Sports Highlights for Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017

The Panthers' Rahveon Valentine runs through the hole opened up by his blockers, Ian Kuehl (55), Sean Ormiston (22), and Isaiah Bruce (88), during Friday night's game in Pearl City. Valentine carried the pigskin 28 times for 226 yards and a first quarter TD as Le-Win rolled to the 34-6 victory over EPC.
The Panthers' Rahveon Valentine runs through the hole opened up by his blockers, Ian Kuehl (55), Sean Ormiston (22), and Isaiah Bruce (88), during Friday night's game in Pearl City. Valentine carried the pigskin 28 times for 226 yards and a first quarter TD as Le-Win rolled to the 34-6 victory over EPC.

Varsity football schedule


Amboy at Le-Win

West Carroll at Dakota

East Dubuque at Forreston

EPC at Galena

Stockton at AFC

Orangeville at Freeport Aquin

River Ridge at Polo

Milledgeville at Warren

Rochelle at Geneseo

LaSalle-Peru at Ottawa

Sterling at Yorkville

Orion at Fulton

Bureau Valley at Sterling Newman

Morrison at Port Byron Riverdale

Peru St. Bede at Rockridge

Erie/Prophetstown at Princeton

Kewanee at Sherrard

Monmouth-Roseville at Spring Valley Hall

Rockton Hononegah at Belvidere

Belvidere North at Machesney Park Harlem

Freeport at Rockford East

Rockford Jefferson at Rockford Auburn

Rockford Guilford at Rockford Boylan


Pecatonica/Durand at Madison

Varsity football scores

SEPT. 22

Le-Win 34, EPC 6: EPC’s rivalry with Lena-Winslow is called the Route 73 Rumble, but on a night when the EPC Wildcatz looked to rumble things up in the NUIC Northwest division standing, Friday wasn’t that night. Instead, it belonged to the Panthers’ Rahveon Valentine. 

With 28 carries and 226 rushing yards, Valentine’s Panthers kept their unbeaten season intact by downing the Wildcatz 34-6 in Pearl City. Along the way, the 5-foot-9, 183-pound senior running back broke the 3,000-yard threshold on the ground. The Panthers (5-0, 5-0 NUIC Northwest) ran their first four plays with Valentine weaving around the left end, and it would set the tone for the game. He had 114 yards on 14 carries by halftime, and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 46-yard pinball run with with 3:22 to go in the opening quarter. “That’s a great achievement, and a great milestone to come across,” Valentine said, “but I just got to keep getting better after this. I couldn’t do this without my offensive line the past 4 years. We just got to keep working.” EPC’s rushing game came up empty during the first quarter – when the Wildcatz punted four times – and they elected to pass the ball more often. Braden Smargiassi found senior wide receiver Lucas Peterson for big gains just before the junior quarterback connected with twin brother Brock for a 10-yard TD strike. 

“We didn’t have anything,” Braden Smargiassi said. “They kind of just dominated us all the way through the game.” Most of the Wildcatz’s 63 yards on 29 carries came with the Panthers well ahead in the fourth quarter. Sean Ormiston added a pair of TDs for the Panthers, and Christman tacked on another. Alternating between nose tackle and inside linebacker, Ty Kuehl excelled in both positions for the Panthers on defense, getting his hand on three large tackles for loss.

“We were doing really good up front,” Kuehl said. “We were keeping an eye on their guys, trying to get through holes and make bubbles.”

Milledgeville 30, Orangeville 28: Like a villain in a horror movie, Orangeville just kept coming at Milledgeville Friday night, no matter how many “death blows” the host Missiles seemed to deal the Broncos. But, like most horror movies, the villain was eventually slain, just when the heroes’ backs were planted firmly against the wall, as Milledgeville won 30-28.

“I really thought we fought well tonight,” said Missiles coach Jason Wroble. “Our guys kept fighting, and I’m really happy with the way we scrapped the whole game.” Ahead 22-6 and dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball with only 8 minutes left, the Missiles looked poised for a clean runout and their fourth win in their first five games. However, the win was in serious peril until a clutch defensive stand in the final seconds by the Missiles (4-1), who allowed 171 yards in the fourth quarter. In the end, the defense clamped down, forcing five straight incomplete passes to end the game, including on a final fourth-and-6 from the 29-yard line. Prior to that, the Broncos (3-2) posted back-to-back touchdowns within 3 minutes of each other, both on deep passes by quarterback Austin Guy. Those scores cut the Milledgeville lead to 22-20, and in the middle of that chaos, Missiles lineman Blayne Kappes was ejected for a personal foul penalty that perhaps came in retaliation for a perceived late hit to the knees of Missiles’ QB Jack Munz on the previous possession. With Milledgeville’s once-comfortable situation suddenly crumbling, running back Nate Rahn gave his team a bit of a cushion by busting through for a 53-yard touchdown to stretch the lead back to 30-20 with just over 4 minutes left. But, again, the Mike Meyers-like Broncos kept coming. Guy used his feet this time, breaking free for a 20-yard gain that set up a 6-yard TD run with 2:24 remaining. Orangeville forced a Missiles’ three-and-out to get the ball back near midfield with a minute left, but their its drive stalled without a single completed pass. “(Guy) is a dual threat,” Wroble said. “We knew it was going to be a challenge to contain him. He is one of the best players we’ve played against this year.”

West Carroll 46, Galena 0: Kody Plattenberger and Jacob Dunk hooked up for three touchdown passes as the Thunder clobbered the Pirates in Savanna. Dunk’s TD passes were from 17, 11 and 5 yards, and he had six catches for 91 yards. Plattenberger completed 12 of 17 passes for 167 yards. He also tossed a 6-yard TD pass to Kaleb Hartman, and scored on runs of 13 and 1 yard.

Hartman had 16 carries for 96 yards. Devon Murray had 10 tackles, while Hartman and Dean Helms added seven apiece to pace the West Carroll (4-1) defense.

Fulton 38, Morrison 30: Max Lemke dropped back for the second varsity pass of his career with two things on his mind. He knew that Tyler Bruggenwirth was tall and that he has impressive ups. All Lemke had to do was get the ball down the field. Lemke’s heave did just that, Bruggenwirth jumped above a Morrison defender for the catch, and then backed into the end zone. A 2-point conversion run and then an interception on a Morrison last-second Hail Mary attempt sealed the Steamers’ 38-30 victory in the annual Wooden Shoe Bowl at Bud Cole Field. 

“I knew that Tyler can dunk and that he can jump, like, 10-feet,” said Lemke, a junior who was thrust into action after Fulton starter Bryce Grant was ejected late in the third quarter. “All I wanted to do was throw it up there for him. I saw him catch it, and it was the greatest feeling ever.”

“I was just focused on bringing it in,” Bruggenwirth said. “The ball was super slippery, so I wanted to get it in. After that, I just wanted to make sure that I scored.” Bruggenwirth did score with 15.1 seconds left, thwarting a pesky Morrison team that was coming off a 54-point loss to Newman last week. “The difference this week was all about the first drive,” Morrison quarterback Reilly Dolan said. “Last week, we had two bad snaps in the first drive, and we never recovered from that. Tonight, we didn’t do that. We drove the ball and our confidence kept building.” The score was tied at 22 at half. Morrison opened the second half with a 11-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard plunge by Aaron Deter to put the Mustangs up 30-22. 

After Morrison (3-2, 0-2 Three Rivers Rock) forced a turnover on downs, Dolan threw the first of two interceptions, this one by Lemke, who was playing defensive back and returned it to the Fulton 10. Two plays later, Grant connected with Nathan McLuckie for a TD to tie the score at 30. It was the second TD connection for the two, as McLuckie caught a TD with 8.9 second left in the first half to tie the score at 22. That touchdown was setup by a 57-yard reception by Andrew Knudsen. Deter led Morrison with 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Mustangs outgained Fulton (4-1, 2-1) 344 yards to 293.

Forreston 50, Freeport Aquin 19

Polo 41, Warren 8

Sterling 45, Geneseo 8

Stockton 34, River Ridge 0

Amboy 33, East Dubuque 7

Dakota 45, Pecatonica/Durand 6

AFC 60, River Valley 0

Byron 49, Rock Falls 13

Dixon 44, Woodstock 13

Winnebago 58, Oregon 30

Bureau Valley 22, Riverdale 14

Kewanee 39, Erie/Prophetstown 19

Freeport 41, Rockford Jefferson 30

SEPT. 23

Sterling Newman 22, Rockridge 21

Varsity volleyball schedule


Eastland at Warren

Orangeville at Milledgeville

Fulton at Morrison

River Ridge at Stockton

Galena at Pearl City

Freeport Aquin at AFC

Durand at Forreston

Pecatonica/Durand at Polo

Kewanee at Sterling Newman

Sterling at Sycamore

Scales Mound at West Carroll


Morrison, Sterling Newman, Fulton, Sterling at Sterling tourney


Eastland at Scales Mound

Milledgeville at Pecatonica

West Carroll at River Ridge

Pearl City at East Dubuque

Amboy at Freeport Aquin

Polo at Orangeville

Freeport at Rockford Boylan


River Ridge at Eastland

Galena at West Carroll

Riverdale at Morrison

Warren at Pearl City

Forreston at Dakota

Sterling Newman at Prophetstown

Yorkville at Sterling

Varsity volleyball results

SEPT. 18

Eastland 2, West Carroll 0 (25-13, 25-15): Something wasn’t quite working with the Eastland volleyball team last week, so Kelsey Pierce decided to go back to the basics. The first-year Cougars coach restructured her team’s rotation Saturday during the Mt. Pulaski Fall Festival. Getting by with a 2-3 showing down south, the Cougars brought their new-look back home Monday to defeat West Carroll 25-13, 25-15 at Ludwig Gym. With senior Katie Krogman anchoring the middle of the front row, and junior setter Erica Dambman behind the service line, the Cougars (8-11-2, 2-2 NUIC West) showed how their new combination worked well against the winless Thunder. In both sets, the Cougars broke away from tight play early with a couple of Krogman slams through the middle, and Dambman following with a momentum-pushing ace. “We got a new rotation recently, and I just think we’re meshing and working together more as a unit,” Krogman said. “It’s working better. We have better passes, better serves; we’re just a better volleyball team now than we were a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s worked really well, and it’s got some future.” Pierce has seen her team go though more up-and-down motions than necessary so far, and hopes her team can become more fluid in their play by being better each time they contact the ball. The Cougars went on a 10-point run to run away with the first set against the Thunder, and pieced together smaller runs to build the lead in the second set. “I like to tell the girls that everything we do is ever-changing,” Pierce said. “Nothing’s ever set in stone. We started the season with a unique rotation, and as it turned out, we just went back to the basics, and it’s been working out really well. “We got through it this weekend, and went through the growing pains of switching it up, and I think it’s really starting to get smooth.” Eastland broke a 4-4 tie in the first set after getting a break after a slam from Thunder junior Maddie Meek landed just centimeters out of bounds. Krogman scored kills right after two Thunder hitting errors for a 9-4 lead before West Carroll called time out. Dambman followed with an ace, and Krogman followed with her third kill to put the set out of reach. Krogman broke a 3-3 tie in the second set with a roll tip from center, and, after a Thunder hitting error, Dambman followed with her second ace. The competitive starts led to trouble for the Thunder in both sets, which seems to be the case most of the year for them. “Usually we start out strong, and we just can’t finish,” Thunder coach Nia Diercks said. “We have a young team, but I just think that if we keep building and playing together, we can find the right six that work. That’s what we’re going to work on.” Krogman led the Cougars with six kills. “I think on paper, we don’t look as good as we are in person,” Krogman said. “We’re definitely the underdog this season. We were the underdog last year, and we’re the underdog this year, having lost even more pieces. A lot of people don’t believe in us, and that’s something in the back of our minds that we work for.” The Cougars hope their new look pays dividends come postseason. “We’re getting used to it right now,” Eastland libero Gabby Snyder said. “We’re working out the kinks and everything, but I think it will be better for us in the long run.” 

AFC 2, Milledgeville 0 (25-20, 25-23): A third set looked all but imminent Monday night between Milledgeville and AFC, with the Missiles up by five in the second set after the Raiders won the first set.

The tide turned in a hurry, as AFC used a 10-3 run to finish off Milledgeville in straight sets 25-20, 25-23. “For whatever reason right now, we’re quick to get complacent,” Milledgeville coach Kurt Folk said. “We think we can cruise instead of pushing through.” The Raiders (10-4, 2-2 NUIC East) went on a 5-1 run, forcing a timeout by the Missiles after Camdyn Penick served up an ace. Kourtney Queckboerner gave Milledgeville some breathing room with back-to-back aces, but a hitting error and an ace by AFC’s Sammy Smith cut the Raiders’ deficit to one again at 23-22. Back-to-back stuff blocks by Emily Shrimplin gave AFC its first lead of the set at 24-23, and a Milledgeville attack went into the net to seal the Raider win. “Being a close game, I knew we had to attack and be big at the net and help our back row out,” Shrimplin said. “I came at it aggressively.” A pair of kills by Alyvia Woodward and an emphatic spike by Rebecca Waite, coupled with two Raider hitting errors gave Milledgeville an early 9-6 lead in the second set. After AFC tied the set with three straight points, the Missiles (5-8, 1-3) responded with three straight of their own. The two conference foes battled back and forth early in the match, but the Raiders took the set thanks to their serving. Shrimplin had four straight aces to give AFC a 15-13 lead in the first set, and Jaynee Prestegaard’s three consecutive aces extended the lead to 20-14. Penick’s ace made it 23-18 AFC, and Smith fittingly capped the first-set victory with an ace. In all, the Raiders finished with 12 aces in the match, as the Missiles struggled to pick up on their serve receive.

“We work on it a lot in practice, serving between chairs and people,” Shrimplin said. “The main thing is just staying calm.” “We’ve talked that against good teams, you can’t give them the ball and run their offense,” AFC coach Jan Cupp said. “So we worked on serving between people. I’m a big advocate of sidelines and corners.” Shrimplin played through a wrist injury she suffered Saturday at the Mercer County Tournament. The 4-year varsity setter didn’t show any pain, finishing with 10 assists, four blocks, four aces, two digs, and two tip kills that changed momentum. “Coach [Cupp] always helps me see the block, and my teammates yell ‘3, 3, 3!,’ That’s when I know it’s open,” Shrimplin said of the tip kills. “Having good hitters, they’re set up for it. Then you sneak one of those in and they never see it coming.” Prestegaard had seven kills, five digs and also served up four aces for the Raiders. Smith was balanced with three kills, three digs and a pair of aces, Penick finished with three digs and a pair of aces, and Callie Shrimplin had a team-high six digs. Holly Smith dished out 10 assists and had five digs, two blocks and two kills for the Missiles. Rebecca Waite finished with nine digs, seven kills and six assists, while Sabreena Hartman collected five digs and had the Missiles’ only ace of the match.

Dakota 2, Freeport Aquin 1 (19-25, 25-22, 25-20)

Warren 2, East Dubuque 0 (25-15, 25-20)

Durand 2, Pecatonica 0 (25-23, 25-17)

SEPT. 18

Milledgeville 2, Polo 0 (25-17, 25-16): Rebecca Waite had 10 kills and seven assists in the Missiles’ NUIC East home win over the Marcos. Holly Smith added seven assists, and Lauren Strauss served up a pair of aces. Rilley Peterson had five kills and five digs for the Marcos. Cassie Bushman had seven digs, and Lexi Cox had eight assists.

Orion 2, Morrison 0 (25-15, 25-11): Emily Szabo had three kills and a block in the Fillies’ TRAC West loss at Orion. Madison Steines had six digs and an ace, and Mackenzie Petkus had three assists for Morrison.

Sterling 2, Rochelle 0 (25-21, 25-7)

AFC 2, Forreston 0 (25-23, 25-20)

Fulton 2, Erie 0 (25-12, 25-20)

River Ridge 2, Pearl City 1 (25-22, 16-25, 25-15)

Le-Win 2, Stockton 0 (25-12, 25-19)

Machesney Park Harlem 2, Freeport 1 (25-21, 27-29, 25-21)

Durand 2, Orangeville 0 (25-19, 25-8)

Galena 2, Scales Mound 0 (25-11, 25-15)

Stillman Valley 2, Winnebago 0 (26-24, 25-16)

Rockford Christian 2, Dixon 0 (30-28, 25-22)

Oregon 2, Mendota 1 (21-25, 25-11, 25-12)

Rockford Lutheran 2, Byron 1 (23-25, 25-11, 25-14)

SEPT. 20

Sterling Newman 2, Bureau Valley 0 (25-22, 22-5)

Prophetstown 2, Kewanee 0 (26-24, 25-21)

SEPT. 21

Le-Win 2, Pearl City 0 (25-11, 25-17): The Lady Panthers controlled the court and took the two set victory at home to improve their record to 14-4. Jaden Julius had seven kills and teammate Della Crain added five for Le-Win. 

Sterling 2, Ottawa 0 (25-7, 25-17)

Riverdale 2, Fulton 1 (20-25, 25-9, 25-16)

Eastland 2, East Dubuque 1 (25-23, 24-26, 25-21)

Galena 2, River Ridge 0 (26-24, 25-14)

Dakota 2, Amboy 1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-10)

Scales Mound 2, Warren 0 (25-19, 25-17)

Oregon 2, Rock Falls 1 (25-17, 18-25, 25-18)

Dixon 2, Geneseo 1 (18-25, 25-18, 26-24)

Boys golf scores

SEPT. 18

at Baker Park, Kewanee

Bureau Valley: 163 Morrison: 167 Kewanee: 184

Medalist: Spencer Marquez, Bureau Valley: 36

Morrison scores: Noah VanZuiden: 40, Adam Lindstrom: 41, Corbin Wilkens: 43, Ryan Damhoff: 43, Jacob Brown: 56

at Byron Hills, Byron

Riverdale: 140 Sterling Newman & Rockridge tied: 168

Medalist: Tyler Bussert, Rockridge: 31

Sterling Newman scores: Cody Britt: 39, Jacob Rude: 42, Blake Wolfe: 43, Cael Sanders: 44, Luke Ely: 48, Josh Payan: 50

at Silver Ridge, Oregon

Polo: 181 Oregon: 197

Medalist: Mack Llanas, Polo: 38

Other Polo scores: Trevin Woodin: 44, Lane Hopkins: 46, Hayden Bittinger: 53, Justin Young: 58, Scott Prerost: 59

at Prairie View, Byron

Sterling: 162 Stillman Valley: 175

Medalist: Nate Olson, Sterling: 36

Other Sterling scores: Nick Ceruzzi: 37, Luke Steinke: 44, Jake Alston: 45, Nathaniel Stout: 46, Charles Lehman: 51

SEPT. 19

at Lacoma, East Dubuque

East Dubuque: 177 West Carroll: 203

Medalist: Collin Williamson, East Dubuque: 42

West Carroll scores: Ethan Reiland: 45, Deacon Hill: 51, Ty Aljets: 53, Jacob McLuckie: 54, Brody Artman: 56

at Deer Valley, Deer Grove

Sterling Newman: 163 Rock Falls: 168 Morrison: 213

Medalist: Jacob Rude, Sterling Newman: 35

Other Newman scores: Cael Sanders: 40, Blake Wolfe: 43, Cody Britt: 45, Josh Payan: 56, Luke Ely: 61

Morrison scores: Adam Lindstrom: 48, Corbin Wilkins: 53, Jacob Brown: 56, Noah VanZuiden: 57

at Emerald Hill, Sterling

Sterling: 166 Rochelle: 186

Medalist: Nate Olson, Sterling: 38

Other Sterling scores: Nick Ceruzzi: 39, Jake Alston: 42, Joe Sivita: 47, Nathaniel Stout: 48, Luke Steinke: 49, Josh O’Brien: 49, Charles Lehman: 51

at Lake Erie, Erie

Fulton: 160 Sherrard: 180 Erie: 201

Medalist: Andrew Schrader, Fulton: 37

Other Fulton scores: Alex Hartman: 39, Patrick Wiebenga: 42, Brady Schaver: 42, Jason Sikkema: 44, Josh Vanderploeg: 50

SEPT. 20

at Sunset, Mt. Morris

River Ridge: 187 Forreston: 188 Eastland/Milledgeville: 190

Medalist: Bennett Reese, River Ridge: 42

E/MV scores: Kaden Henze: 46, Brady Balk: 47, Ethan Doty: 48, Dawson DeMichele: 49, Treyton Selman: 55, Riley Stover: 64

at Deer Valley, Deer Grove

Sterling Newman: 164 Prophetstown: 185 Kewanee: 200

Medalist: Jacob Rude, Sterling Newman: 36

Other Newman scores: Blake Wolfe: 37, Josh Payan: 45, Cody Britt: 46, Blake Gockel: 49, Cael Sanders: 53

at Blackhawk Run, Stockton

Stockton: 166 Polo: 179 Amboy: 204

Medalist: Alex Staver, Stockton: 35

Polo scores: Mack Llanas: 41, Trevin Woodin: 43, Lane Hopkins: 46, Hayden Bittinger: 49, Megan Call: 55, Scott Prerost: 56

SEPT. 21

at Lake Carroll, Lanark

Le-Win/Pearl City: 190 Eastland/Milledgeville: 197

Medalist: Jaryd Breece, Le-Win/Pearl City: 44

E/MV scores: Dawson DeMichele: 46, Kaden Henze: 47, Brock Coatney: 51, Ethan Doty: 53, Brady Balk: 54, Riley Stover: 54

at Park Hills, Freeport

Freeport: 160 Sterling: 166

Medalist: Andrew Bastian, Freeport: 36

Sterling scores: Nate Olson: 40, Nick Ceruzzi: 41, Jake Alston: 42, Luke Steinke: 43, Charles Lehman: 46, Nathaniel Stout: 50 

Girls golf scores

SEPT. 18

at Emerald Hill, Sterling

Sterling: 215 Princeton: 223 Freeport: 225

Medalist: Maxine Nesemeier, Freeport: 37

Sterling scores: Abby Sheets: 51, Julia Hoffman: 52, Averi Heintzelman: 55, Emma Boze: 57, Olivia Schwingle: 64

SEPT. 19

at Senica’s Oak Ridge, LaSalle

Geneseo: 182 Sterling: 210 LaSalle-Peru: 225

Medalist: Eryn Murray, Geneseo: 42

Sterling scores: Emma Boze: 50, Averi Heintzelman: 52, Julia Hoffman: 52, Abby Sheets: 56, Olivia Schwingle: 66

SEPT. 20

at Emerald Hill, Sterling

Sterling: 199 Dixon: 224

Medalist: Emma Boze, Sterling: 48

Other Sterling scores: Averi Heintzelman: 51, Julia Hoffman: 54, Abby Sheets: 58, Olivia Schwingle: 63

SEPT. 21

at Lake Carroll, Lanark

Eastland/Milledgeville: 214 Le-Win/Pearl City: 419

Medalist: Emma Norton, E/MV: 50

Other E/MV scores: Jenna French: 53, Chloe Anderson: 55, Ashley Janssen: 56, Naomi Mullen: 62

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