CHAMPAIGN — The Rantoul Eagles football team dropped to 0-5 on the season but not with out contreversy. Many of the players, coaches and fans voiced their opinion on Friday nights officiating. The Eagles were called for 13 penalties many of which Head Coach Tom Hess did not agree with.
“The penalties were definately uneven,” Hess said. “I tried to reason with officials and were not being reasonable.”
Not only were there penalties one of the Eagles key players was ejected. Senior playmaker Robert Bufford was ejected following a play where Bufford was hit late out of bounds but no penalty flag was thrown on the Sabers. Bufford got up and said something to an STM player and was then ejected.
Despite the penalties Hess thoght his team gave away a chance at a win.
“We can’t control the officials and we should still have won the game if we executed well,” Hess said.
Despite the 0-5 record Hess knows there is support out there for his team.
“The support of the administration here is incredible and we feel very supported,” Hess said.
The game it self was tight all the way to the wire.
The Eagles and Sabres traded first half touchdowns going into half tied 7-7.
The Rantoul touchdown came from Keddrick Terhune on the ground.
Braylon Peacock had the Saber touchdown on a six yard run.
In the second half the Eagles took a 10-7 lead on a 30-yard field goal from Jesus Aguayo.
Hess felt like that field goal gave his team a lot of confidence.
“We were winning most of the game and we made a field goal for the time in my years here,” Hess said.
STM took the lead with just over five minutes to go on an 85-yard touchdown pass on fourth and 15 from Jason Brown to Eivory Shellman.
The Eagles now face 5-0 Illinois Valley Central. IVC is coming off a 27-7 win over Prairie Central.
Rantoul heads into the match-up short handed.
“We are decimated with injuries,” Hess said. “We are missing five two-way players, but the culture here is the next man up comes in and makes plays.”
The Grey Ghost will look to challenge the short handed Eagles on offense.
“IVC is undefeated and they have a really good quarterback,” Hess said. “He can throw and run so it will be a heck of a challenge.”
Not only will the game be tough so will the road trip.
“We’re going to make a field trip out of the road trip,” Hess said. “We will stop at the caterpillar museum in Peoria and stretch our legs out a bit.”
You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@RantoulPress.com or on Twitter @RyanBirchRP