Week 5 Matchups
South Seven Conference
Belleville Althoff at Centralia
The Orphans have raced out to a 3-1 start to the season, including a 27-21 victory over the Terriers at Carbondale last Friday. This week, the Orphans return home to host the Althoff Catholic Crusaders of Belleville (2-2).
Althoff put 41 points on the board last week, but allowed 68 to a much improved Mount Vernon ballclub. Look for Centralia and Althoff to put big numbers up on the scoreboard this week, too, with the Orphans getting the edge at home.
Carbondale at Cahokia
The Terriers (1-3) have been competitive for the most part this fall, but can't quite scale the mountain, having dropped contests to Murphysboro, Waterloo and now Centralia. The lone win was a thriller at home against Granite City won on a last-second field goal.
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This week, Carbondale hits the road for Cahokia. The Comanches, playing without their starting quarterback last week, fell at Marion, 36-14. This is a winnable game for the Terriers, but they will have to play well and perhaps catch a break or two to make that happen.
Anna-Jonesboro at Carterville
The way Carterville (4-0) is playing of late, it will take a monumental effort on the part of the Wildcats to still be within striking distance of the Lions at the half.
Since earning a narrow victory at Herrin in Week 2, Carterville found its missing offense and has proceeded to put 103 points on the board over the last two weeks against worthy opponents in Murphysboro and Du Quoin.
Anna-Jonesboro (1-3) did manage a win in Week 3 over Massac County, but was clubbed at home by Nashville last week, 48-7.
The Lions must avoid complacency after its two big wins and not look ahead to next week's home game with Nashville, which in all likelihood, will be for the Mississippi Division of the River-to-River Conference championship.
Du Quoin at Pinckneyville
The Indians (1-3) are not often two games under the .500 mark through four games of the season. So, that doesn't bode well for the Panthers.
Du Quoin dropped a heart-breaker at Herrin in Week 3 - a game the Indians felt they should have won. Last week, the Tribe got blitzed at home, 54-19, last week by a powerful Carterville squad. That left the Indians red-faced and most certainly in an angry frame of mind as arch rival, Pinckneyville (2-2), comes to town.
After going winless last year, the Panthers, led by first-year head coach Ryan Lott, have managed wins over West Frankfort and Oblong this season, so they may not be an easy mark in this battle for Perry County bragging rights.
Massac County at Harrisburg
The Bulldogs got a reality check in their 20-14 win at West Frankfort Saturday. They can't just show up and expect to win. They have to work hard for success. That point was hammered home by the Harrisburg coaching staff to the team in the postgame huddle Saturday afternoon.
This week, the Dogs will host a Massac County ballclub that is 2-2 on paper, but with only one win on the field. The second win was a forfeit in Week 1 over a Kentucky team. The Patriots were blasted 52-14 by Murphysboro last week, a team that was still licking its wounds from a tail kicking at the hands of Carterville the week before. Can Massac make this a competitive game on the road? Have the Bulldogs learned their lesson? We shall see.
Herrin at Murphysboro
The Red Devils (3-1) attempted to erase Week 3's loss at Carterville by taking out their frustrations on the Massac County Patriots last week.
Murphy cruised to a 52-14 road victory. This week, Murphy is back home and will host a Herrin Tigers squad (1-3) that did little to nothing right in a surprising 35-6 loss at Benton.
The Red Devils and Tigers have split their last two meetings and this one could be quite competitive ... if the Tigers team that stood toe-to-toe with Marion and Carterville the first two weeks of the season shows up. A Murphy win puts the Red Devils at 2-0 in league play and still in great position for a league title down the road.
Black Diamond Conference
Fairfield at Carmi-White County
The Bulldogs are a white-hot 4-0 to start the season, while the Mules are an unexpected 2-2. Carmi-White County had no trouble disposing of Christopher/Zeigler-Royalton last week, 53-16, and have already posted a big win at Sesser-Valier.
Fairfield held off previously undefeated Flora, 24-14, to defend the home turf last week. This week, the Mules may be fighting an uphill battle. Again, for one of the few times over the last decade, they are the underdog as they travel to Carmi. It will take the Mules' best performance of the season to grind out a victory here. Only time will tell whether they are capable.
Flora at Johnston City
Speaking of Flora, the Wolves are now 3-1 overall after falling to Fairfield, 24-14, on the road last week.
This week, the Wolves are back on the road again - this time at undefeated Johnston City (4-0).
The Indians blew past Hamilton County, 28-0, last week and view the Wolves as simply another bump in the road on their way to a likely showdown with Carmi-White County for the league championship on Oct. 14 at home in Week 8.
Sesser-Valier/Waltonville at Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton
Mark this as one of two Franklin County rivalry games this week. The other is West Frankfort at Benton.
The Red Devils are 3-1 through four games and had absolutely no trouble in disposing of Edwards County last week (51-0). This week, the team's high-powered offense will take on a young Christopher/Zeigler-Royalton Bearcats squad on the road.
CZR (1-3) put 16 points on the scoreboard last week against Carmi-White County, but surrendered 53 on defense to the Bulldogs.
Vienna-Goreville at Edwards County
This match up figures to be one of the more even ones on the schedule this week, at least on paper. Both teams are off to 0-4 starts and are facing rebuilds of their respective programs.
Last week, Edwards County was shut out by Sesser-Valier/Waltonville, 51-0, while the Eagles fell to Eldorado, 42-16.
The good news is that one of these teams will get the opportunity to celebrate a victory Friday night. The bad news? The other will remain winless on the season.
Other Friday games
Alton at Nashville (nonconference)
The Hornets are back to their old tricks, putting together a 3-1 start through the first four weeks of the season. What makes this so impressive is the fact that Nashville graduated a large senior class that was largely responsible for a second-place finish in the Class 2A state playoffs. But it would appear the cupboard is far from bare.
Last week, the Hornets put the hurt to Anna-Jonesboro in conference play, 48-7. This week, they return to their home digs where they will take on 0-4 Alton Marquette, a Catholic school. Win or lose Friday, the Hornets will likely be playing for the league championship next week at undefeated Carterville.
Sparta at Red Bud (Conference)
Sparta has been outscored 166-26 through its first four games of the season. Not surprisingly, the Bulldogs are off to an 0-4 start. Last week, they were throttled by Chester, 32-0.
This week, Sparta travels to Red Bud to take on the 3-1 Musketeers in this Cahokia (Illinois) Conference contest.
Red Bud is coming off a 35-6 road win over Carlyle. The team's only blemish to date was in Week 3 as the Musketeers lost at Breese Central, 17-6.
Chester at Wesclin (Conference)
In yet another Cahokia (Illinois) Conference tilt, the Chester Yellow Jackets (1-3) will travel to Trenton to take on winless Wesclin (0-4).
Chester is coming off a 32-0 victory over Sparta last Friday and has played a rigorous schedule with nonconference matches against Du Quoin, Benton and Freeburg. Wesclin has also played a pretty tough schedule with games against Breese Central, Nashville and Brentwood, Mo.
West Frankfort at Benton (R2R)
The 2-2 Redbirds are coming off a tough-luck 20-14 loss at home to Harrisburg this past Saturday. This week, West Frankfort will travel to Benton (3-1) in a Franklin County showdown.
The Rangers are feeling their oats after romping past visiting Herrin last week, 35-6.
This week's contest is set for high noon on Saturday, and it looks as though the weather will cooperate with temperatures cooling off into the upper 70s or low 80s. As often is the case between these two schools, expect a hard-fought battle. The intensity of the rivalry is real and should make for entertaining football.
Hamilton County at Eldorado (BDC)
The Foxes of Hamilton County are off to a 2-2 start with wins over Christopher/Zeigler-Royalton and Edwards County and losses to league powers Carmi-White County (46-6) and Johnston City last week (28-0).
Eldorado (1-3) is coming off its first win of the season, a 42-16 triumph over Vienna-Goreville. The Eagles are hoping to climb closer to the .500 mark with a victory on their home turf.
This should be a pretty even match up between two middle-of-the pack teams in the Black Diamond Conference.