Here are previews of this weekend's Week 1 football games for Sandwich, Fieldcrest and Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland:
SANDWICH INDIANS (1-0) at HARVARD HORNETS (0-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday in Harvard
Last matchup: Sandwich 30, Harvard 20 (2018)
About the Indians: Sandwich defeated Chicago Hope Academy 15-14 in a thrilling opener. Running back Jackson Murphy scored from a yard out with 28 seconds remaining for the game-winner. Murphy ran for 116 yards — one of three RBs (Nic Lidinsky and James Coleman were the others) to break the century mark in the Indians' wing-T attack.
About the Hornets: Harvard lost to Lisle, 22-8, in its opener, but was tied with the No. 9 in Class 3A Lions heading into the fourth quarter. Fullback Damon Mueller led the Hornets with 65 rushing yards. Quarterback Jacob Stanley completed 6 of 14 passes for 51 yards for a Harvard team which looks to be on the upswing.
FND pick: Sandwich.
FIELDCREST KNIGHTS (1-0) at TRI-VALLEY VIKINGS (0-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday in Downs
Last matchup: Tri-Valley 29, Fieldcrest 20 (2018)
About the Knights: Fieldcrest moved up two spots to No. 8 in the Class 2A AP state rankings after easily handling Reed-Custer in Week 1, 47-7. The Knights defense was especially impressive, racking up eight sacks, but will have its hands full with Tri-Valley's traditionally-potent running attack. This game against another team receiving votes in the state rankings will be a fantastic measuring stick as to where the Knights stand in their hopes to join the Heart of Illinois' upper echelon.
About the Vikings: Decatur St. Teresa has been Tri-Valley's kryptonite the past two seasons, handing the Vikings two losses in 2018 — including one in the playoffs — and then blanking them 41-0 in a rout last week. Evan Reynolds rushed for a team-high 39 yards on 13 carries in the shut-down T-V attack. This will be a team hungry for redemption. Beating a state-ranked opponent could fit the bill.
FND pick: Fieldcrest
PAWNEE-LINCOLNWOOD INDIANS (1-0) at FCW FALCONS (1-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday in Flanagan
Last matchup: n/a
About the Indians: Head coach Kitt Thein's squad comes in off a 38-18 handling of Bunker Hill and appears in the state's 8-man rankings. Like FCW, it is also Pawnee-Lincolnwood's first year playing 8-man, the Indians making the move after back-to-back 1-8 season in 11-man. Liam Monohan (102 yards, three TDs) and Zach Fisher (128 yards, two TDs) are both runners to be wary of in an Indians offense which racked up 312 rushing yards a week ago.
About the Falcons: Fresh of the program's first win since October of 2015, Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland will take a step up in competition this Friday and host the first 8-man game played in Flanagan. The Falcons played a great game Saturday — led by Tavarre Phifer (three TDs including two on kickoff returns), Jackson Mathe (two INTs) and Seth Meredith (2 1/2 QB sacks) — and will need a similar effort to notch their second straight win.
FND pick: Pawnee-Lincolnwood