EUREKA – Both Tri-Valley and Eureka will meet Friday night with the playoffs on their respective minds. For the guest Vikings (4-4, 2-2), they must win to have the opportunity to extend their postseason streak to 12 seasons in a row.
For the Hornets (6-2, 2-2), a victory puts them in position to host an opening round contest.
“It’s a big game for them. It’s a big game of us,” commented Eureka head coach Jason Bachman “It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere. We’ve already talked about it. We know we have to come out and play our style of football.”
T-V invades McCollum Field for a 7 p.m. Heart of Illinois Conference large division clash against the Hornets.
The Vikings, who currently have 44 playoff points, began 0-3, but have rebounded to win four of their last five. Their offense, which operates out of the wing-T, is led by junior wingback Zander Woodring, who rushed for 152 yards this past week in a 49-0 drubbing of guest Deer Creek-Mackinaw. Junior fullback Evan Reynolds went for 119 yards in a week five victory over former co-op partner Le Roy. Their top linemen are senior center Ty Dischert and junior guard Jake Fatima. The Vikings have scored 169 points on the season.
“They run a lot of power stuff,” pointed out Bachman. “They’re really good with play action. They have about nine or 10 different sets.”
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Reynolds (linebacker), Woodring (secondary), Dischert (line) and Fatima (line) are among the returnees on a defense that has allowed 150 points.
According to Bachman, the offensive plan of attack will not be altered.
“We’ll still do what we do,” he said, “We have to pass the ball to open up the run game. They load up the box to stop the run game. We would like to get them in a four front.”
Josh Roop is in his 13th season with T-V and owns a record of 102-38. The Vikings were 7-5 overall and 3-2 in divisional play in 2018. They lost 27-14 at St. Teresa in the two A quarterfinals. The Decatur private school blanked T-V 41-0 in the season opener. The Vikings have won two of three previous meetings with Eureka, who scored a 21-14 victory a season ago.
Notes: Bachman listed junior lineman Thomas Cahill (back) as probable for the game. The playoff pairings show will be televised this Saturday evening from 8 to 9 p.m. on East Peoria station WEEK.