IVC football loses to Peoria Notre Dame

Justin Miller

Illinois Valley Central's football team came close to pulling off an upset over Mid-State 6 rival Peoria Notre Dame Friday but ended up falling, 17-14, at home.

"I thought the kids enthusiasm was better this week," coach Tim Heinz said. "I thought they played better overall."

The Ghosts started the game with the ball on their own 20 and, despite a 19-yard run from Blake Strebel, were unable to score and punted to the Irish.

Strebel finished the game with 120 yards rushing.

Peoria Notre Dame's offense did not look flashy to start the game but was able to move into Ghost territory using a strong running game and a pass for 28 yards.

IVC stopped the Irish deep in their own territory but gave up a 32-yard field goal to fall behind 3-0.

"I thought we played well defensively," Heinz said. "We missed one tackle during the game that they took advantage of. but for the most part, we held them in check. There were a lot of penalties, though, but they were on both teams."

The teams then traded punts before IVC began to put together a drive.

The Ghosts churned up yardage with runs from Kelley Noetzol and Strebel and moved to Peoria Notre Dame's goal line.

With third-and-goal from the 11 yard line, Strebel ducked and dodged through Irish defenders for the touchdown to go up, 7-3.

"Offensively, I think we played pretty well," Heinz said. "We played physical and did a better job. We did have a turnover that hurt us but other than that we played good on offense."

Neither team would score again in the opening half.

In the third quarter, Peoria Notre Dame's running back burst through the line and sped 65-yards to take a 10-7 lead.

The Irish extended their lead in the fourth quarter with a recovered fumble and 38-yard return.

Late in the game, IVC cut the lead when Noetzol smashed through the Irish line for a touchdown.

The Ghosts could not muster any more points and fell, 17-14.

"We have to work on getting better fundamentally and play more physical," Heinz said. "We have things that we have to do to just get better all around."

The team next plays at 2 p.m. Saturday at Peoria High School in the final road game of the 2012 season.