MINONK – On the heels of arguably the biggest regular season win of the Derek Schneeman tenure, Fieldcrest makes a three-hour bus ride southwest to Carthage to play Illini West Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. kickoff. The Knights (4-0) put an end to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley’s 31-game winning streak this past Friday with a 14-6 verdict.
“We just tell them in the grand scheme of things one game does not make your season,” Schneeman stated. “At the end of the day, it’s one more game. We have a lot of work to do and the boys know that.”
IW (1-3) graduated 19 of 22 starters off a 10-1 squad. Their lone win was a 22-20 decision over host Havana/Midwest Central, a game they trailed 12-0. The Chargers operate out of the double wing-T. The only two offensive starters that return are seniors Isaac Schreacke (tight end) and Hunter Boston (center). Junior fullback Cole Jackson ran for 109 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with 13 seconds left against H/MWC. IW, members of the Prairieland Conference, has scored a total of 66 points.
“I do not know if it’s easier,” commented Schneeman in terms of facing a familiar scheme. “We see similar offenses in our conference. It is nice it’s very similar identities.”
Schreacke (line) is the only returnee back on a defense that has surrendered 152 points through four games. They allowed 52 in the season opener to Annawan-Wethersfield, who amassed 263 yards through the air. In a 48-0 loss at Knoxville, the Blue Bullets rolled up 21 first downs and 299 rushing yards.
“I think we want to get the run game going. We think our strength is on the o-(offensive) line,” said Schneeman. “The games where we’ve had the most success is running the ball to open up our passing game.”
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Lyle Klein is in his seventh season with the Chargers and has a 36-29 record. IW’s lone loss of 2018 was a 46-14 setback in the second round of the two A playoffs at Sterling Newman. Klein has led the Chargers to the postseason on five occasions. This is the first meeting between the programs.
According to Schneeman, Fieldcrest will try to continue to ride this wave of momentum.
“I think it goes to show these guys how good they can be,” he explained. “You can tell them how much potential they have, but to see it, it’s big for overall morale.”
Senior lineman Parker Ruestman (dislocated shoulder) did not play against GCMS. According to Schneeman, he’ll be out at least two more weeks.
Notes: According to Schneeman, Fieldcrest departs at 8:45 a.m. Saturday morning. Among the Carthage graduates with Fieldcrest ties are defensive coordinator Mitch Neally and Laurie (Dion) Lorton, the mother of senior quarterback Matt and junior wide receiver Henry Lorton. Principal Bill Lapp was an assistant girls’ basketball and later head coach and also served as an assistant on the football team. Carthage, Dallas City and LaHarpe consolidated in the fall of ‘07 to form IW. Dallas City closed in the spring of ’01 and went into Nauvoo-Colusa for the next six years prior to IW. The Chargers claimed three A titles in ’08 and ’10. Both A/W and Knoxville are 4-0, while H/MWC and Abingdon/Avon are 3-1.