By Al Zipsie

Dakota was hoping this was the season they could compete again with Forreston and Lena-Winslow. After two easy wins to start the season they took a setback in losing to Forreston. And it's more of the way the Cardinals did it, jumping to a big early 20-0 lead and going on for a 40-20 win over the Indians.

Forreston had 490 yards rushing led by Evan Kelsey, Garett Baderstcher, Dom Christensen and Ethan Mulder in the NUIC Northwest encounter.

In the Upstate showdown, Milledgeville went on the road and had an easy time with Stockton with a 34-8 rout. The Missiles special teams broke the game open early. Carson Boyer set the tone returning the opening kickoff 87 yards to the house. Later Christian Toms-Smith took a punt 87 yards for a score and a 14-0 halftime lead. Boyer added a 52 yard run for a 20-0 lead and ended with 130 yards rushing on just eight carries.

Also in the Northwest, the state's top ranked 1A team in Lena-Winslow rolled on whipping East Dubuque 51-13. Eastland/Pearl City shutout Durand/Pecatonica 36-0. Jayden Kempel had 221 yards and two touchdowns. Du/Pec was held to only eleven yards of total offense. Amboy edged West Carroll 28-26. Amboy took the lead for good with just over a minute left when Mitchell McLaughlin connected with Dylan Chirchillo for a 25-yard touchdown pass. That tied the game at 26 and the two-point conversion was good for the game winner. McLaughlin was 17 of 26 for 302 yards passing and in on four touchdowns. Wyatt Fultz had 12 of those receptions for 157 yards. For West Carroll, Zach King was in on 29 tackles, 16 of them solo.

In a crossover game, Galena ended it's 13 game losing streak (including its first winless season last year) with a 21-12 victory over River Ridge. The Pirates last win had been October 7th, 2016 over Warren.

In the other Upstate games, Aquin stayed unbeaten beating Ashton/Franklin Center 41-6. Another solid game for quarterback Will Gustafson with 122 yards rushing and three touchdowns and 127 passing. Running back Ethan Young with 131 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. In a non-league game, Polo blasted Metro East Lutheran 49-14. Brady Webb had 216 all-purpose yards for the Marcos and had four rushing touchdowns.

On Saturday in the Upstate Orangeville beat Warren 36-18. Garret Rodebaugh went over 100 yards rushing with two touchdowns for the Broncos. For Warren, quarterback Ethan Williams accounted for 202 total offense with two touchdown passes and one rushing.

Stateline Sports Hub. NUIC Rankings.

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

Stateline Sports Hub. Media panel picks. Leading the weekly picks were four with 7-2 records including Scott Leber, WTVO TV, Al Zipsie, Stateline Sports Hub, Cody Cutter Sauk Valley News, Shane Llevar NUIC Football Fanatics and Tim O'Hallaran (Edgy Tim). After three weeks Leber and Zipsie are tied for the lead at 24-3.

24-3. Scott Leber. WTVO TV. Al Zipsie. Stateline Sports Hub.

23-4. Kyle Kampmier. NUIC Football Fanatics. Terry Werntz. Former Dakota and Freeport coach. Cody Cutter. Sauk Valley News. Shane Klever. NUIC Football Fanatics.

22-5. Mike Buda. WIFR TV. Matt Trowbridge. Freeport Journal Standard/Rockford Register Star.

20-7. Joe Dredge. Stateline Sports Hub. Pete Leinweber. Deep Dish Football.

19-8. Tim O'Hallaran. Edgytim.com