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.

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.

WEEK 8 PREVIEW: Vienna-Goreville (4-3) at Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn (7-0)

by Steve Dunford

The SVWW Devils who where the 103.5 ESPN Team of the Week after their Week 2 Victory over Eldorado. Join Mike Murphy and Scott Hudson on SportsVoice to see who will be the team of the week Saturday Morning from 8-10 a.m.

The S-V-W-W Red Devils hope to keep their undefeated streak alive, as the Seniors will play their final home regular season game at Caroll Kelly Field.  It is highly likely they will get a home game in the first round of the playoffs.  Devils coach John Shadowens had this to say about Senior night, I’m trying not to think too hard about it being Senior Night. I could get emotional pretty easy. I coached these boys as freshmen and followed them up to varsity. They feel like my own kids.

I asked coach Shadowens about the Vienna-Goreville Eagles and especially coaching against the legendary Mike Rude, “Always an honor to go up against Coach Rude.  He’s been a friend and a mentor to me for years. Vienna-Goreville will be tough because those kids are fighting for their playoff lives.”

I have just watched bits and pieces of the Eagles games.  Nolan Dahncke and Peyton Massey might be rivals in the backcourt on the hardwood but they make a good 1 -2 punch in the backfield.

The Devils have been on a roll, and I feel they are the biggest story in the 2017 football season.  I have watched a lot of these kids grow up.

Even by streaming, I am looking forward to covering them on Week Nine as it will be for all the marbles.  I expect the Devils to win by 14 tomorrow 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 –


SVWW Red Devils remain undefeated with 20-6 win over Chester

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

NOTE:  Richard is the voice of the Devils on WXAN-Ava, 103.9 on your FM dial.

The Sesser-Valier/Waltonville/Woodlawn Red Devils remain undefeated on the season at 6-0 after a hard-fought, take-no-prisoners, playoff-style game against visiting Chester, Friday night.
The Red Devils prevailed, 20-6, at Carroll Kelly Field.

Eli Gunter had scoring runs of 22 and 63 yards in a five-minute span from late in the first quarter through the early part of the second. He finished the game with 175 yards rushing on 10 carriers.

Link to WSIL-TV Sports Extra

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 Six Preview: Chester (3-2) at Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn (5-0)

by Steve Dunford

Red Devils out of the tunnel last week against CZR (Sesser-Valier Booster Club photo.)

This is probably will be the best game of the week in the Black Diamond and will rival Benton-Harrisburg, not in Franklin County but all of Southern Illinois.

The Devils are coming off a week five 66-0 drubbing of CZR in the Route 148 showdown.   Fullback Peyton Rock was named WSIL player of the week with two rushing touchdowns and a pick six, averaging over 30 yards a carry on the night. Chester beat Johnston City 47-29 in which QB Nick Meyer passed for five touchdowns and rushed for a sixth.

Here is what Yellow Jacket coach Billy Belton had to say coming into the matchup with SVWW tonight,  “Nick Meyer(QB) has accounted for 20 TDs on the season. 12 passing and 8 Rushing. Clayton Richleman and Calvin Clendinen have done a great job on the outside for us(Wide Outs) they have combined for 8 receiving TDs. Curt Meyer, Nick Heffernan and Mason Westerman lead our rushing attack. Our Defense has played well in the 3 wins. Our D-Line is getting better each week, led by our senior Brady Kelkhoff. Brady has 6 Tackles for Loss, a caused fumble and a fumble recovery in our 3 wins. Everyone is healthy.” 

“SVWW is always well coached. they have a great mix of size and speed. They have several play makers on the offensive side of the ball. They are big and fast on the defensive side of the ball. They are 5-0 and we look forward to the challenge tonight.”

Coach Belton also told the Randolph County Herald-Tribune about tonight’s matchup,  “They’ve got some big linemen, they’re very athletic,” Belton said of S-V-W-W. “They run a buck sweep offense that tries to overwhelm you at the point of attack.
“We’ll have our hands full this week.”

I tried to see if there were film out there on the Hamco game from NewsChannel 15 in Mt. Carmel and there wasn’t.  From clips in the past and keeping my ear to the ground, I knew that Meyer was going to be a load for the Devils.

I am going with the Devils by 14, but it could be much tighter.  This is going to be their biggest test since Eldorado.  It will also be their biggest test before going to the Train Yard on Week Nine.

I have been talking about the playoffs in each preview, and with the BDC being a closed conference, the Devils have clinched.  Each win is for a better seed.  With a combined enrollment decreasing to 488, they will have a lock on being 3A.

Unless an earth shattering upset happens to the Yellow Jackets, they are in very good shape getting in.   I feel they are heavy favorites in weeks eight and nine against CZR and Edwards County.  I like their chances at home against Carmi next week.

Chester will be 1A, and a very dangerous 1A team in the playoffs.





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)

Devils FB Peyton Rock: WSIL/Banterra Bank Player of the week.

by Steve Dunford

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT – SVWW Coach John Shadowens, WSIL Sports Director Darren Kinnard, Rock and a representative from Banterra Bank (From Darren Kinnard’s Twitter feed)

SESSER, IL –  Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn’s FB/LB Peyton Rock edged out Benton QB Hamilton Page for the WSIL/Banterra Bank player of the week by an approximate total of 8,300 to 7,200 votes.  Herrin Tiger RB Jase Gosha finished third in the voting.

Rock Rushed for 152 yards on five carries, scoring two touchdowns in a 66-0 rout of CZR last Friday night.  He scored a third touchdown on a pick six.

Page passed for 334 yards, scored four rushing touchdowns, passing for two as the Rangers defeated the West Frankfort Redbirds 47-14.

The Devils (5-0) host Chester this evening, and the Rangers (3-2)(1-1)  host the Harrisburg Bulldogs.