Football earns playoff berth with win

Justin Miller
Linebacker Jared Lauber (5) tries to tackle the Spring Valley Hall Red Devils’ running back while Trever Black (2) runs up to help.

With its sixth win of the season, the Illinois Valley Central football team has clinched a playoff berth for the sixth year in a row.

In the last North Central Illinois Conference football game of the Ghosts’ career, IVC beat Spring Valley Hall at home, 34-13, on homecoming.

“It was homecoming night, and I think that was more important to the kids than it being the final NCIC game,” coach Tim Heinz said. “The kids realized that it was another opponent and we had to get that win to get into the playoffs.”

Ghost running back Dan “Boo” Semtner rushed for 165 yards and five touchdowns in the blowout win.

To start the game, Spring Valley Hall took the ball and looked like an offensive powerhouse.

The Devils moved the ball using long runs and reached the endzone to take a 7-0 lead.

The Ghosts then took the ball and ran downfield using carries from running backs

Jared Lauber and Semtner.

A 17-yard run by Lauber set the Ghosts up deep in Hall territory.

Two plays later, Semtner slammed through Hall defenders for a 13-yard touchdown run that tied the game at seven.

The Ghost defense, behind wrap-up tackling by Rick Perham, stalled the Hall drive at midfield and gave the ball back to their offense.

“After the first series, I think our defense played well,” Heinz said. “We did a good job of tackling and our defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage.”

Semtner and Lauber, along with running back Jake Innis, moved the ball into Hall territory, but the drive stalled when the Ghosts reached a fourth down.

On fourth down, quarterback Brock Adcock faked a punt and scrambled for five yards and the first down.

Faced with third and long on the next set of downs, Adcock stood tall in the pocket and launched an 11-yard strike to wideout Jesse Hall for the first down.

One yard from the endzone, the Ghosts were faced with fourth down when Semtner powered his way into the endzone.

“I think our offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage well and that our backs ran the ball well,” Heinz said.

IVC was up, 14-7.

The Ghost defense again held strong thanks to the pressure put on the Hall offense from IVC’s defensive schemes.

IVC’s offense then took over and slammed the ball downfield with thunderous runs from Semtner and Innis.

From one yard out, Semtner pushed his way into the endzone to put the Ghosts up, 21-7.

IVC took the ball to start the second half and quickly returned to marching the ball downfield.

Semtner again sped past line backers and ran over defensive backs to move the Ghosts back into Hall territory.

“He has the speed to beat people, and he’s strong and powerful enough to run people over,” Heinz said. “He wouldn’t be where he is without his offensive line, and he’d be the first one to say that.”

With 11 yards to go, Semtner blasted his way into the endzone, to put the Ghosts up, 28-7.

Late in the third quarter, Semtner launched himself 65-yards downfield for the Ghosts’ final score.

The Devils would score one more touchdown, but it was too late to mount a comeback.

The Ghosts next play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against Prairie Central on IVC Senior Night.