 6 Tri-Valley shouldn’t be an issue, right? Well, actually, the Vikings are probably much better than the Chiefs and won’t be caught off guard by the Bunnies now.

Keys to Win

Bunnies

The win over Dee-Mack is still impressive, but the Chiefs losing to Fieldcrest (in thrilling fashion, I might add) does dim the win slightly, but not by much — the Knights still sound like a very impressive team on the way to the playoffs and perhaps hosting a game. But I digress. I don’t think keeping it simple against T-V will have the same effect as it did against Dee-Mack. Time to let Kade Thomas sling it 20-plus times.

Vikings

After racking up more than 300 yards on the ground in a 49-13 drubbing of El Paso-Gridley, I doubt Tri-Valley does anything out of the ordinary here. A litany of rushes is surely on the way.

Players to Watch

Bunnies

We’ve already used him in this space this year, but the run (literally) that Jaden Jones-Watkins is on right now is impressive. The senior RB has rushed his way to seven touchdowns over the last two games and is a key fixture in the passing game after getting plenty of route-running experience as a WR last season.

Vikings

Zach Woodring rumbled for 296 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in the Vikings’ win over EP-G. The running back has been, and surely will continue to be, Tri-Valley’s workhorse as it looks to compete for a state title.

Contact Zack Carpenter at zcarpenter@rantoulpress.com and on Twitter @ZCarp11.

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports

Comments

Rantoul Press embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. we reserve the right to remove any comment at its discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments