Predicting all Illinois high school football games in the Springfield area for Week 8

Sacred Heart-Griffin head football coach Ken Leonard celebrates with the Cyclones after they defeated Springfield 52-7 at Ken Leonard Field in Springfield, Ill., Friday, September 17, 2021. [Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]
Bill Welt
State Journal-Register

Several games stand out this week. 

In the Central State Eight Conference, Sacred Heart-Griffin football coach Ken Leonard will be going for his 400th career win on Friday while Springfield High senior quarterback Rashad Rochelle and Decatur MacArthur senior quarterback Brylan Phillips will light up Memorial Stadium on Saturday. 

Elsewhere, Athens and Maroa-Forsyth will meet for a ranked showdown in the Sangamo Conference while Pana looks to remain unbeaten at Nokomis in nonconference play. 

More:Top 8 takeaways from Week 7 of high school football in Springfield

Here’s a breakdown of each game this week in the Springfield area after going 18-3 in last week’s predictions


Chatham Glenwood (5-2) at Lanphier (0-7): Glenwood junior starting quarterback Jack Knudson leads the CS8 with 1,571 passing yards and 21 touchdowns on 87 of 131 passing attempts. But Knudson was injured late in the second quarter and sophomore quarterback Jacob Ahlberg filled in the rest of the second half in a 49-28 loss to Rochester. Coach David Hay declined comment after the game if Knudson would be available against Lanphier. Ahlberg ran the offense effectively, totaling three TDs. Glenwood 56, Lanphier 6. 

More:Heavy workload? It's no sweat for Chatham Glenwood football's senior running back

Jacksonville's Elijah Owens (2) launches a pass against Springfield's Mardell Daniels (23) in the first half at Kraushaar-Rosenberger Field in Jacksonville, Ill., Friday, October 8, 2021. [Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]

Jacksonville (3-4) at Decatur Eisenhower (0-7): Jacksonville junior quarterback Elijah Owens went 18 of 33 for 177 yards and one TD with two interceptions in a 31-20 loss to Springfield High. He has 987 passing yards and 476 rushing yards, totaling 10 TDs so far this season. Jacksonville 49, Eisenhower 7. 

More:Defensive tackle, drum major and tennis player? Meet Jacksonville High's renaissance man

Normal U-High (3-4) at Sacred Heart-Griffin (6-1): SHG’s Ken Leonard, the all-time winningest coach in IHSA history, is one win away from career milestone victory No. 400 after the Cyclones pulled away in the second half en route to a 34-13 victory at Decatur MacArthur. Ty Lott ranks second in the CS8 with 1,343 passing yards and 21 TDs on 83 of 115 passing attempts with just one INT. Junior receiver KeShon Singleton has the most TD receptions in the league, with 24 catches for 341 yards and 7 TDs. The Pioneers are coming off a 41-0 win over Decatur Eisenhower after consecutive losses to Glenwood (42-7) and SHS (40-0). SHG 58, U-High 0. 

More:Why SHG quarterback Ty Lott is Springfield's top breakout player so far

Southeast (3-4) at Rochester (6-1): The Rockets can clinch at least a share of the CS8 with a win. Rochester totaled 230 rushing yards on 37 attempts and senior quarterback Hank Beatty went 15-for-26 for 232 yards and one TD against the Titans. Beatty is 90-for-146 for 1,080 yards and 16 TDs with no INTs. He also ranks second in the CS8 with 636 rushing yards and 11 TDs. Southeast ended a three-game slide with a 48-6 win over Lanphier. Rochester 60, Southeast 6. 

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Springfield's Rashad Rochelle (8) evades a tackle from Jacksonville's Jerret Belford (11) on a rush in the second half at Kraushaar-Rosenberger Field in Jacksonville, Ill., Friday, October 8, 2021. [Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]

Decatur MacArthur (3-4) at Springfield High (5-2): This Saturday afternoon will feature the league’s most competitive matchup. MacArthur, which gave up two forfeit losses due to COVID-19 in Weeks 2 and 3, needs to win out to become playoff eligible. MacArthur senior quarterback Brylan Phillips can be just as dangerous as SHS senior quarterback Rashad Rochelle. Rochelle leads the CS8 with 673 rushing yards and 12 TDs while completing 53 of 105 passing attempts for 993 yards and 10 TDs with four INTs. SHS 38, MacArthur 35.  

More:How Springfield High's improbable IHSA state baseball title fuels its football team


Athens (6-1) at Maroa-Forsyth (6-1): It’s a top 10 showdown. Athens last beat Maroa 34-27 in 2015 in the Class 2A playoffs and has lost five straight to the Trojans since the latter joined the Sangamo in 2016. Maroa sophomore quarterback Kaiden Maurer leads 2A No. 4-ranked Maroa, going 69 of 92 for 1,176 yards and 18 TDs with no interceptions. Senior running back Ja’Kyan leads the Sangamo with 1,196 rushing yards and 18 TDs for the No. 8-ranked Warriors. Maroa 24, Athens 23. 

More:371 rushing yards? 86 points? Meet the fuel for Athens football's offensive explosion

Pittsfield (3-4) at Petersburg PORTA (0-7): Pittsfield is coming off a 52-6 loss to Athens while PORTA lost at Maroa 47-0. Quarterback Weston McAllister leads the Saukees with 906 yards and three TDs with five INTs on 74 of 127 passing attempts. Pittsfield 42, PORTA 16. 

More:Petersburg PORTA football lost 3 games to COVID. The team is excited to be back

North Mac's Jake Ferguson (31) drags a Williamsville defender as he fights for extra yards on a rush in the second half at North Mac High School in Virden, Ill., Friday, October 1, 2021. [Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]

Pleasant Plains (2-5) at North Mac (4-3): Junior quarterback Kaden Brown and senior running back Jake Ferguson combined for 320 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns in North Mac's 50-0 win over Auburn. Brown has thrown 40-for-60 for 525 yards and four TDs with five INTs while running for 609 yards and 10 TDs this season. Ferguson totals 593 rushing yards and six TDs. North Mac 49, Plains 0. 

Riverton (3-4) at Auburn (2-5): Riverton led New Berlin 12-6 at halftime but couldn’t score in the second half in a stunning 19-12 loss to New Berlin. Riverton senior quarterback Zach Hinds still leads the Sangamo by a ton. He is 138-for-262 for 2,199 yards and 24 TDs with eight INTs. Auburn sophomore running back Treshaun Lancaster ranks second in the league with 670 rushing yards and five TDs. Riverton 24, Auburn 21. 

More:1,951 yards and counting: Get to know Riverton's record-setting quarterback

Williamsville (6-1) at New Berlin (2-5): Williamsville moved up to No. 3 in Class 3A following a 75-7 rout versus Pleasant Plains and can clinch a share of the Sangamo title with a win on Friday. Williamsville junior QB Jake Seman ranks second in the conference with 1,577 yards and 17 TDs with five INTs on 113 of 175 passing. He’s also ran for 464 yards and six TDs. Williamsville 56, New Berlin 7. 

More:Like his father and uncles before him, Jake Seman was born to play QB for Williamsville


Carlinville (6-1) at Greenville (4-3): Carlinville has won five straight games averaging 44.4 points per game in that span. Senior quarterback Ayden Tiburzi has completed 110 of 159 passing attempts for 1,555 yards and 25 TDs with seven INTs. And the Cavs have a pair of dynamic senior receivers: Carson Wiser and Ethen Siglock. They have 77 catches for 1,236 yards and 21 TDs combined. Greenville has lost three of its last four games, including 68-21 against 2A No. 6-ranked Pana last week. Carlinville 49, Greenville 7. 

Gillespie (1-6) at Staunton (1-6): Gillespie has lost six straight while Staunton has dropped its last five. Gillespie 35, Staunton 20. 

Hillsboro (2-5) at Piasa Southwestern (4-3): Hillsboro has won two straight games after starting the season 0-5, defeating Gillespie (56-25) and Staunton (40-7). Junior Blaze Helton leads Hillsboro with 621 rushing yards and seven TDs. Piasa has dropped out of the South Central race with three straight losses against Pana (41-0), Carlinville (42-6) and Vandalia (42-6). Piasa 28, Hillsboro 20. 

Vandalia (6-1) at Litchfield (0-7): The Vandals remain in the SCC hunt and have won six straight games after a 46-26 loss to Pana in the season opener. Litchfield is coming off a 48-0 loss to Carlinville. Vandalia 54, Litchfield 7. 


Lincoln (3-4) at Taylorville (2-4): The Railsplitters will need to win their next two games to become playoff eligible. They end their season against 5-2 Troy Triad at Handlin Field. But Taylorville comes first. The Railers have never beaten the Tornadoes since joining the Apollo in 2017 but nearly prevailed in their last meeting in 2019, which Taylorville won 19-17. Lincoln 20, Taylorville 19. 

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Niantic Sangamon Valley (1-6) at Oakland Tri-County (2-5): The Storm dropped their fourth straight contest 61-38 against Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond. Tri-County won its season opener 26-18 at Heyworth but has only won a forfeit against Argenta-Oreana since then. Sangamon Valley 22, Tri-County 21. 


Macomb (4-3) at Havana (1-6): The Ducks have lost six straight after a 28-18 defeat against Hamilton West Hancock. The Bombers ended its two-game slide with a 44-0 win over Lewistown. Macomb 40, Havana 12. 

Monmouth United (4-3) at Rushville-Industry (6-1): The Rockets picked up a forfeit win against South Fulton following a 51-12 loss to 3A No. 7-ranked Farmington. The Red Storm have won three straight. Rushville 45, Monmouth United 10. 


Pana (7-0) at Nokomis (6-1): Pana is the last remaining undefeated team in the area averaging 49.3 points per game and has clinched at least a share of the SCC title with only Carlinville remaining in Week 9. Junior dual-threat QB Max Lynch leads the way. He is 53-for-95 for 1,048 yards and 15 TDs with one INT. He also owns the school record with 976 rushing yards and 14 TDs. He incredibly ran for 206 yards and three TDs on just 13 carries against Greenville. Nokomis, which has received votes in 1A, has won four straight and is coming off a 35-12 win over Gillespie, its second win over an SCC opponent this season. Pana 45, Nokomis 20. 

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Hardin Calhoun (2-5) at Beardstown (3-4): Beardstown has dropped two straight games after falling to 1A No. 4-ranked Camp Point Central 60-28. The Warriors have won two straight after starting the season 0-5, including 70-6 against White Hall North Greene last week. Beardstown 21, Hardin Calhoun 18. 

Jacksonville Routt (2-5) at Winchester West Central (5-2): Routt has lost three straight games, scoring 12 points combined in that stretch. West Central is coming off a 60-28 loss to 1A top-ranked Carrollton. Winchester West Central 50, Routt 6. 


Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland (5-2) at Pawnee (5-2): Pawnee rebounded with a 66-12 win over Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran. Quarterback Brandon Bartolomucci totaled five TDs in the win. The Falcons have won five of their last six games, their only loss due to a forfeit in that span, and average 44.3 points per game this season. Flanagan 45, Pawnee 35. 

Kincaid South Fork (2-5) at Milford (4-3): The Ponies fell 30-22 to Bushnell-Prairie City for their fourth straight loss while Milford has won three straight. Milford 50, South Fork 14. 

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