By Chris Johnson


WINNEBAGO – Down to the wire heroics and late game success, allowed the Winnebago Indians to improve to 4-3 on the season and stay alive in their pursuit of a possible post-season appearance.

By a final score of 27-23, Winnebago dispatched Oregon and turned their attention to this Friday night’s game.

The Byron Tigers host Winnebago on Friday and they are coming off a 56-19 loss to Rockford Lutheran. Over the past seasons, back-to-back losses have not been too frequent an occurrence in Byron.

With the loss to the Indians on Friday night, the hope for participation in the post-season, for the Oregon Hawks, has been dashed.

In 2014, the Hawks, with a 5-4 record, received a rare gift and hosted in the opening round of the State Football Playoffs. This year, a 4-5 mark, assuming consecutive wins to close the season, would be the best the team could do. The post-season won’t happen for Oregon.

It could be an unfair reality to play in the Big Northern West this season.

After starting the year 2-1, the Hawks lost to Dixon, Rockford Lutheran, Byron and Winnebago, the four teams directly in front of them in the standings, consecutively.

The Indians, during that span, defeated Harvard and Dixon, but lost to Stillman Valley and Rockford Lutheran.

With Byron hosting this Friday night, the advantage leans a little more heavily into Ogle County.

Winnebago Indians Head Coach Mark Helm said his team is up. The focus has been “on” in practice this week.

“Id like to think it should be not too hard to get up for this game for anyone. There is a great rivalry that exists with a team just eight miles down the road, or something like that. Our kids know their kids and it will be a very tough road test for us.”

For Winnebago, Helm said, he knows a lot of learning still has to take place, it can be expected with younger athletes.

“I’m not worried about Byron or what they want to do. I am just worried about our team. We have to see how we can be against the good teams, since we know there is always room for improvement. We are capable of playing better and we are striving to get better.”

Helm said a technique that he has found helpful is the use of digital recording. A performance review can be given, with each person, on the team, understanding how well they fit into performing at the level that is needed.

“Each week we look at the videotapes and we look at each player at each position and we grade the players for their efforts. Everyone gets a grade, that way they know where they stand and can improve even more.”

The techniques learned will be put to the test this Friday night, as the Tigers await their visitors.

A loss to Byron would lead to a make-or-break game against Mendota on Friday night, Oct. 23.

If Winnebago falls to Byron, they will enter their week nine game with a 4-4 mark.

The Mendota Trojans have struggled this year, having allowed over 35 points a game, while scoring around 17.

A victory over 1-6 Mendota in week nine would give Winnebago their fifth win.

Based on the level of competition played within the Big Northern West, the total number of victories of all opponents the Indians have faced will be totaled.

The “wins-total”, or playoff points, will then be added to determine which teams make it and which teams don’t.

A certain percentage of 5-4 teams will make it into the post season.

In 2014, the Oregon Hawks, a 5-4 entrant, hosted their own first round playoff game.

The varsity contest is slated to kick-off after completion of the junior varsity contest, expected to be underway at 5:30 p.m.

10-9 Winnebago vs Oregon 1

Winnebago Seniors Jake Goluszka (89), Dylan Connolly (73), Michael Booth (54), Justin Spickler (12), Bo Spickler (59), Shane Dorgan (16), Nathan Aldritt (24), Ben Hammers (81) and Chris Holland (52) pose for a picture after the win over the Oregon Hawks on Friday, Oct. 9. Mary Kate Skaggs photo

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.