By Al Zipsie

Lena-Winslow's win over Forreston has turned the NUIC into quite a battle and it's only in week three.

Everyone, including Lena-Winslow respected Forreston, the defending 1A State champion as number one until beaten.

And they were by the Panthers. But, the battle for the state title is far from over. It will be a wild one in the playoffs with Lena-Winslow, Forreston, Aquin, Dakota and Eastland/Pearl City who are on the border of 1 or 2A.

Dakota could prove a lot with a win at Forreston Friday. Dakota has rolled to a pair of easy wins. When the dust clears Forreston has to face Le-Win, Dakota and then Eastland/Pearl City and Aquin in four consecutive weeks.

In other Northwest games, West Carroll is at Amboy/LaMoille. East Dubuque is at Lena-Winslow. E/PC is at Durand/Pecatonica.

In the Upstate, the feature game will be (1-1) Stockton at 2-0 Milledgeville. Warren host Orangeville and Aquin travels to Ashton/Franklin Center.

The cross over game pits two teams looking for their first win with River Ridge at Galena. In a non-conference game Polo host Edwardsville Metro- East Lutheran.

Lena-Winslow is the new top ranked 1A team in the AP State poll. Tuscola remained in second. With Forreston dropping out of first to third switching places with Lena-Winslow. E/PC is fifth and Aquin tenth. Dakota received votes and was just out of the top ten. The only one on our panel taking Dakota to beat Forreston is Joe Dredge. And Dredge and Kyle Kampmier are the only ones taking Milledgeville to beat Stockton.

Stateline Sports Hub. Our media panel.  Week three picks and season records.

16-2. Joe Dredge. Wrok Radio/Stateline Sports Hub. Dakota. West Carroll. Lena-Winslow. E/PC. Milledgeville. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.

16-2. Mike Buda. Wifr tv sports. Forreston. West Carroll. Lena-Winslow. E/PC. Stockton. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.

16-2. Kyle Kampmier. NUIC Football Fanatics. Forreston. West Carroll. Lena-Winslow. E/PC. Milledgeville. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.

16-2. Shane Klever. NUIC Football Fanatics. Forreston. West Carroll. Lena-Winslow. E/PC. Stockton. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.

15-3. Pete Leinweber. Deep Dish Football. Forreston. West Carroll. Lena--Winslow. E/PC. Stockton. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.

15-3. Cody Cutter. Sauk Valley News. Sports writer. Forreston. West Carroll. Lena-Winslow. E/PC. Stockton. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.

14-4. Matt Trowbridge. Rockford Register Star/Freeport Journal Standard. Forreston. West Carroll. Lena-Winslow. E/PC. Stockton. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.

13-5. Terry Werntz. Former Dakota and Freeport football coach. Forreston. West Carroll. Lena-Winslow. E/PC. Stockton. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.

13-5. Scott Leber. WTVO tv sports. Forreston. West Carroll. Lena-Winslow. E/PC. Stockton. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.

13-5. Al Zipsie. Stateline Sports Hub. Forreston. West Carroll. Lena-Winslow. E/PC. Stockton. Orangeville. Aquin. Galena. Polo.