By Christopher Johnson


A win is in the books for the Du-Pec Rivermen, and it wasn’t necessarily the high-powered offense that got the job done on Friday night.

After claiming early control in the 2021 fall season premiere and taking an 8-0 advantage as a result, East Dubuque responded and put one on the board themselves.

Working through the first half, the visiting Rivermen held on to the 8-6 edge. That would change just a few plays later as the team secured one of the more difficult scoring opportunities in high school football.

Du-Pec put pressure on the Warriors front and doubled their lead on the subsequent play. A failed offensive draw-up by the Warriors, deep in their own end zone gave the Rivermen the safety.

With the score holding at 10-6 through the remaining moments of the second period, the half arrived. The four-point advantage remained.

The host Warriors weren’t able to solve the Du-Pec line on Friday in the NUIC position match, and the Rivermen rolled.

One of the most important plays in football is a successful first down. The front five and a little side help from the Du-Pec offensive line kept the Warriors backing up, leading to additional scores.

A third quarter add-on helped boost the visitors lead to 16-6. However, the team wasn’t done scoring.

With plenty of time remaining another score and successful two-point play pushed Du-Pec out of reach of the seeking Warriors offense, taking control by a 24-6 mark.

East Dubuque’s offense would not score again in the Friday night fall regular season opener, but their defense would.

Following the lead of the traveling Rivermen, the Warriors made a stop and it was crucial.

The drop-down for two in the Du-Pec backfield led to a safety contribution to the Warriors nightly efforts.

With the margin cut to a two-score point at 24-8, Du-Pec’s defense, with some moderate adjustment and player personnel switch-arounds kept things under control.

The host Warriors struggled to maintain drives with the Du-Pec defense swarming the defenders offensive line sights.

Managing the match came into play as the final minutes of the Friday night season opener began to wind down. Du-Pec remained solid up front and unyielding to the scoreboard.

The final horn sounded with the Rivermen moving to 1-0 in the NUIC with the 24-8 decision. Helping to set the stage for a run for the crown with their undefeated opening.

Home beckons this week for the conference-leading Rivermen as they prepare for a major challenge from a regular conference threat.

Forreston will bring its program north for a game two showdown and the Cardinals are coming off their own opening night win against a familiar post-season representative.

Stockton could not stop the NUIC co-leaders as they nearly tripled up to claim victory 38-14. Lena-Winslow also won its season opener, keeping the Panthers tied for first with Forreston and Du-Pec.

Game three will be played away from western Winnebago County as the Rivermen travel to Steamers country for an NUIC-welcome match with Fulton.

The early road stretch ends following a Friday, Sept. 17 game against Eastland-Pearl City.

By the end of week four, the NUIC could be featuring as few as two undefeated programs, giving that team early control for the crown.

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