Redbird QB Connor Eaton ….Devils RB Eli Gunter for WSIL/Banterra Player of the Week

Click on the link to vote above.  Previous winners from Franklin County are RB Madison Allen of West Frankfort, FB Peyton Rock of SVWW, and QB Hamilton Page of Benton.

SIU Men’s Basketball issues statement regarding the National Anthem

CARBONDALE, IL – On behalf of the Saluki Men’s Basketball Family: In light of recent events involving race relations in the United States, our team has placed an emphasis on understanding the sacrifice that men and women make every day serving our country. After in-depth discussions with members of local law enforcement and Saluki alum and veteran Harvey Welch, we have decided as a team that we will stand and place our hand over our hearts for the playing of the national anthem.

We stand with our hand over our hearts for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner to show the utmost respect and gratitude to those who have served and continue to serve our country. We are forever indebted to the men and women who have given their lives in order for us to have the freedoms bestowed by the First Amendment. As racial injustice continues to be seen around America, it is clear that change is needed. We respect the right people have to protest, but believe the true way for change is coming together as a society.

Before every game we walk past a quote by Rick Warren that says, “It’s not about you!” We choose to embody this not only by our play on the court, but also in our actions off of it. Thank you.

Rend Lake Fishing Report 10/16/17

REND LAKE FISHING REPORT ,October 16, 2017 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Phone (618) 724-2493 Fax (618) 724-4089 e-mail : Web site “Like” us on Facebook at Rend Lake Project Office/Visitor Center

LARGEMOUTH BASS – Good Minnows spinner baits, worms, and black and blue jigs. Reports of fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Sandusky Cove, and below the dam. Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around bridges and along the rocks 14” minimum length limit, 6 daily creel limit. 1 fish daily creel limit in PONDS 14” minimum length.

CRAPPIE – Excellent Meal worms. Small & medium minnows. Quarter-ounce pink and white tub jigs. Shallow water! Fish attractors! From shore, fish near structures, hot spots are Jackie Branch, Sandusky, Sailboat Harbor, Marcum coves, and Ina Boat Ramp. Try the Jackie Branch Breakwater and along Mine 21 Road. Fish the main lake drop off areas. 25 fish daily creel limit with no more than 10 fish 10 inches or longer

BLUEGILL –  Good Small jigs, worms, meal worms, wax worms, crickets. From shore try Sailboat Harbor and Mine 21 Road. Try fishing shallow with crickets, worms or small jigs. Fish in the back of necks and on flat shallow banks and on the rocks. 10 fish daily creel limit in PONDS.

CHANNEL CATFISH – Excellent Large minnows, leeches, Hoss’s Hawg Bait, night crawlers, and Sonny’s stink bait. Try leeches in moving water. Drift fish the flats. Set line 3-4’ from the shore over rocks. Try the Waltonville Dam, Turnip Patch, Jackie Branch, and North Sandusky Day Use Area. 6 fish daily creel limit in PONDS. Jugs must be attended at all times while fishing.

WHITE BASS – Good In-line spinners, jig and curly tail grubs. Reports of fish being caught around the 154 bridges. Fish around along the rocks and drop-offs Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. 20 fish creel limit. No more than 3 fish 17” or longer daily


Use of a minnow seine, cast net, or shad scoop for bait collecting within 1000 yards downstream of the Rend Lake dam and spillway is prohibited.

Maps of the Fish Attractor tree locations along with GPS readings are available at the Rend Lake Corps of Engineers Project Office. Contact Randy Cordray for more information at (618) 724-2493.

Chester Blanks CZR 60-0

CHRISTOPHER, IL  (Randall Risley, Benton News. Please click on the link for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below. )

NOTE:  The JV team improved to 5-3 last night against Chester 30-28.

A game that already figured to be a challenge for winless Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton was made all the more difficult with injuries to several key Bearcats Friday as the Chester Yellow Jackets rolled to a 60-0 Black Diamond Conference win at Spann Field.

Greg Fletcher, one of the most significant offensive threats and a stalwart on defense, was one of the injured players.

“We had seven or eight starters out tonight, so we were using 15 first-year players,” said CZR first-year head coach Anthony Hargrove.


SVWW Red Devils blow past Vienna-Goreville, 38-13

SESSER, IL (Richard Blakely, Benton News. Please click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

The Sesser-Valier/Waltonville/Woodlawn Red Devils got off to a bit of a slow start in Friday’s home game with Vienna-Goreville, but still managed a 38-13 win over the Eagles at Carrol Kelly field.

The SVWW offense racked up 390 rushing yards in the game. Peyton Rock collected 55 yards on nine carries. Tanner Eubanks added 52 yards on three tries and Smith was 4-7 passing for 58 yards and one touchdown.

Lukas Gunter had 48 yards on two catches and one touchdown. The Red Devil defense held the Eagles to 170 yards rushing. Nolan Dahncke paced the Eagles with 82 yards on 14 carriers. He had 59 yards on his last two carriers late in the game. Logyn Fassato was 2-3 passing for 49 yards and one touchdown to Dahncke.

Big first half surges Salukis past No. 15 Illinois State, 42-7

by John Lock

The Southern Illinois football program ran out to a 21-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 42-7 win over 15th-ranked Illinois State on Homecoming. SIU’s defense forced five turnovers and five 3-and-outs, and the offense piled up 549 yard of total offense in the win.

“I just can’t say enough of how proud I am of the guys in that locker room,” SIU head coach Nick Hill said. “The way that they responded with their backs against the wall. Everyone just stuck to the plan we talked about. This is a process. We’ve taken a step forward with this program in the toughest conference in the country.”

Illinois State (4-2, 2-1 MVFC) entered the game 2-0 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. SIU had lost three-straight games and was winless in the MVFC. The Redbirds were allowing just 219 yards per game, but the Salukis had 320 yards by halftime en route to the blowout win. Last week, South Dakota State blitzed SIU in the first half and cruised to a win. This week, Southern did the same thing to Illinois State. 

“That just set the tone for the game,” SIU safety Jeremy Chinn said. “Coming off a rough week, we were frustrated. We knew we had to come out strong from the jump and it was going to be a dogfight for them, and it was going to be a dogfight for us. You set the tone.”

The Salukis set the tone early. SIU’s defense forced a 3-and-out on the opening drive, and the offense immediately went 70 yards in five plays to take a 7-0 lead. Southern (3-3, 1-2 MVFC) continued to dominate defensively for the remained of the half. Illinois State had seven possessions in the opening half, and six of them ended in a 3-and-out or a turnover. Chinn and Craig James had interceptions in the first half. 

“I always talk about how I love (the players and coaches),” Hill said. “I’m proud of the way that we came and stuck together. We talked about being a family and being here for each other and to have fun. I think that’s what they came out and did today.”

The Salukis featured a remarkably balanced offensive attack. Four players had at least 70 yards receiving, and three players had at least 45 yards rushing. D.J. Davis was the early star; of his first five touches, two went for touchdowns and three went for 20 yards or more. At halftime, Davis had 129 all-purpose yards on eight touches (16.1 yards per touch). 

“He’s a playmaker, and it’s our job to get him the football,” Hill said of Davis. “Sometimes we have to be creative with how we get it to him. When he touches the football, good things happen.”

SIU opened the second half with the ball and was forced into a 3rd-and-8, but Sam Straub threw a perfect deep ball–his fourth passing TD of the game–to Raphael Leonard for a 73-yard touchdown. The Redbirds scored late in the third quarter to get within 28-7, but they never truly got back into the game. SIU grinded out more than 17 minutes of possession time in the second half to seal the win. 

Straub ended up with 368 yards and four touchdowns, his third career four-touchdown game. Connor Iwema caught six passes for 118 yards, his fourth career 100-yard game. All told, the Salukis racked up 549 yards of total offense against a defense that was allowing fewer than 220 over its first five games. Defensively, the Salukis forced five turnovers in a game for the first time since 2014. 

“We put it all together. We have good players on this team,” Hill said. “Some of them are young, so that youthfulness shows itself at times. When we come together, we can get on a role, but we can also go and get beat next week if we don’t execute.”


SIU travels to Indiana State for the Sycamores’ Homecoming game next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. CT in Terre Haute. 


The Salukis beat a ranked opponent for the 16th consecutive year … SIU forced five turnovers for the first time since 2014 (vs. SEMO) … Straub’s 368 yards rank 10th in SIU single-game history (Straub now has three of the top 12 single-game passing yard marks in school history) … The Salukis have forced 15 turnovers this year, already more than the team had in each of the last two seasons (14 in each season).

Red Devils recieve votes in the latest AP Class 3A poll

Here is the eighth set of 2017 rankings of Illinois high school football teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. This vote was taken Oct. 10:
Class 8A
School W-L Pts Prv
1. Lincoln-Way East (10) (7-0) 109 1
2. Maine South (6-1) 97 2
3. Wilmette Loyola (6-1) 83 3
4. Chicago Marist (1) (7-0) 78 4
5. Barrington (7-0) 64 T5
6. Homewood-Flossmoor (6-1) 58 T5
7. Huntley (6-1) 48 7
8. Bolingbrook (6-1) 14 NR
9. LaGrange Lyons (6-1) 13 NR
10. Naperville Central (5-2) 11 8
— Others receiving votes: Naperville North 10, Hinsdale Central 7, Gurnee Warren 4, Lincolnshire Stevenson 2, Oswego 2, St. Charles East 2, South Elgin 2, Oswego East 1.
Class 7A
School W-L Pts Prv
1. Lake Zurich (5) (7-0) 113 2
2. East St. Louis (5) (6-1) 105 1
3. Glenbard West (2) (6-1) 99 3
4. Normal Community (7-0) 78 4
5. Batavia (7-0) 75 5
6. St. Charles North (6-1) 50 8
7. Chicago St. Rita (5-2) 36 9
8. Rockton Hononegah (7-0) 25 NR
9. Lincoln-Way Central (6-1) 23 10
10. Wheaton North (6-1) 19 NR
— Others receiving votes: Hoffman Estates 18, Willowbrook 5, Algonquin Jacobs 4, Lisle Benet 4, Rockford Auburn 3, Chicago Lincoln Park 2, Arlington Heights Hersey 1.
Class 6A
School W-L Pts Prv
1. Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge (13) (7-0) 130 1
2. Crete-Monee (6-1) 110 4
3. Cary-Grove (5-2) 87 5
4. DeKalb (6-1) 78 6
5. LaGrange Nazareth (6-1) 75 2
6. Normal West (6-1) 63 7
7. Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (5-2) 49 3
8. New Lenox Providence (5-2) 38 NR
9. Lombard Montini (5-2) 28 10
10. Lakes Community (6-1) 17 8
— Others receiving votes: Lemont 17, Danville 8, Burbank St. Laurence 5, Oak Lawn Richards 4, Riverside-Brookfield 4, Peoria Central 2.
Class 5A
School W-L Pts Prv
1. Chicago Phillips (11) (7-0) 119 1
2. Sterling (1) (7-0) 109 2
3. Dunlap (7-0) 86 4
4. Highland (7-0) 82 3
5. Antioch (7-0) 74 5
6. Decatur MacArthur (6-1) 61 T8
7. Morton (6-1) 38 10
7. Washington (5-2) 38 T8
9. Centralia (5-2) 19 6
10. Hillcrest (5-2) 12 7
— Others receiving votes: Troy Triad 9, Rich Central 5, Chicago Payton 4, Chicago Solorio Academy 2, Rochelle 1, Chicago Lindblom 1.
Class 4A
School W-L Pts Prv
1. Rochester (11) (7-0) 110 1
2. Herscher (7-0) 94 3
3. Johnsburg (7-0) 88 4
4. Dixon (7-0) 74 5
5. Morris (6-1) 63 2
6. Belleville Althoff Catholic (6-1) 53 6
7. Effingham (6-1) 36 7
8. Coal City (6-1) 25 T8
9. Rock Island Alleman (5-2) 18 NR
(tie) Herrin (6-1) 18 10
— Others receiving votes: Chicago Raby 15, Taylorville 10, Chicago Sullivan 1.
Class 3A
School W-L Pts Prv
1. Elmhurst IC Catholic (11) (6-1) 118 1
2. Tolono Unity (1) (7-0) 107 2
3. Williamsville (7-0) 99 3
4. Byron (7-0) 80 4
5. Carlinville (7-0) 66 6
6. Monticello (6-1) 57 7
7. Bloomington Central Catholic (6-1) 42 9
8. Decatur St. Teresa (6-1) 34 5
9. Elmwood-Brimfield (6-1) 15 8
10. Peotone (6-1) 13 NR
— Others receiving votes: Anna-Jonesboro 10, Fairfield 9, Wilmington 4, Sesser-Valier 3, Vandalia 2, Watseka 1.
Class 2A
School W-L Pts Prv
1. Sterling Newman (11) (7-0) 117 1
2. Farmington (1) (7-0) 106 2
3. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (7-0) 92 3
4. Hamilton West Hancock (7-0) 81 4
5. Downs Tri-Valley (6-1) 64 5
6. Rockridge (6-1) 51 7
7. Westville (7-0) 49 6
8. Orion (6-1) 39 9
9. Maroa-Forsyth (6-1) 35 8
10. Fieldcrest (6-1) 9 10
— Others receiving votes: Chicago Hope Academy 8, Trenton Wesclin 5, Aurora Christian 2, Alton Marquette 1, Clifton Central 1.
Class 1A
School W-L Pts Prv
1. Lena-Winslow (8) (7-0) 106 1
2. Tuscola (3) (7-0) 100 2
3. Forreston (6-1) 90 3
4. Annawan-Wethersfield (6-1) 64 5
5. Carrollton (7-0) 52 7
6. Shelbyville (6-1) 48 6
7. Red Hill (7-0) 29 T10
8. Ottawa Marquette (6-1) 26 8
9. Mt. Sterling Brown County (6-1) 24 4
10. Athens (6-1) 23 9
— Others receiving votes: Fulton 21, Freeport Aquin 11, Princeville 5, Camp Point Central 3, Dakota 2,

Red Devils post upset win over Rangers

MURPHYSBORO, IL (Rick Hayes, Benton News.  Please Click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

Benton dug itself into a 13-0 deficit, never recovering from a flat offensive performance, while dropping a 19-14 decision to Murphysboro Friday night.

Murphysboro came into the contest with just one victory after seven starts. With the victory, the Red Devils spoiled Benton’s opportunity to clinch a postseason berth. The loss dropped the Rangers to 5-3.

“This is not the situation we wanted to put ourselves in. Now we get a chance to see what they’re made of, how they handle adversity,” Pankey said. “We have to find a way for this setback to not be a setback and not deter from us where we want to go moving forward.”

Week 8 High School Football Scoreboard – SIRR….. South Seven Final Standings

Black Diamond

(8-0) Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn  38    Vienna-Goreville  13  (4-4) 

(4-4)Chester  60   Chirstopher-Zeigler-Royalton 0 (0-8)  

(8-0) Fairfield 14     Eldorado 8 (6-2)

(3-5)  Edwards County  27  Johnston City 7 (2-6)

(5-3)  Carmi-White County  34  Hamilton County  8 (0-8)

Southern Illinois River-to-River Ohio

(5-3)(3-2)  West Frankfort  49  Massac County  8 (0-8)(0-5) 

(2-6)(2-3)  Murphysboro  19  Benton 14 (5-3)(3-2)

(6-1)(4-0)  Herrin  48   Harrisubrg 7 (4-4)(2-3)

Final Standings

1.  Herrin (4-0)(6-1)

2.  Benton (3-2)(5-3)

2.  West Frankfort (3-2)(5-3)

4.  Harrisburg (2-3)(4-4)

4.  Murphysboro (2-3)(2-6)

6.  Massac County (0-5)(0-8)


Southern Illinois River-to-River Mississippi

(6-2)(4-1) Carterville  35    Pinckneyville  7 (0-8)(0-5)

(8-0)(5-0) Anna-Jonesboro 46   Sparta  (1-7)(0-5)

(6-2)(3-2)  DuQuoin  56   Nashville 13 (3-5)(2-3)

Final Standings

  1.   Anna Jonesboro (5-0)(8-0)
  2.   Carterville (4-1)(6-2)
  3.  DuQuoin (3-2)(6-2)
  4.  Nashville (3-5)(2-3)
  5.  Sparta (1-4)(1-7)
  6.  Pinckneyville (0-5)(0-8)


South Seven

(7-1)(4-1)  Belleville Altoff   21    Cahokia 20 (3-5)(2-3)

(5-3)(4-1) Marion  42  Carbondale  21  (2-6)(1-4)

(6-2)(4-1) Centralia  42  Mt. Vernon  7 (0-8)(0-5)

Final Standings

  1.  Belleville Altoff (7-1)(4-1)

1.  Marion (4-1)(5-2)

1.  Centralia (4-1)(6-2)

4.  Cahokia (2-3)(3-5)

5.  Carbondale (1-4)(2-5)

6.  Mt. Vernon (0-5)(0-8)



WEEK 8 PREVIEW: Chester (3-4) at Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton (0-7)

by Steve Dunford

Thank you Randall Risley for allowing me to use your photos.

The Chester Yellow jackets make the trip to Franklin County tonight to face the C-Z-R.  Chester is coming off of a 34-7 loss to Carmi-White-County.  The Bearcats fell to the Johnston City Indians 54-0.

it is Senior Night for three seniors, Trinton Bishop, Scotty Killip, and Zach Marvel.

I have been keeping up with their JV team and they picked up a forfeit win over JC on Monday.

I asked Yellow Jacket coach Billy Belton fill me in on the S-V-W-W and Carmi game.  “We played Sesser very well. We lost 20-6, and it was 12-6 with 3 mins left in the game. Sesser and Chester both played very hard. I was proud of our boys, and how hard they played. It was a very physical game, and fun to be a part of.”

“We lost to Carmi 34-7. Carmi is a very good football team, a playoff team. They have 15 Seniors. They were big up front and they ran the ball very well. They are always well coached. Coach Simon does a great job. Nick Meyer was 10/24 133 passing, 1 TD. Keith Kiner lead the team in receiving 6-61, Curt Meyer 2-27, Calvin Clendenin 1-11 1 TD. Nick Meyer Lead the rushing attack with 69 yards. Mason Westerman added 3 Carries for 19 Yards. Over all we are healthy. We still have a great chance to make the playoffs. I feel like we have a very good football team.”

When you have three seniors and 24 kids in your program, it has been a struggle for the Bearcats.  They need a game where they can play a full 48 minutes, then make a good showing at winless Hamilton County next Friday night.