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Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley quarterback Nathan Garard looks for a receiver during a game earlier this season against El Paso-Gridley at El Paso. GCMS and EPG both are involved in Class 2A second-round playoff games on Saturday.

Class 2A

GCMS vs. West Carroll

Time and place: 2 p.m. Saturday, Savanna

Records: GCMS 10-0; West Carroll 7-3

FYI: GCMS and West Carroll have faced a common opponent. No. 2 state-ranked GCMS scored 50 first-half points on just 17 plays from scrimmage in a 50-14 first-round win Saturday over Eastland-Pearl City. West Carroll defeated Eastland-Pearl City, 26-7, on Oct. 6.

GCMS is led by senior RB Mitch McNutt, who had touchdown runs of 10, 52 and 50 yards last week and caught a 42-yard TD pass from quarterback Nathan Garard. The four TDs brought McNutt's season total to 25. He's averaged 12.67 yards per carry in rushing for 1,191 yards ... Garard has thrown only 53 passes but has completed 40 for 793 yards and 12 TDs ... Ryland Holt, a 6-4 junior, has eight TD receptions among his 13 catches ... While the GCMS offense is averaging 47 points per game, the defense has given up only six per contest. Josh Bleich paces the defense with 41 solo tackles and 32 assists.

West Carroll, seeded 10th, knocked off seventh-seeded Fieldcrest, 40-0,  in the first round ... West Carroll QB Kody Plattenberger tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another. He has passed for 1,280 yards, completing 82 of 152 attempts (53.9 percent) ... Kaleb Hartman paces a balanced Thunder rushing attack with 804 yards and 10 TDs ... Linebacker Devon Murray's 68 solo tackles and 70 assists lead a defense that has given up 12 points per game.

EPG vs. Knoxville

Time and place: 1 p.m. Saturday, El Paso

Records: EPG 6-4; Knoxville 8-2

FYI: EPG is the lowest seed remaining in the Class 2A playoffs after the 14th-seeded Titans knocked off No. 4 state-ranked Rockridge, 29-26, in the opening round ... Knoxville advanced last week with a 66-20 win over Chicago Marshall ... Knoxville, a No. 6 seed, has an eight-game winning streak and has outscored its opponents, 389-129, during that stretch.

The Blue Bullets feature a bruising rushing attack that is averaging 367 yards per game. Three backs have rushed for over 700 yards, paced by the 804 yards of junior Case Hennenfent. Kage Leab has added 766 yards and Seth Clay 716.

Junior Ryne Faulk leads EPG with 1,421 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. Faulk also has caught six touchdown passes while averaging 16.7 yards per catch on his 22 receptions ...  Quarterback Jarrin Landrus had completed 89 of 184 passes for 1,287 yards and 16 TDs ... Lukas Kiefer has 27 catches for 376 yards to lead all receivers.

Tri-Valley vs. Shelbyville

Time and place: 1 p.m. Saturday, Downs

Records: Shelbyville 8-2; Tri-Valley 9-1

FYI: Both teams rolled to easy first-round wins a week ago with Tri-Valley rushing for 418 yards and swatting away South Mac, 42-6 ... Shelbyville was victorious over Villa Grove, 44-6.

No. 5 state-ranked Tri-Valley is led by Zach Woodring, the area's leading rusher with 1,758 yards and 14 TDs ... The Vikings are outscoring their opponents by just under 33 points per game on average, giving up 11.9 points per contest ... The Tri-Valley defense is led by Brock Ward's 48 tackles. Cole Maxedon (39), Cody Steiner (36) and all-stater Cam Elam (37) are each averaging nearly four tackles per game as well ... The Vikings' special teams unit recovered two onside kicks last week.

Shelbyville is averaging 46.7 points per game while giving up 14.8 ... Quarterback Turner Pullen has passed for 2,458 yards and 35 TDs, completing 141 of his 205 attempts. He's also the Rams' leading rusher with 645 yards ... Kentrell Beck has 40 catches for 818 yards and 12 TDs to pace the receivers ... Clayton Peterson leads the Shelbyville defense with 72 tackles, 22 of them for losses.

Tri-Valley and Shelbyville had a common opponent this season. Tri-Valley lost to Decatur St. Teresa, 25-20, in the season opener. Shelbyville lost to St. Teresa, 28-20, on Oct. 20.

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— Compiled by Bruce Yentes


Sports Writer

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