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First Round NUIC Football Playoff Recap

Kari Kampeir
Kari Kampeir

Six of the nine NUIC football teams won their first-round playoff games Saturday.

In 1A, five of the seven won with Lena-Winslow, Forreston, Stockton, Milledgeville, and Aquin. And in 2A West Carroll advanced.

Aquin picked the right time for their only lead over Fisher. The Bulldogs receiver standout Zac Cummings booted a 37-yard field goal with two seconds left barely clearing the crossbar for the 30-27 opening round victory. Fisher had scored all 27 of their points in the first half. Aquin’s defense then rose to the occasion shutting them out in the second half. The defense came up big with a blocked punt and a hold on fourth down to get the ball back for the game-winning drive. Quarterback Jonah Diemer was 21 of 34 for 219 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Aquin will now have a rematch at Stockton Saturday, both teams are 8-2. Stockton had beat Aquin 16-14 in week eight and won the Upstate Conference outright. The Blackhawks won their first-round game over North Fulton 36-6. They were clinging to a 14-6 lead in the third quarter when they erupted for 22 unanswered points to blow the game open., Collin Dvorak scored all three of his touchdowns in the fourth quarter in leading Stockton with 138 rushing yards.

Lena-Winslow rolled over Stark County 55-20 as star running back Rahveon Valentine had 176 yards on the ground on only six carries with three TD runs of 39, 76 and 49 yards. Milledgeville got 198 yards and four touchdowns from Carson Boyer in a 56-21 opening round rout of Abingdon 56-21. Milledgeville, 8-2 travels to the state’s top ranked and unbeaten Lena-Winslow.

Forreston began defense of the state 1A title as they whipped Salt Fork 50-14. The Cardinals will visit Fulton for a second-round matchup. The 7-3 Steamers had a win over a solid Ottawa Marquette in the first round.

Dakota lost a heartbreaker to Princeville in 1A  27-24 in double overtime. They tied the game at 14 after regulation. Quarterback Kyle Bordner hooked up with Carter Drake for an 11-yard touchdown aerial. The TD was set up when Bordner completed a pass for Cassidy for 71 yards. In the first overtime, Princeville scored the TD and PAT kick to go up 21-14. The Indians answered when Trey Engelbrecht scored from nine yards out cutting the lead to 21-20. At first Dakota coach Joe Free made the signal to go for the two-point conversion and go for the win. He then called a timeout and decided instead to go for the PAT kick to tie the game at 21 and force the second overtime.

In the second OT, Dakota got the ball first and settled for a 23-yard field goal from Nolan Lentz to take the lead 24-21. Princeville then scored from three yards out on third down for the win to end Dakota’s season at 7-3.

Orangeville lost to Annawan Wethersfield 31-14 in the 1A first round. The Broncos Austin Guy scored both touchdowns as they finished 5-5.

In 2A, West Carroll turned in an impressive 40-0 shutout of Fieldcrest. West Carroll will now host unbeaten Gibson City (10-0) who knocked out Eastland/Pearl City 50-14.

Jacob Speer, a junior for River Ridge set an NUIC single-game passing record with 554 yards in a game with Mooseheart to end the regular season. It was the tenth highest in IHSA history.

Stateline Sports Hub. NUIC Rankings.

  1. Lena-Winslow. 10-0.
  2. Forreston. 9-1.
  3. Stockton. 8-2.
  4. Aquin. 8-2.
  5. West Carroll. 7-3.
  6. Milledgeville. 8-2.
  7. Dakota. 7-3.
  8. Eastland/Pearl City. 5-5.
  9. Orangeville. 5-5.
  10. Polo. 5-4.

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