DEWITT — Central DeWitt got its running game back in gear Friday as it rolled up 401 yards on the ground in a 36-13 win at Mount Vernon. A week earlier, the Sabers were limited to 166 yards in a loss to Marion.

“That’s what we needed to do,” DeWitt coach Kurt Kreiter said. “Honestly, I still don’t think we played a great game, but we were able to move the ball offensively, so that was encouraging.”

Ben Comer led the way with 178 yards on 12 carries. His big gainer was a 70-yard touchdown run that came 44 seconds after the Mustangs had taken a 7-6 lead.

“After they get a little momentum, you want to get it back,” Kreiter said. “Ben made a nice read. We had run that same play two plays earlier and he picked up maybe 11 yards. We noticed if he bounced out he would have more run room. He read a block, bumped it outside and once he is in the open field you might have an angle but he’ll outrun you.”

Cassidy sees time at tight end

CLINTON — Senior Ryan Cassidy, Clinton's second-leading tackler, saw his first action on offense this season in the River Kings' win over Bettendorf.

The linebacker made the most of it, too.

Early in the second quarter, Cassidy lined up at tight end. Quarterback Jake Mangler connected with him over the middle, and Cassidy raced upfield for a 22-yard completion.

“He's in the rotation quite a bit at practice,” Clinton coach Lee Camp said. “He's got an injury in his shoulder, so we've kept him out of the rotation in games, just in case somebody catches him on the arm that's been hurting. But he's got good hands. We just don't want to risk it.”

The catch marked Cassidy's first of his career.

Last season the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder played strictly defense, leading the team with 64 tackles.

Experience helps Bellevue

BELLEVUE — Bellevue suffered its first loss Friday against Starmont, but plenty of senior leadership could help the Comets bounce back quickly.

Bellevue has 14 seniors on its roster this season. Last year, as juniors, those players were part of a team that went 2-7.

"They're hungry," Bellevue coach Rick Pogemiller said. "They're hungry to have a good year. They give us lots of good experience, and that should help."

The Comets led Starmont 7-6 after one quarter, but Starmont scored 12 second-quarter points to take the lead for good. Bellevue posted a second-half shutout, but the damage had been done.

"Hopefully that was a wake-up call,” Pogemiller said. “Hopefully that got us focused.”

Maxwell shines for Camanche

CAMANCHE — Senior fullback Brad Maxwell provided a bright spot for Camanche in Friday's 35-12 loss to Wilton.

Maxwell recorded both scores for the Indians, whose losing streak extended to 32 games. He had a 5-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and early in the fourth he returned a kickoff 86 yards for another touchdown.

"He definitely stepped up," Camanche coach Steve Dougherty said. "He had an excellent night for us."

Maxwell, a team captain, has started at three different positions on the Indians offense. He began the year at halfback, switched to tight end two weeks ago, before shifting back to the backfield at fullback.

Despite the moves, Maxwell has rushed 25 times for 165 yards (6.6 average) and caught five passes for 45 yards.

"He never looked at any of the moves as a demotion," Dougherty said. "He wanted to do what was in the best interest of the team. He's a quality player, a quality captain and he represents us greatly."

Mustangs showing horsepower

MORRISON — Morrison has disproved the myth that it’s a finesse team.

"The kids have done a nice job as far as being physical,” Mustangs coach Cory Bielema said. “We've definitely pushed that since the end of last season. ... That started with a new commitment to the weight room in the summer and offseason.”

While fullback Josh Vos has been the hardest-driving force behind that offensive physicality, backs Kyle Janssen and Conner Bealer have offered strong counterpoints and quarterback Andrew Cook has grown comfortable under center. That leads Bielema to look for more.

Dropped passes hurt Thunder

SAVANNA, Ill. — West Carroll was right in it against Eastland/Pearl City, the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference Northwest Division's co-leader, trailing by just seven points with six minutes left.

But a few uncharacteristic mistakes led to a 21-0 loss.

"We did a better job in the second half of moving the football, but we uncharacteristically dropped a lot of passes," West Carroll coach Dave Baisden said. "We make those catches, it could have been a whole different story."

Around the area

EAST CENTRAL: Coach Dave Jenkins is looking forward to next week, and not just because the Raiders’ schedule gets a bit easier after the halfway point of the season. Two players who currently are ineligible will be back then, and he also hopes Taylor Keeney will be able to return. Keeney, the starting running back and backup quarterback, pulled a muscle in his back in practice last week and tried to go Friday but lasted just one series. He will be held out this week against Lansing Kee (3-1).

The injury has forced the Raiders to give some reps at quarterback in practice to Josh Rathje, who never had played the position before, and is forcing changes on defense, too. “We will run a 3-2-3 this week and will have one sub at defensive back, one sub at linebacker and two subs on the defensive line.”

MAQUOKETA: The Cardinals improved to 4-0 on Friday, but coach Kevin Bowman wasn’t overly impressed with the 25-14 win against Benton Community. “To be honest, we didn’t have a good week of practice last week and didn’t play that well. We had seven penalties. One took away a 99-yard run by (quarterback Colin) Nickeson, and we also had a penalty on fourth-and-1 that forced us to go for a field goal. We had too many mistakes. As a coach, you’re always looking for ammunition, and they gave me some.”

NORTHEAST: Coach Jeremy Mosier said he was encouraged that the Rebels could fix the problems that were costly Friday in a 37-0 loss to Clayton Ridge in Guttenberg. “Everything we saw on tape are things we can fix, and the things that weren’t were mismatch things,” he said. “We started the game on defense OK. We forced a punt (on the first possession) and they had third-and-long the second time, and if it weren’t for a late hit (penalty), we would have forced a punt again. But that first down gave them momentum.”

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