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.


Week 8 Black Diamond Conference Schedule and Playoff Picture

by Steve Dunford

Week 8 Schedule


Chester (3-4) at Chirstopher-Zeigler-Royalton (0-7)

Vienna-Goreville (4-3) at Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn (7-0)

Johnston City (2-5) at Edwards County (2-5)

Hamilton County (0-7) at Carmi White County (4-3)

Farifield (7-0) at Eldorado (6-1)

Playoff Picture


Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn (7-0)  –  The next two weeks they will be playing for seeds and a conference crown.  Vienna will be playing to stay alive.  It seems like in the BDC things are still up for grabs in the last two weeks.  It is no different this year.  It has been several years since the Devils have been in this position.  It is very hard not to look ahead to their trip to the Train Yard on Week 9. The IHSA uses quadrants a lot in 3A.  There could be a very good possibility the Devils could draw the West Frankfort Redbirds, or the Harrisburg Bulldogs in the first round.  Benton has a slim chance of sneaking in as a 3A team.  Wouldn’t that be something to watch.

Fairfield (7-0)  –  They are in the same shape as the Devils.  They are playing for a conference title and a better seed.  The Mules are solidly in 3A.  They could also have a first round matchup with Harrisburg or WF if these teams get in.

Eldoroado (6-1)  – It will be a war hosting the Mules tomorrow night. They go to Johnston City on week 9, which they should be the heavy favorites in, but the Indians have tradition on their side.  Most likely they will go in the playoffs at the worst with a 7-2 record.  They are solidly 2A and could go very far.

Good Shape

Chester-  (3-4) –  The Yellow Jackets will be facing C-Z-R and Edwards County to finish it out.  They will definitely be 1A, where strength of schedule will help them tremendously.   I see them winning out.  A 5-4 record with 45 playoff points since the BDC is a closed conference is a guarantee of  getting in the playoffs.

Carmi-White County  (4-3) –  They host Hamco tomorrow night to clinch.  Stranger things have happened, but I think it is safe to say the Bulldogs will win this one.   There will be multiple Southern Illinois teams that will be rooting for the Bulldogs down at Vienna Saturday.  That game could have a ton of playoff implications around the state.

On the Bubble

Vienna-Goreville (4 -3) –  Coach Rude has came back and in two years, the Eagles into playoff contenders again this year, after his sabbatical of taking over the reigns of the now defunct Morthland College program.   I do not see them going to Caroll Kelly Field on Senior night and pulling the upset.  Their week nine game with Carmi could be a dandy.


Links to Week 7 football stories involving Franklin County Schools

Benton 53 Massac County 13

Link to the story from Rick Hayes – Benton  News


Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn 62 Hamilton County 34

Link to the story from Richard Blakley – Benton News


Johnston City 54 Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton 0

Link to the story from Jimmy Dean – Benton News


Herrin 52  West Frankfort 6

Link to the story from Dave Broy – westfrankfortsports.com


C-Z-R loses to Eldorado last night 54-6


CHRISTOPHER, IL-  (Michael “Spyder Man”  Dann.  Harrisburg Register.  Please click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below)

If there has been one common theme for the Eldorado football team — at least in EHS head coach Joe Clarks’ eyes — it’s been the Eagles’ decision to play to their opponent.

All season long, we have played some decent teams, but at times we have played to our competition and tonight was one of those times when came out and played to our capabilities and essentially just took advantage of a developing program,” Clark said. “I’ve been on the other end of this and its no fun and being on this end isn’t really all that fun, but the reality is you would rather be on this end, get the clock going, get your guys out and focus on the next step.”

C-Z-R coach Anthony Hargrove had this to say about the program in general last night, “Of course the scoreboard doesn’t reflect the way we want it to, but we’re not looking at that right now. We’re focusing on the little things like our effort, running plays and knowing situations. I think we took a good step in that direction tonight, as far as, learning the nuances of the game.”

Link to WSIL-TV Sports Extra (8:15-8:55)



Week Six High School Scoreboard

Black Diamond

(6-0)  *Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn 20  Chester 6 (3-3)

(5-1)   *Eldorado 54  Christopher-Zeigler Royalton 6 (0-6)

 (6-0)  *Fairfield 50  Edwards County 0 (2-4)

(3-3)  Carmi-White County 44  Johnston City 14 (1-5)

Hamilton County (0-5) at Vienna-Goreville (3-2)

Southern Illinois River to River Ohio

(4-2)(2-1)  West Frankfort 44  Murphysboro 38 OT (1-5)(1-2)

(4-2)(2-1)  Benton 35  Harrisburg 28 (3-3)(1-2)

(5-1)(3-0)    Herrin 49  Massac County 0

Southern Illinois River to River Mississippi

(6-0)(3-0)  *Anna Jonesboro 35  Pinckneyville 0 (0-6)(0-3)

(4-2)(2-1)  Carterville 54  Nashville 21 (3-3)(1-2)

(5-1)(2-1)  DuQuoin  55  Sparta 20 (1-5)(1-2)

South Seven

(5-1)(2-1)  Belleville Altoff 32  Marion 28  (3-3)(2-1)

(5-1)(3-0)  Centralia 41  Cahokia 30 (2-4)(1-2)

(2-4)(1-2)  Carbondale 41  Mt. Vernon 8 (0-6)(0-3)

*Clinched playoff spot

Week 6 Preview: Eldorado (4-1) vs Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton (0-5)

by Steve Dunford

CZR signal caller Bryce Pratt earlier in the year against Carmi-White County. (Thank you Randall Risley)

The Eldorado Eagles will be facing the C-Z-R Bearcats this evening at Spann Field.  The Eagles are in contention tonight to clinch another playoff berth, which they have several consecutive playoff appearances.

I spoke with long time Eldorado assistant and first year head coach Joe Clark yesterday.  He told me coming into tonight’s game the Eagles are a little banged up but do not have anyone out over nagging injuries.

We began to talk about the Bearcat program, he gave me some interesting insights.  He began to talk about the tough times the program went through in Saline County in Brandon Hampton’s first few years.  He said one year things would click.

He also compared it to the SVWW program as well, and coach John Shadowen’s second tour of duty.  He said it takes baby steps.  He said in year two they made the playoffs, and now they are sitting tied for the conference lead at 5-0.

He sees Anthony Hargorve making similar strides with the Bearcats.

Clark then talked about Bearcat QB Bryce Pratt.  “He said, I don’t know if he would be our QB but he would definitely be somewhere in the backfield for us.  One day the yards he has been passing for will add up into some TD’s.  That night might be tonight, and we have to be ready for it.

He went on to talk about the BDC race and how week eight and nine will be something to watch and see, as Fairfield will have them and SVWW back to back.

If C-Z-R would win tonight, it would probably be the upset of the decade. or maybe in the history of the program.   There have been some ugly comments on social media about the program in general.  I was in a conversation with someone over the summer.  I said a 2-7 record would be very optimistic.  This is going to take time.

I am going to make a bold prediction.  In 2019 the Bearcats will be playing in Week 10 in the 2A playoffs.  Fill the stands up at Spann Field with orange and blue tonight, and enjoy the homecoming festivities.



Week 6 High School Football Schedule

Black Diamond

Eldorado (4-1) at Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton (0-5)

Chester (3-2) at Sesser-Valier-Waltonville Woodlawn (5-0)*

Edwards County (2-3) at Fairfield (5-0)*

Johnsotn City (1-4) at Carmi-White County (2-3)

Hamilton County (0-5) at Vienna-Goreville (3-2)  Saturday 1:00 p.m.

Southern Illinois River to River Ohio

Harrisburg (3-2)(1-1) at Benton (3-2)(1-1)

West Frankfort (3-2)(1-1)  at Murphysboro (1-4)(1-1)

Herrin (4-1)(2-0)  at Massac County (0-5)(0-2)

Southern Illinois River to River Mississippi

Anna-Jonesboro (5-0)(2-0) at Pinckneyville (0-5)(0-2)

Nashville (2-3)(1-1) at Carterville (3-2)(1-1)

DuQuoin (4-1)(1-1) at Sparta (1-4)(1-1)

South Seven

Belleville Altoff (4-1)(1-1) at Marion (3-2)(2-0)

Cahokia (2-3)(1-1) at Centralia (4-1)(2-0)

Carbondale (1-4)(0-2) at Mt. Vernon (0-5)(0-2)

One-sided rivalry: S-V-W-W Red Devils pound CZR Bearcats


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

There have been some heavyweight battles between Franklin County rivals, Christopher and Sesser-Valier, in years past. Friday’s game wasn’t one of them.

Payton Rock finished the game with 152 yards rushing on five carries and scored twice. As a team, the Red Devils amassed 336 yards on 37 carries. Smith and Basso also combined for 138 yards passing with three touchdowns, all going to Kiselewski.

The Bearcats totaled negative rushing yards. However, quarterback Bryce Pratt was 14-31 passing for 198 yards and one interception.

Week Five HS football scoreboard

Black Diamond

Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn 66 (5-0)  Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton 0 (0-5) the Red Devils clinch a playoff berth with the win

Eldorado 30 (4-1) Hamilton County 0 (0-5)

Fairfield 18 (5-0)  Carmi-White County 0 (2-3) The Mules clinch a playoff spot with the win

Chester 47 (3-2)  Johnston City 29 (1-4)

Edwards County at Vienna-Goreville 1:00 p.m. Sat.

Southern Illinois River to River – Ohio

Harrisburg 34 (3-2)(1-1)  Massac County 14 (0-4)(0-2)

Herrin 42 (4-1)(2-0)  Murphysboro 6 (1-4)(1-1)

Benton (2-2)(0-1) at West Frankfort (3-1)(1-0) 12:00 p.m. Saturday

Southern Illinois River to River -Mississippi

Anna Jonesboro 41 (5-0)(2-0)  Carterville 7 (3-2)(1-1)

DuQuoin 57 (4-1)(1-1)  Pinckneyville 7 (0-2)(0-5)

Nashville 35 (1-1)(2-3) Sparta 14 (1-4)(1-1)

South Seven

Centralia 21 (4-1)(2-0) Belleville Altoff 14 (4-1)(1-1) Upset

Cahokia 56 (2-3)(1-1)  Carbondale 22 (1-4) (0-2)

Marion 56 (2-0)(3-2)  Mt. Vernon 12 (0-5)(0-2)





Week Five Football Schedule

Black Diamond

Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton (0-4) at Sesser-Valier-Waltonville (4-0)

Carmi- White County (2-2) at Fairfield (4-0)

Chester (2-2) at Johnston City (1-3)

Eldorado (3-1) at Hamilton County (0-4)

Edwards County (2-2) at Vienna-Goreville (2-2) 1:00 PM Saturday

Southern Illinois River to River – Ohio

Harrisburg (2-2) at Massac County (0-4) (0-1)

Murphysboro (1-3)(1-0) at Herrin (3-1)(1-0)

Benton (2-2)(0-1) at West Frankfort (3-1)(1-0)  12:00 p.m Saturday

Southern Illinois River to River – Mississippi

Carterville (3-1)(1-0) at Anna Jonesboro (4-0)(1-0)

Pinckneyville (0-4)(0-1) at DuQuoin (3-1)(0-1)

Nashville (1-3)(0-1) at Sparta (1-3)(1-0)

South Seven

Centralia (3-1)(1-0) at Belleville Altoff (4-0)(1-0)

Cahokia (1-3)(0-1) at Carbondale (1-3)(0-1)

Marion (1-0)(2-2) at Mt. Vernon (0-4)(0-1)