By Christopher Johnson


It is home again this week for the Pecatonica-Durand Rivermen following their Class 3A State Football Playoff opening day win 44-0 over the Mendota Trojans.

The win moved the Rivermen into round two of the Class 3A State Tournament and keeps them home this week to face six-seed and big Friday night winner Elmhurst-Immaculate Conception.

The Knights rolled over Monmouth-Roseville on Friday, Oct. 29, 55-8, to earn the passage to western Winnebago County this weekend.

The Rivermen were staunch on defense again in the Saturday afternoon match as they refused to yield even a single point to the visiting Trojans.

Offensively, it wouldn’t end up taking much to take down the 14-seed visitor from LaSalle County. One score was all that was needed.

Pecatonica-Durand secured the needed points right away and once the touchdown counted, the two-point play made it 8-0.

The first quarter came to a close with the 8-0 advantage in place and the Rivermen about to embark on a flurry of scoring attacks.

Following the first touchdown strike in the second Pecatonica-Durand got the ball back where they needed it again and powered it across.

By the time time had expired in the second quarter, the 8-0 edge had grown to 28-0 with the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference Champion settling in and waiting for Elmhurst-Immaculate Conception which had taken care of business one day earlier.

Offense again revisited the Rivermen in the third period and allowed the game to be pulled out of the wanton reach of the Trojans.

A 16-point period helped secure a 44-0 advantage and got the clock moving forward at a much more ready pace.

The third quarter ended with the Rivermen in front by what would become the final score of the night, 44-0 and giving the 3A three-seed another opening round win in the State Football Playoffs.

After managing hosting duties a week earlier Pecatonica-Durand and Elmhurst-Immaculate Conception knew they both wouldn’t get that same opportunity in the round two game..

Elmhurst Immaculate Conception picked up the six, which was still three positions behind the Rivermen, giving Pecatonica-Durand honors and the right to stay put for the second season’s second game of the 3A State Tournament.

The Knights provide a significant challenge this week for the NUIC Champion Rivermen. They can score a lot and are tough to move against at times.

This season, the Knights have averaged over 32 points a night scoring and have allowed a touchdown per game average over six conference clashes.

IC Catholic Prep plays in the Metro Suburban Blue Conference with playoff participants Bishop McNamara and Wheaton Academy.

Conference honors went to the Knights this season after they closed the year with a one loss mark, but one win more than 8-2 Wheaton Academy.

However, Pecatonica-Durand is one of the toughest teams IC has had to face this season too.

The Rivermen averaged 36 points a night on offense and have given up just under ten per time out paired with their perfect 8-0 NUIC mark.

Pecatonica-Durand has also played a tougher conference schedule, which included victories over playoff partners Forreston, Fulton, and Lena-Winslow. Each beaten by the Rivermen during the 2021 regular fall season.

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