CAMANCHE — The Camanche football team has inched closer and closer to snapping a losing streak that dates back to 2006.

The Indians hung with Northeast in Week 1. On Friday night, they suffered a 6-3 overtime loss at Bellevue, which needed a desperation pass on third-and-21 to earn the win.

“It was heartbreaking, but I really like what I'm seeing from them,” Camanche coach Steve Dougherty said. “I had people come up to me after the game and say that's the best they've seen a Camanche team play together in 10 years. I think momentum is on our side.”

Camanche received possession first in overtime and settled for Mortiz Mueller's 25-yard field goal.

Possession switched to Bellevue. The Indians sacked Comets quarterback Corbin Ploessl for a 9-yard loss on the first play, and then sacked him for a 2-yard loss on the next play, setting up a third-and-21.

Camanche pressured Ploessl again, but he scrambled and found receiver Casey Blake in the back of the end zone for the victory.

“I've watched the film from that game three or four times this weekend, and it's nice to watch,” Dougherty said. “People used to be able to just play their base defense and shut us down completely. But the kids are playing with confidence, and we're really looking good.”



A COSTLY SNEEZE FOR NORTHEAST

GOOSE LAKE — Northeast suffered a key loss last week — at the dinner table.

Senior tight end C.J. Herrington, who injured the shoulder initially in the season-opening win at Camanche, missed Friday’s loss to North Cedar and is out indefinitely with a separated shoulder.

“He injured it in the Camanche game but did not separate it then,” Northeast coach Jeremy Mosier explained. “He came to practice Monday and said he thinks he’ll be back Friday. Then Tuesday I see him and his arm is in a sling. He said he was at the kitchen table, sneezed and hit his arm on the table.”

Last year, an injury to his other shoulder put an early end to the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder’s season.



CLINTON UNVEILS STADIUM RENOVATIONS

CLINTON — Clinton football fans had a new view during Friday night's win over Davenport West.

The contest marked the school's first home game since making renovations to Coan Field. New 3,000-seat bleachers and a press box have been added to the home side.

“It's exciting,” Clinton coach Lee Camp said. “It looks good for the school, and it's been a long time coming.”

The stadium improvements represent only part of the Clinton Athletic Boosters' Restoring Royalty campaign, a fundraiser to enhance and build Clinton's athletic facilities. Such an effort aims to draw more spectators, develop community interest and create a source of pride for the city.

The plan also includes new baseball and softball fields at Eagle Heights Elementary School and a soccer facility on 8th Avenue South.



DEFENSE WINS FOR MORRISON

MORRISON, Ill. — Ask Morrison coach Cory Bielema which part of the defense might be most responsible for the Mustangs' 2-0 start and allowance of only six points so far this year, and he might just be stumped to come up with an answer.

“Our D-line has gotten penetration, but our linebackers have been making tackles all over the field,” Bielema said. “We've had very few plays (on defense) where there's just one guy bringing down the ball.”

Morrison is off to a solid start, with wins over 2008 playoff teams Peru St. Bede as well as Friday night's 20-6 win over Sterling Newman, which gained only 68 yards of total offense.

“I was told those numbers going into the locker room (after the game) and I didn't really believe them,” Bielema said.



BACK TO BASICS

ERIE, Ill. — Erie/Prophetstown coach Chuck Milem wasn't happy after his Panthers took a step backward in the first half Friday night, spotting Riverdale a 20-0 halftime lead in an eventual 28-14 loss to the Rams. He still wasn't happy Saturday afternoon, either.

“We came out really, really slowly; we didn't have the passion or enthusiasm we needed. This was a much bigger game (than E/P's season-opening win over Ottawa Marquette),” Milem said of the rivalry game between neighboring school districts.

“At halftime, I guess you could say I ripped into the kids, and they responded better, but you have to have better internal motivation. Right from the start, Riverdale just wanted it more.”

Turnovers fueled Riverdale's lead, keeping the Panthers’ defense on the field for most of the first half. “We had three turnovers in the first half; I don't care who you play, that can't happen,” Milem said. “Riverdale's got a great running game. They just held on to the ball and they had 30-some offensive plays in the first half.”



THE WILD BIG RIVERS

FULTON, Ill. — No lead, seemingly, is safe in high school football, and Fulton almost learned that lesson the hard way after the Steamers' 41-38 victory over Ottawa Marquette on Friday night in Ottawa, Ill..

“On the ride home with the coaches, we were talking about how often does it happen that you score 41 points, that your quarterback throws for 355 yards and you still have to hang on to win the game," Steamers coach Patrick Lower said of the victory, which evened Fulton's record at 1-1.

“We never lost the lead, but they just ran out of time," Lower said of the fight Ottawa Marquette (0-2) gave in trying to claw its way back into the game.

Only two weeks in, the middle of the pack in the Big Rivers Conference appears to be a place where no one can be comfortable — Fulton lost 38-7 in Week 1 to Sterling Newman, which lost Friday night to Morrison, and the Steamers' Week 3 opponent, Riverdale, also is 1-1 after being shut out by Bureau Valley in Week 1 and winning over Erie/Prophetstown (another 1-1 team) Friday.

“I totally agree with that,” Lower said of the spots between fourth and eighth, even ninth, in the league being completely up for grabs.



GRIFFIN BRINGS DOWN THUNDER

MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. — In the winter, Lena-Winslow senior Trey Griffin is among the state's best wrestlers. Friday night, Griffin took down West Carroll with his ability both to grind out yards and pile them via the big play in the Panthers' 45-22 win over West Carroll.

Griffin's 84-yard run barely 30 seconds into the start of the fourth quarter effectively clinched the victory for Lena-Winslow (2-0), as he finished with 149 yards. Griffin also opened the scoring for the Panthers with a 10-yard run in the first quarter.

Thunder coach Dave Baisden cited a critical penalty in his team's own end zone — with a resulting safety being scored for Lena-Winslow — as key in the loss. West Carroll (1-1) trailed the Panthers by just six at halftime and had fought them evenly for most of the third quarter before that penalty in the end zone.

This Week's Circulars